Values, Vision & Mission
Values, Vision, & Mission
Our process for discerning a vision for this community together has included three considerations: our values, our vision, and our mission. We sometimes use the word implementation alongside mission in order to differentiate between the mission or missions activity of the church, and the various ways we are working to move toward actualizing and arriving at our vision. Here’s how we are using these three concepts:
Values help us when we’re faced with a choice or a challenge. They anchor us. They root us. They help us to know why we would choose one thing over another.
Vision describes where we are going. It speaks to both our desired destination and the kind of community we are seeking to become.
Mission (or implementation) describes (in broad strokes) the steps we need to take in order to move from where we are and toward our vision. It describes how we will get there.
The more we sit with the mission or implementation aspect of this process, the more we will see clear goals surface. These will help us craft a strategic plan that will include both short term and longer term goals.
Included here is a reminder of our communally affirmed values, as well as the preface that describes how we hold them: With Jesus as our Centre, our Source and the One through whom we read scripture, we seek to live out the following values with authenticity and humility:
Embracing Spirit-Led Direction and Growth
We aspire to be a people who seek to encounter Jesus together, and who experience personal and communal transformation through the ongoing cultivation and renovation of our faith. We desire to be open to the ongoing work and guidance of the Holy Spirit in our lives – marked by curiosity, humility, a willingness to take time to listen and the courage to take risks.
Embodying Justice, Equity and Good News for All
We aspire to be a people seeking justice and peacemaking by joining with the work of Jesus in the redemption and renewal of our relationships with God, one another and the Earth. We recognize our call to be people of reconciliation, and seek to live this out in the ways that we both contemplate our spirituality and work toward a more just and mended world.
Cultivating Diversity and Inclusion
We aspire to be a people who reflect the diversity of our region, where all people are both invited and welcomed into full participation. We desire to build a bigger table for all – creating spaces where the dignity and belovedness of each individual is recognized and where we lean into the practice of hospitality together as a community.
Nurturing Interdependent Community
We aspire to be a people who experience a sense of belonging and deep relationships as we share life together. We seek to walk with integrity, honesty, transparency and collaboration with one another – reimagining how power is held and fostering wider participation in all areas of our community.
Living Generously Beyond Ourselves
We aspire to be a people with open hands and deep gratitude, who seek to imitate and extend the compelling generosity of God to others. We strive to care deeply about what happens beyond our church community – expressing love for our neighbours, our city, and the world we live in.
A Compelling Vision for Our Community
These three word couplets resonated deeply with our team. They captured themes we saw emerge from the community discernment. We believe they represent both a present longing and future hope for our community. Here‘s what we mean by these three ideas:
By Open Hands we mean...
- humility and curiosity with our faith and each other
- transparency and accountability in our decisions
- generosity with our gifts and resources
By Diverse Voices we mean...
- shared teaching and leadership
- inclusive practices and participation
- diversity in representation
By Reimagined Church we mean...
- balanced rhythms for how we gather, rest, and serve
- a desire to serve and connect beyond the pews
- critiquing and reshaping of power structures and systems
From Vision to Mission
Our process for discerning a vision for this community together has included three considerations: our values, our vision, and our mission. We sometimes use the word implementation alongside mission in order to differentiate between the mission or missions activity of the church, and the various ways we are working to move toward actualizing and arriving at our vision.
MISSION & IMPLEMENTATION
Seven Areas of Tangible Implementation
In this next section, we have described how these three vision concepts can be implemented in tangible and concrete ways. For this, we used seven categories to capture these ideas: governance and policies, theology and formation, rhythms and practices of gathering, culture of participation, staffing, community and connection, and regional and global partnerships.
Some of the ideas listed here are building on practices and priorities that we have already been exploring as a community, and some are new areas of focus. We have included them all in this list as a way of identifying the areas that will require intention and energy as we implement this vision over the next season.
Governance & Policies
- Build a communication infrastructure for healthy feedback and decision making
- Maintain transparency by making board meeting minutes easily accessible
- Establish and maintain diverse representation at the board level
- Evaluate our practices, policies and language through an anti-oppressive and anti-racist lens
- Develop and follow policies that contribute to a safer and more inclusive community
- Utilize a decision making model and team structure at the board level that embodies shared leadership and responsibility
- Connect and share resources with networks or affiliations that align
with our values
Theology & Formation
- Plan multi-voiced teaching that reflects the values we hold as a community
- Root our held theology in the life and teaching of Jesus
- Hold space for different interpretations of scripture while ensuring that all people are treated with dignity and respect
- Foster an understanding and appreciation for key practices of our faith such as baptism and communion
- Continually seek the Spirit’s guidance as the source of our imagination, formation and shaping
- Build a ministry team that can envision and support our kids’ faith development
- Encourage deepening of faith through individual and communal wrestling with scripture
- Acknowledge and embrace the diversity of faith backgrounds in our community
- Create opportunities for our youth and young adults to grow in faith, connection, leadership and service
Rhythms & Practices of Gathering
- Incorporate service and learning opportunities into our Sunday gatherings
- Encourage rest, contemplation, and retreat in our yearly calendar
- Prioritize time for conversation and discussion in smaller groups
- Regularly try, and evaluate, different formats, postures, and meeting spaces
- Use language that reflects inclusivity and safety
Culture of Participation
- Foster a culture of active community-wide engagement
- Help individuals identify their areas of giftedness and passion
- Create clear pathways for individuals to join a team and contribute to the life of the community in a meaningful way
- Support unpaid leaders and team members through clear job descriptions, expectations, and mentorship opportunities
- Follow a transparent, established hiring process
- Offer fair and reasonable compensation
- Create clear job descriptions that empower employees
- Structure staff to facilitate shared leadership and accountability
Support staff well-being and growth through access to professional development opportunities, mental health days, spiritual direction, sabbaticals and mentorship
Community & Connection
Equip Neighbours Groups to provide support and
care for each other
Offer points of connection and community building by facilitating seasonal and/or ongoing groups that would meet for a focused study, project or activity
Build connection among community members by sharing food together
Deepen the relationships among our kids by creating ways to connect beyond Sunday mornings
Collectively reflect on our church’s identity and determine if we should consider a new name
Redesign our website to improve communication around who we are as a church
Regional & Global Partnerships
Encourage advocacy and presence in spaces where we can support and learn from the marginalized
Consider new ways of collaborating with organizations in our region through service opportunities or member/neighbours group initiatives that address social injustice issues
Explore ways to use our physical space and our resources to serve the
Expand community involvement with our Journey Team
Evaluate our current approach to the work of our Missions Team