Our Summer learning series starts on July 20 with the beginning of the film series that covers the 7 Marks of a Vital Congregation. Reverend Susan’s sermon series begins July 30 and covers the same seven marks.
What are the seven marks of a vital congregation, you ask? Well, we've got answers for you!
1. Lifelong Discipleship Formation: A commitment to forming disciples over every member’s lifetime. This leads first to personal transformation, as people put on the heart of Christ, and then to social transformation, as people joyfully go forth into the community and tackle the issues facing today’s culture.
2. Intentional Authentic Evangelism: Embracing the call to evangelism. We show forth the love of Christ by our actions and our lives even more than by our words. Our relationships are genuine and caring. People know we are Christians by our love.
3. Outward Incarnational Focus: An outward focus. Our church is not a place to escape from the world, but rather our gateway to our community where we may be the hands, feet, heart and mouth of Jesus Christ for people who are suffering or marginalized.
4. Empower Servant Leadership: Empowering every member to discover their individual calling and the gifts God has given them so they can go forth and serve.
5. Spirit-Inspired Worship: Spirit-inspired worship that challenges, teaches, transforms, convicts and energizes us so when we are sent out, we have experienced the wonder of God and are changed for the better from when we arrived.
6. Caring Relationships: Caring relationships modeled on God’s love. We open our doors and hearts to all people, and we build relationships modeled on God’s love, which leads to genuine reconciliation and peace.
7. Ecclesial Health: Congregations with healthy systems. Our mission focuses are clear. There is fiscal responsibility and accountability. We have thoughtful decision-making structures. Our leaders and staff enjoy a sustainable balance of work/rest time.
These marks will be explored individually in the sermon series, and collectively in the film series. We will offer an opportunity to watch the movie on Sundays before the discussion on Thursday evening, or you may watch it on your own. A list of all films and the dates we will discuss them will be provided. The Thursday evening study will include a short dinner followed by a synopsis of the film and clips that coincide with the discussion questions.
Please take a moment to pick up the information about these seven marks located in the Narthex. Whether or not you participate in the study, please feel free to take advantage of the information. Discussion questions, film titles and dates will also be emailed to the congregation.