Park United Methodist Church Open Hearts, Open Minds, Open Doors
Park United Methodist Church            Open Hearts, Open Minds, Open Doors

Healthy Church Initiative (HCI)


By Sandy Beyer


There has been much progress over the past couple of months on the HCI recommendations, and we would like to update you on all that has been accomplished.


Recommendation #1: Become Clear About Identity, Purpose & Vision.

Our HCI coach, Cathy Townley, has met with the HCI team and Visioning team and has also been in contact with Justin in between these meetings.  One of the exercises we did was a community exegesis tour.  If you are like me, you are thinking, "What is that?"  The definition of exegesis from the dictionary is:  A noun meaning exposition, explanation; especially an explanation or critical interpretation of a text HCI team groups drove around to look at our neighborhood and the Brainerd/Baxter area to see what our community is about.  Along with this exercise and the information gathered at the meet and greet sessions, Pastor Justin came up with a snapshot summarizing our Mission Field (see Pastor Justin’s article for more detail).  In those two exercises the following words would describe our Mission Field:  Relationships, Spiritual Foundation, Searching, Family Life, Safety, Better Pace, Belonging, Homey and Healthy.  The HCI, Vision, and Hospitality team decided the top words that would stand out were Relationships, Searching, Belonging, and Homey.  These will the words used to help form the Park UMC vision.  Step one is well on its way.


Recommendation #2: Developing an Inspiring Sunday Morning Experience – Curb to Curb.

A hospitality team has been formed, and is working with Cathy Townley.  By the time you receive this newsletter, they will have attended a workshop on hospitality.  Cathy discussed with us things to look at to create a safe, usable, and compelling environment in all areas; from the parking lot, to the narthex (foyer), to the sanctuary, to the education wing.  She also gave suggestions and ideas to make our worship service a more inviting experience for visitors.  


The worship team and HCI team have read the book Missional Worship by Cathy Townley and have met to discuss their takeaways. The book offers a framework on thinking about how to plan and execute worship in ways that equip the church to see how we live our daily lives in mission and worship.


Under this recommendation was the ending of the 11:15 service, which we celebrated and ended in June.  This was not intended to be permanent, but a decision to relook at having another service once our 9:30 service averaged 150.  At that time we would look at starting another service.  The anticipated timeline for this was to start the process in the fall of 2016.  However, with great excitement, it looks as though we will reach our goal of averaging 150 earlier than anticipated and the process of what a second service might look like may start in the near future. 


Recommendation #3: Streamline Congregational Staffing and Leadership Structure

This process will be done in consultation and with the help our District Superintendent Susan Nienaber.  This recommendation is in the beginning stages.  The SPRC is currently reading the recommended book When Moses Meets Aaron: Large Church Staffing and Supervision.  They will be meeting in September to discuss and begin looking at our staffing and our needs along with the gifts we already have.


Recommendation #4: Improve Congregational Care and Communications

Russ Christensen and Carol Ann Hoffman (our parish nurse) have met with Pastor Justin and are beginning to research various congregational care peer to peer programs. The goal is for this to be ready to go with people trained by the fall of 2016.


Recommendation #5: Complete a Full Assessment/Audit of Fixed Assets

This recommendation was to be completed the middle of 2016.  The goals of this recommendation will be started late 2015 to early 2016.  The trustees are currently in the process of acquiring bids to do the assessments.


As you can see, there has been much work and excitement working on the recommendations.  You will start seeing more and more as the time goes on, you may have seen some things already.  As a co-chair of the HCI team, I would say that we are well on our way and in certain areas ahead of schedule on our timeline.  I am also very pleased with the number of people who have stepped forward to say yes to help implement changes.  If you have any questions, concerns or comments, I urge you to speak with Pastor Justin or one of the members of the HCI Team.  God has great plans for Park UMC and you can see God working within our church and congregation.  Take time and just look around!

HCI Report
HCI Report final draft.pdf
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