Fall, 2017 Pastor’s Message


Throughout the Spring of 2017 a large number of us gathered multiple times in small groups in homes and at church to collectively discern who East Church is and is being called to be, and what our distinctive mission is, in this present time and place. Our intrepid Growth and Development Chair, Steve Nelson, then painstakingly transcribed and collated all the comments and reflections generated by these small groups. This summer, five of us, our Moderator, Ellen Hollon, Deacon Co-Chair, Kendra Goodrich, one of our newest members, Jeff Greene, Steve, and me, Pastor Shelly, met a series of times to digest, reflect, pray and discuss all of this information and allow it and the Holy Spirit to lead us to a fresh articulation of "the why of the what" that is East Church.

T. S. Eliot wrote these famous lines in his poem Little Gidding V, Four Quartets in 1943, "We shall not cease from exploration, and the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we started and know the place for the first time."

As we explored and discerned, and explored and discerned, we unwittingly found--or were found by--words that closely echoed our existing vision statement. This was most certainly not our intent, but we were increasingly drawn to the reality that all that we had heard from all of you and all of us is that the core of that statement still resonates with the call we presently hear from God in our shared ministry.

Therefore, we are putting forth two DRAFT statements for our congregation's prayerful consideration over the course of this coming year. We invite their use and incorporation-- trying them on for size--in Council, Deacons and Committee Meetings as well as Worship, Sunday School, Healing Prayer, Prayer Shawl and Card Ministry groups. We welcome your individual feedback (to any of the five of us) and will also sponsor a special Coffee Hour in the Spring that will include a collective conversation about these two statements.

These are the two DRAFT statements we now commend to you.

The Vision of East Congregational Church

Our Aspiration - Yearning - Aim - Desired End State
Who We Are and Aspire to Be

Drawn together in the mystery of God and inspired by Christ,
we grow in the Spirit by grappling with faith, embracing change,
and seeking justice for all.

The Mission of East Congregational Church

Our Purpose - Our Why - Why We are Here - Why We Exist

To courageously build and serve community in Christ's name.

Please do share your feedback as we trial this fresh articulation of our Vision and Mission throughout the coming year.

Pastor Shelly

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