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


HCI Update - September


August was filled with the fair, finishing up meet and greets, and continued work on the beginning stages of implementation of the recommendations for the HCI journey. I am excited to share with you all that a hospitality team has been formed under the co-leadership of Lonni Isackson and Don Finn. Other members of the group include Stacy Halbersma, Cassie Jacobi, Anna Young, and Jim Van Duyn. Lonni and Don had a video conference with our coach, Cathy Townley, and the team will be going to a workshop led by Jim Ozier in September. I am excited for the ways that they will lead and educate us all on the practice of hospitality which in turn will help us create an appealing Sunday morning experience for those who come to join us in worship.


In the coming months things will really ramp up and this section will be filled with more and more information and things that are happening. For now, my request is that everyone continue to hold our church in your prayers as we continue to seek out God’s call for our life together as a church.


Also, if you were not able to be in attendance at the Service of Prayer and Preparation on August 23rd, we would love for you to stop by the office and pick up a “Covenant of Openness to God’s Vision” to sign and keep posted around your residence as we embark on this journey together. The covenant reminds us of our commitment and promise to God as we continue to live into our HCI recommendations.


In Christ,


Pastor Justin

The vote on the HCI Recommendations passed with a total of 128 yes votes and 4 no votes.

On April 26th, the congregation voted to move forward with the HCI process and accept the recommendations given by the consulting team. 


One of the action steps was to end the 11:15 service and have only one worship service on Sunday.  This action step falls under the recommendation to Develop an Inspiring Morning Experience.  Note that this is not meant to be a permanent action, but a second worship will be addressed and looked at again when we are averaging 150 in worship at one service (this would be 80% capacity of the sanctuary).  The goal is, in fall of 2016, to prepare the process of starting a second new worship service in a different style. 


With all that is going on at Park with Confirmation, Mother’s Day, Graduation, Memorial Day, Vacation Bible School, Annual Conference plus the transitioning of our Pastor, it was decided to keep our focus during this time on these important events.  We also want to take the time to celebrate Pastor Brenda’s ministry with us. 


The Consultation Team felt that it is best to hold off on the major decisions and implementation of the recommendations until after Pastor Justin has joined us.  The HCI Team will keep you informed as things move forward.  Meanwhile please keep Pastor Brenda, Pastor Justin, and Park UMC in your prayers during this transition period.

Healthy Church Initiative (HCI)

Update from HCI Team


The HCI Team had their first meeting with the HCI Coach Cathy Townley and Pastor Justin via Go To Meetings (Web-Hosted online meeting). 


In review - the HCI consulting process came up with 5 recommendations for Park UMC, which the congregation voted to accept and move forward with the recommendations.  The 5 recommendations are:

            1. Become clear about identity, purpose and vision

            2.  Develop an inspiring morning experience – curb to curb

            3.  Streamline congregational staffing and leadership structure

            4.  Improve congregational care and communications

            5.  Complete a full assessment / audit of fixed assets (property)


You can refer back to the report that PUMC members received for description and action steps on each of the above recommendations. 


We are beginning to move forward with working on the recommendations, however we also need to allow Pastor Justin time for his transition and the meet and greet meetings with the congregation. 


Cathy Townley will be meeting with the HCI team the middle of July to start on the following: 

Become clear about identity, purpose & vision (Recommendation #1) and on ways to improve hospitality (Recommendation #2).


As the HCI Team mentioned during the gathering of information leading up to the voting of accepting the recommendations, the implementation is not the job of the HCI team, but it requires the work of the congregation to make this process successful.  The HCI team asks that you prayerfully look at the 5 recommendations and reflect on what areas you have strengths, talents, or desire in.  Please contact the HCI team co-chairs Scott Bachman (email, phone (218) 828-1330) or Sandy Beyer (email, phone (218) 838-8312), if the Holy Spirit is stirring you right now to serve in a particular area.  We will also be praying about this process and reaching out to various persons in the congregation over the next weeks and months to ask different persons to consider helping implement certain things, as God leads us down this path of discernment together.  The HCI team looks forward to starting the implementation of the recommendations and seeing the congregation involved in this process.  

HCI Update


The HCI and visioning team met with our HCI coach, Cathy Townley, on July 15th to start the visioning process.  Going into this meeting, we thought we would start forming our vision for Park UMC.  However, Cathy explained that by doing a vision from the top down (where we form a vision statement, then present it to the congregation, with the congregation conforming to the vision statement) is usually not effective.  As she went through the evening she emphasized the question, "Who are we?"


In our minds, how do we answer?  As the evening went on, Cathy explained that we as a congregation need to look around at what surrounds us in our neighborhood, in our community, in our workplace, etc.; we then start seeing who we are.  We need to look at the reasons people live in the Brainerd Lakes Area, and what brings them to our community.  What brought you to Park UMC?  What brings others to Park UMC?  This is the beginning of seeing what our mission field is, and from there we can start forming the Park United Methodist Church vision by first knowing who we are as a congregation.  As Pastor Justin stated to the group, as we first start this work, it may feel like we are in murky water. However, as we learn and have conversations, the murkiness begins to clear.


From this meeting, we need to look at our surroundings and start seeing the who, what and why's.  We encourage the congregation to do this also, and to be talking and sharing about our observations.  We should share our own stories of who we are, why we are in the Brainerd Lakes area, a part of Park UMC and what brought us here.  


Moving forward, we will continue to look at our mission field and work toward our vision.  We will also be working on our hospitality ministry, and worship.  Cathy will be in contact with Pastor Justin frequently in-between our meetings. 


If you have any questions, please feel free to contact Scott Bachman, Sandy Beyer, or anyone on the HCI team.

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