Lori Adams, former transitional president of Church Extension, describes the context out of which Hope Partnership for Missional Transformation and other developments at Church Extension have evolved.
Tags: Adams, Church, Extension, Lori, hope, More…partnership, strengths
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Thanks to Lori Adams for posting comments a month ago regarding new directions for churches as assisted by Church Extension. As I have recently posted in The Intersection, we recently relocated from Missouri to Massachusetts to be nearer family members. So after 18 years in retirement, we moved but continue with good health in a plus-55 apartment building www.thecoolidgeschool.com And we are now active in a UCC congregation with a long history and substantial endowment (also large cathedral-like building) www.2ndchurch.org
But of course we continue interest in DoC, having served 38 years as pastor after graduation from Drake and then Yale Divinity School. Several times I was involved with a building program with much help from CE. Plus we now support Church Extension with investments....thanks Charlie Wallace for your visit in the Boston area and congrats to Rick Riesinger on his new position.
My comment is this: some years ago it was I think Lyle Schaller who made the distinction between mission and maintenance. And if in a survival mode it may be difficult to focus on salvation for others in the world, as one would like...as Jesus commands. I believe in fact some ministers become in time mostly chaplains more than missionaries and worry about attendance figures. (Is this the expectation of the flock?)
You alluded to the struggle faced by churches to continue on given the increasing staff salary and benefit costs. In addition to building maintenance. How is this being confronted, perhaps with shared ministries and lay trained pastors and unifying with other churches and also maybe new directions? The word transformation was mentioned several times and that will surely include needs of a community. Hmm, wonder how many congregations have really studied what the needs of people in their town/city really are. I'm not certain members see that so clearly rather than simply hopes for a strong youth group, Sunday school, etc. That might mean a redefinition of being saved! So how can we connect building with mission, in a sense forever THE question. But especially so in these times. Yes, it is good of CE along with DHM and DHE to think not of new buildings so much as renovation and creative funding and reaching out.
Any success stories to tell? Bill Longman
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