Session Highlights

May 2017

Terms for elders Sara Vernon Sterman and Sandy DiGiulio expired this year and we are grateful for their years of service on session. We welcome new elders, Judy Alexander, Darlene Reeves and Katherine Limmer who will be installed on June 11th.
Team and Committee assignments:
Adult Education - Rob Hudson
Children's Education - Judy Alexander
Evangelism - Darlene Reeves
Mission - Doug Geer
Nominating - Tom Erwine
Personnel - John Van Buren
Property - Andrew Barnett
Stewardship & Administration - Don Pizer
Student Ministry - Philip Kuhl
Worship - Susan Dorshimer
Clerk - Mimi Satterthwaite
Assistant Clerk - Kathryn Limmer

Search teams update
There are currently two search teams in place at Grace: one for the part-time position of Director of Children’s Ministry and one for the full-time position of Director of Student Ministry. Both teams have received several resumes. The Youth Director search team has also begun to interview candidates. Please keep these teams in your prayers.

300th Anniversary of the Philadelphia Presbytery
The Presbytery of Philadelphia is marking its 300th anniversary this year. The year's events will culminate in a celebration at Enon Tabernacle on Saturday, Oct. 7 (save the date!!)  As part of commemorating this anniversary, the Presbytery is seeking to raise $300,000 to support eight mission initiatives in our midst that are striving to interrupt the “school-to- prison pipeline” among young people.  The Session discussed how Grace might participate.   Please take a look at the Presbytery’s website for more details: http://presbyphl.org/300-mission-campaign/

Revision Plan Update
Christianity 101:
Rob Hudson and the Evangelism Team have selected a curriculum and text for teaching Christianity 101. Pastors Hull and Dwyer will lead the classes this fall.  Classes will be offered during the Sunday morning Adult Education time this September.

Evangelism
Session received a report from Pastor Sandy regarding evangelism at Grace. Pastor Sandy has been meeting with Jim Still, a long-time member of Grace, to develop a plan for evangelism at Grace. After much thought and prayer they have drafted a plan with a broad view of evangelism from how we welcome visitors and incorporate new members to how to make our facilities easier to navigate to person-to- person growth (beginning with Christianity 101.)

With blessings,
Mimi Satterthwaite
Clerk of Session

Session members:
Andrew Barnett
Sandy DiGiulio
Susan Dorshimer
Tom Erwine
Doug Geer
Rob Hudson
Philip Kuhl
Don Pizer
Sara Vernon Sterman
John Van Buren


April 2017

Youth Ministry Update
A Search Team (Patty Cline, leader, Jessica Barnett, Josh Jablonski, Sandi Kuhl, Tom Stoudt) for the Director of Student Ministries, has been established and they have already started receiving resumes.  Session is grateful to the advisors for the Middle and High School students; we are blessed to have them step up in their roles as leaders in the youth program making it possible for the remaining weeks of regularly scheduled activities to take place as planned.  Plans for the summer mission trips are well underway.  Kathleen Geer is handling registration for the trips and Pastor Sandy is working on recruitment of adult leaders.  Please come out and support the youth mission trips by attending the (adult only) Grace Presbyterian Spring Social on Friday, May 05, 2017 from 6:30 PM - 11:00 PM at the home of Kip and DeAnna Schaefer.

Revision Plan Update

Good News for Sharing:
Rob Hudson and the Evangelism Team are working on selecting a curriculum and text for teaching Christianity 101.   The Team is also ironing out the details of when and where the teaching will occur.    Session supports this effort to help us grow as disciples within Grace as well as outside of Grace.

Session and the Evangelism Team are excited about the Deacons’ new Parish Plan that offers an opportunity for Deacons to connect with all members.   Check your snail mail for a post card and listen to your voicemail as the Deacons begin reaching out to you in the Grace community.

Improving Communications:
A Communications Task Force, comprised of Philip Kuhl, Don Pizer, Lil Swanson and John Van Buren, has been established to develop a position description for a part-time communications position and assess if this is feasible at this time.  An outcome of their conversations was a recommendation to hold a Communications Workshop (date to be determined.)  Participants in the workshop will include Office Staff, Team Liaisons and others involved in creating content.

With blessings,
Mimi Satterthwaite
Clerk of Session
 
Session members:
Andrew Barnett
Sandy DiGiulio
Susan Dorshimer
Tom Erwine
Doug Geer
Rob Hudson
Philip Kuhl
Don Pizer
Sara Vernon Sterman
John Van Buren


February 2017

ReVision Plan update
The Session reviewed the progress of implementation for the ReVision Plan.  The Evangelism Team is meeting regularly and making progress toward a curriculum to teach Christianity 101.  The deacons have been working on dates to hold church wide intergenerational fellowship events.  A Spring Social is in the works for early May that will also serve as a fundraiser for youth mission trips.   More details will be forthcoming.

Training in constructive conversations
Session is committed to supporting the diversity that exists in our congregation.  The Lord is calling us to work harder at engaging with each other in conversations and Rev Judy has found such a program that will offer training in constructive conversations.  This two-part training will be offered to members of Session and Deacons in March.   We pray that we grow as leaders and find new ways, as Jesus has taught, to love our neighbors as ourselves (Mark 12:31.)

Presbytery News
The Presbytery’s January meeting was held at Grace.  This was organized in partnership with Cedar Park Presbyterian.  Thank you to the many volunteers that made this day successful and meaningful to those in attendance.  
We have elected three Ruling Elder Commissioners; they are Sandy DiGiulio, Don Pizer and Carol Young.  If an elder not currently serving on Session is interested in being a Ruling Elder Commissioner, there a two more spots available.  Please contact Mimi Satterthwaite at mimijeff@msn.com if you would like to be a Commissioner.   

With blessings,
Mimi Satterthwaite
Clerk of Session

Session members:
Andrew Barnett
Sandy DiGiulio
Susan Dorshimer
Tom Erwine
Doug Geer
Rob Hudson
Philip Kuhl
Don Pizer
Sara Vernon Sterman
John Van Buren


January 2017

ReVision Plan Update

The Session reviewed the progress of implementation for the ReVision Plan.  The Deacons are planning church-wide fellowship events, starting with this year's annual meeting.  The Deacons are also putting in place a "parish plan" that will, among other things, put them in regular contact with our less active members.  A task force is moving the communications initiative forward and initial meetings have been held with persons who expressed interest in the evangelism initiative.  

Operating Budget 2017

Session is struggling with keeping the 2017 budget balanced while weighing how to support staffing and programming.  We continue to discuss how to meet these needs now and in the future as we grow together as a church guided by the ReVision Plan.  

Report on Staffing

We welcome Beth McKeown, our new part-time Office Administrator, to the Church Office.  Please give her a warm welcome next time you stop by or call the church office.
Session will be reflecting on staffing over the next twelve to eighteen months as a result of the terms of hire for Choir Director, Andrew Cooper, and Rev Judy Dwyer.   Andrew Cooper's term of employment has been extended until May 2018.   Rev Judy Dwyer was hired as Interim Associate Pastor in September 2016 with a one-year contract.  

Cedar Park Partnership

We concluded a four-week Bible Study with Cedar Park in early January. The Bible Study provided an opportunity for members of both churches to spend time together in conversation as well as study.   On January 15th Rev Sandy and Rev Janel Dixon exchanged pulpits and on January 31st we shared the responsibility of hosting the Presbytery Meeting.    We are considering what our next steps will be as we grow in our relationship with members of Cedar Park.

Presbytery News

This year the Philadelphia Presbytery is embarking on its 300th Anniversary.  A commemorative devotional is available to order by following this link: http://presbyphl.org/300th-devotional-book-orders/.  
Save-the date: on October 7th there will be a worship and celebration event for the 300th Anniversary.  More details can be found here: http://presbyphl.org/events/300th-celebration-october-7-2017-worship-event/

With blessings,
Mimi Satterthwaite
Clerk of Session

Session members:
Andrew Barnett
Sandy DiGiulio
Susan Dorshimer
Tom Erwine
Doug Geer
Rob Hudson
Philip Kuhl
Don Pizer
Sara Vernon Sterman
John Van Buren


November 2016

Revision Plan

Session, with your help, is in the beginning stages of implementing the Revision Plan and we are grateful for the signups received following the November 13th service.  Approximately six to ten people signed up for each activity (Fellowship, Communications, Youth Ministries, and Evangelism.)   Session thanks those that have already signed up and we hope that others will reach out to members of Session to find ways to participate.   We are delighted to see God’s work begin through the Revision Plan and pray that these areas continue to grow and flourish over the coming months.  

Sunday School update

The curriculum implemented this fall is well underway and the children are enjoying the new format.   Each Sunday the children will now start the morning in the sanctuary with their shepherds and there will be a Children’s Sermon before they are dismissed to their classrooms.   Church families can look for their shepherd in the front pews.

Stewardship

Session is grateful for your support and pledges for 2017.  The pledges received thus far are being tabulated and reveal that giving is consistent with previous years.  Giving from your heart and with generosity to God continues all year long.  Session is thankful for the time and commitment given to Grace by the congregation.  

With blessings,
Mimi Satterthwaite
Clerk of Session

Session members:
Andrew Barnett
Sandy DiGiulio
Susan Dorshimer
Tom Erwine
Doug Geer
Rob Hudson
Philip Kuhl
Don Pizer
Sara Vernon Sterman
John Van Buren


October 2016

Joint meeting between Deacons and Session

The two boards at Grace, Session and Deacons, held a joint meeting on October 25th. This meeting provided a time of fellowship, business and prayer.  Members of these boards discussed a new format for the Annual Meeting. The Session and the Deacons will be working together so that the Annual Meeting, in addition to covering the necessary business, will provide an opportunity for the congregation to engage with team and committee members and to learn about what they are doing at Grace.  Following this discussion, deacons asked several questions of clarification about the Mission Study and the ReVision Plan. 

Save the date: January 29, 2017 for the Annual Meeting 

Mission Study Team

Session supports the Mission Study Team’s proposal to present the ReVision plan to the congregation on November 13th.   This new date has allowed for time to edit the summary to include suggestions from the feedback sessions. The plan is available at http://www.gracejenkintown.org/grace-mission-study.

Joint Bible Study – Cedar Park Presbyterian

As part of reconciliation with neighbors and friends, a joint Bible Study between Grace and Cedar Park is underway.  The first meeting was held at Cedar Park on October 5th.  The second meeting was held on November 2nd at Grace.  All are welcome to join this study on December 7th at Cedar Park Presbyterian Church (7740 Limekiln Pike, Philadelphia, PA 19150.)   Please contact Mimi Satterthwaite (mimijeff@msn.com) if you would like to carpool.

Pastor Sandy has also arranged with Rev. Dr. Janel Dixon at Cedar Park for a pulpit exchange on Sunday January 15, 2017.    Dr Dixon will preach at Grace while Pastor Sandy preaches at Cedar Park.   Session welcomes this opportunity for community building. 

With blessings,

Mimi Satterthwaite
Clerk of Session

Session members:
Andrew Barnett
Sandy DiGiulio
Susan Dorshimer
Tom Erwine
Doug Geer
Rob Hudson
Philip Kuhl
Don Pizer
Sara Vernon Sterman
John Van Buren


September 2016
 

Mission Study
Two question and answer (Q & A) sessions were held in September, offering the opportunity for members of the congregation to comment on or ask questions about the 2016 Revision Plan.   The Mission Study Team recommends, and Session supports, that the final presentation to the congregation be postponed until October 23rd.   This grants time for consideration of the comments received at the Q & A sessions or via email.
The Mission Study is available online at: http://www.gracejenkintown.org/grace-mission-study. 

End-of-year Sunday services

Session approved an adjustment of the Sunday service schedule for December 25, 2016 and January 1, 2017.  On both of those Sundays there will be one service at 10:30 a.m.  

Presbytery

We will partner with Cedar Park Presbyterian Church and co-host the Presbytery meeting on January 31, 2017.  Session is excited to be able to build on our partnership with Cedar Park, beginning with a joint Bible Study this fall, and as co-hosts for a Presbytery meeting.  

With blessings,
Mimi Satterthwaite
Clerk of Session

Session members:
Andrew Barnett
Sandy DiGiulio
Susan Dorshimer
Tom Erwine
Doug Geer
Rob Hudson
Philip Kuhl
Don Pizer
Sara Vernon Sterman
John Van Buren


August 2016
 

Staffing
Session met with and interviewed the candidate recommended by the Search Team for the interim Supply Associate Pastor position; Session approved moving forward with offering the candidate the position.  The interim Choir Director Search Team has recommended a candidate to Session following the opportunity for the choir members to meet the candidate.  An announcement welcoming the two new staff members to Grace is forthcoming.  Please see the Session Highlights for the communication from early August regarding Session’s prayerful consideration of how Grace will be staffed over the next several years.

Bible study and prayer time
A new, monthly Wednesday evening, joint Bible study and prayer time with Cedar Park Presbyterian Church was proposed to Session by Pastor Hull.   In July, a prayer meeting was held at Grace following some of the racially charged incidents; participants were able to offer ideas on how Grace can reach out to our community.  The monthly Bible study proposal stems from those ideas and Session approved this as we lift in prayer peace between races in our country.  The dates when this will take place are being finalized.

Children’s Education
Session continues to be in prayer regarding sharing the good news about our new Sunday School curriculum.  Several announcements during the 10:30 service are planned.   Session is grateful to those volunteers that have already committed to be part of the new curriculum as we support our children’s Christian education and we hope that more volunteers will signup in the coming weeks.  

Mission Study
The Mission Study, which was adopted by Session at its’ July meeting, is available online. It can be seen on our Mission Study Page.  Please look for announcements regarding opportunities for feedback during Adult Education on September 11th and presentation to the congregation on September 18th.

Annual Meeting
Session, among its various responsibilities, is expected to approve the date for the Annual Meeting.  This date has been set for January 29, 2017.  Please mark your calendars!  

With blessings,
Mimi Satterthwaite
Clerk of Session

Session members:
Andrew Barnett
Ali Danilak
Sandy DiGiulio
Susan Dorshimer
Tom Erwine
Doug Geer
Rob Hudson
Philip Kuhl
Don Pizer
Sara Vernon Sterman
John Van Buren


8/11/16

Staffing Update
The past 18 months has been a period of significant change in the professional staff supporting the various ministries of Grace Presbyterian Church. A number of our professional staff members have moved on to new opportunities; Session has prayerfully made plans to address our staffing needs, and we would like to take this opportunity to inform the congregation about these plans. 

We thank God that, after a long search, we have a new Director of Student Ministries. Kinsey Edgar-Smith is currently guiding the youth, encompassing middle and high schoolers as well as those in the age group 18-25. Kinsey has taken charge of this program area over the past few months and has been doing an outstanding job.

To understand the plan regarding an associate pastor, it’s important to understand a distinction our denomination makes between a supply associate pastor and a called and installed associate pastor. A supply associate pastor is hired by Session. While the contract with a supply associate pastor is renewable, this is typically a one- or two-year arrangement, although it can last longer. A called and installed associate pastor is called by vote of the congregation following a search by a committee elected by the congregation. This is the more typical pattern for a longer-term relationship.

Session believes that we should move toward having a called and installed associate. This is not new at Grace, although it has been over ten years since Grace has had a called and installed associate pastor. Session believes, based on the Mission Study Team’s recommendations, that having a full-time called associate pastor in place is critical for the long-term growth of the congregation and of Grace Church. However, we need to complete our mission study and submit it to the presbytery before getting permission to start searching for a called and installed associate, and the search for a called and installed associate will likely take a number of months. Therefore Session authorized the search for a supply associate pastor to serve on an interim basis.

Session appointed a search committee to find an interim associate pastor; the committee includes Elders Tom Erwine, Mimi Satterthwaite, and Sara Vernon Sterman, and Pastor Sandy Hull. This committee has met and reviewed candidates over the past two months and believes that a candidate will be brought forth shortly. 

For leadership in our music program, the Session is also planning for an interim period. This interim will enable us to think, pray, and plan for the best configuration of staff to lead the music program into the future, in accordance with the mission study. During the interim, which will last through the 2016-17 program year, our organist, Kevin Engleman, will direct the Cathedral Ringers and attend to the administrative needs of our children’s choirs, and an interim choir director will lead the Chancel Choir and the Celebration Singers. Choir members Sue Kuhl, Wendy Browder and Jeff Cline, together with Pastor Sandy Hull, are actively searching for the interim choir director at this time. 

The net result of this planning is that we anticipate having a full staff, including our senior pastor, Sandy Hull; an interim associate pastor; an interim choir director, our organist, Kevin Engleman; our youth director, Kinsey Edgar-Smith, as well as our current office and custodial staff, in place for fall 2016. As noted, two of those positions are interim and searches for permanent hires will commence in early 2017. 

Below is a one-page “Q&A” that answers certain procedural questions relating to our staffing plans. Should you have any questions, please feel free to contact the Personnel Committee directly. Personnel Committee members are John Van Buren, Jim Still, Penny Casey, and Leslie Gerhard.


 

July 2016

Session continues to prayerfully consider how Grace Church will serve God and make him known today, next year, and beyond.   The Mission Study Team, with input from the Listening Groups has completed the Mission Study that will provide us guidance on our path to serve God.  Please read below about how the Mission Study Team will share this new vision. 

Mission Study Team
The Mission Study Team collated the ideas and concepts drawn from the Percept Survey conducted last year and reviewed them with the Grace community in the Listening Groups held this spring.  Your ideas, expressed in the survey and Listening Groups, and guided by the Holy Spirit, formed the vision for Grace, and were compiled in into the Mission Study report.  This report was written in collaboration with participants from a leadership retreat including members of Session, the board of deacons, and the Mission Study team held on May 21-22, 2016. The Mission Study plan, titled  ReVision Plan 2016! was adopted by Session at its July meeting. 
In addition to adopting the Mission Study Report, Session agreed to the following:

  • The mission study will be available on line for the congregation's feedback starting in mid-August.  A link will be mailed to you.  Please look for the link to the full report, and the Executive Summary in your Inbox soon!  
  • On September 18th after the 10:30 service there will be a Town Hall meeting to review the Executive Summary of the Mission Study report.  This will provide an additional opportunity to hear your feedback.   
  • The chance to become engaged in several areas of focus that you identified during the Listening Groups will take place in October.

Children’s Education
The Children’s Education Team and the Worship Team, with oversight by the Session, are working together to share the good news about our new Children's Sunday School curriculum.  It provides lessons that engage the children from the time they enter church at 10:30 in a format similar to our Summer Vacation Bible School. We are very excited about this innovative, fresh approach and all the opportunities it will present. In the fall, as we begin this well-tested, but new-to-us Children's Sunday School program, look for a few new and different elements in our Sunday worship. 

Check out the volunteer signups on the bulletin board in the office hallway, look for flyers in the church bulletin, and an informative announcement about the new curriculum will be made in church.  

Philadelphia Presbytery
Session approved the following elders as Ruling Elder Commissioners to represent Grace Church at Presbytery meetings: Sandy DiGiulio, Carol Young and Whitney Zylstra.  Session can approve additional Ruling Elder Commissioners; if an ordained elder not currently serving on Session is interested in representing Grace Church at a Philadelphia Presbytery meeting, please contact Mimi Satterthwaite (mimijeff@msn.com).  Grace can have six Ruling Elder Commissioners at each meeting.

Pastor’s Sabbatical
Session had requested that Pastor Sandy provide a presentation about his sabbatical and this had been postponed until the July meeting.  He prepared a PowerPoint presentation highlighting his travels during sabbatical.  Pastor Sandy traveled to Cape Cod, to Barbados and then to several cities and towns in Georgia.  Pastor Sandy’s sabbatical gave him time to cease from his regular pastoral duties and provided time for reflection and reading.   He shared his reading list with Session and we are providing it here as well. 

Three books by Everett Worthington, a professor of psychology at Virginia Commonwealth University who has devoted his career to studying forgiveness:
Forgiving and Reconciling; A Just Forgiveness; and Moving Forward:Six Steps to Forgiving Yourself.  
Two other books on forgiveness: Why Forgive? by Christoph Arnold and Black River, a novel by S. M. Hulse
Books on race and racial justice: Bury the Chains, by Adam Hochschild; A History of Barbados, by Hilary Beckles; and Invisible Man, by Ralph Ellison
On ministry: The Pastor: A Memoir, by Eugene Peterson

With blessings,
Mimi Satterthwaite
Clerk of Session

Session members:
Andrew Barnett
Ali Danilak
Sandy DiGiulio
Susan Dorshimer
Tom Erwine
Doug Geer
Rob Hudson
Philip Kuhl
Don Pizer
Sara Vernon Sterman
John Van Buren

 


June 2016

Greetings from your board of Elders.  We continue to be blessed with the privilege to serve the Grace Presbyterian Church family.  At this month's meeting:

  • We met with representatives from the Presbytery to evaluate our experiences with Pastor Wonjae Choi upon her departure and calling to another church.  We had an opportunity to discuss what our goals for hiring her had been, how the experience played out, and where we see our church going in the future.  This interview included acceptance of the "Covenant of Closure," mandated by the presbytery’s Commission on Ministry and Leadership, both the Session and Pastor Wonjae promise that she will not be involved in conversations about the business of Grace Presbyterian Church.  However, the covenant does not restrict individual friendships between Wonjae and GPC members to continue.
     
  • The Session voted and approved our new Sunday School program which will be rolled out this fall.  This will enrich in new ways how children, families, and the whole congregation experience Sunday mornings.  We support and encourage the Children's Education Team on this fresh look at ministering to children.
     
  • The Session continues to update and evaluate the Manual of Operations and defining the roles and responsibilities of leaders and members of all teams/committees that embody the outreach, enrichment, and experience of Grace.
     
  • The Session recognizes we are presented with an opportunity to evaluate and craft our vision for where we see Grace Presbyterian Church in the near future.  Through prayer, study, and much hard work by the Mission Study Team, Personnel Committee, and many others, we can report:
 
  •  The Mission Study Team will soon present their findings and recommendations as discerned through the Mission Study process.  We continue to be grateful for everyone who has participated in this important process of understanding what our church family wants and needs.  Among other things, this is a building block for the Presbytery, our Session, Pastor Sandy, and the Personnel Committee to craft what our staffing and leadership needs are now - and in the near future.
     
  • The Session has decided to seek an Interim Associate Pastor to serve our church while we finish the work of the Mission Study and develop a position description for a called and installed Associate Pastor.  This interim position will be 30 hours/week.  Elders Tom Erwine, Mimi Satterthwaite, and Sara Vernon Sterman are leading the search process.
     
  • The Session has decided to seek an Interim Choir Director while we prepare for a more extensive search for permanent staff in the important area of music ministry. 

 

We are given an amazing opportunity to look at who we are, what we want, and where we are going.  The Elders of your Session take on this challenge prayerfully, guided by scripture and our mission Statement, "To know Christ and to make Him known."  We pray for every member of our church family.  We ask that you hold us in your hearts and prayers as we do this amazing work God has called us to perform.

 

 

May 2016

Mission Study update
Session was very excited about the work completed over the May 20 and May 21 Retreat in support of the Mission Study.    The Mission Study Team continues to work on the documents that capture the ideas and concepts from the Listening Groups and the Retreat.  Once these documents are completed, Session will be able to schedule a Town Hall meeting with the congregation.  Session is waiting for the outcome of the Mission Study to update the congregation regarding its’ decision on permanent staffing; until then Session will move forward with a part-time temporary supply associate pastor.

Interim Supply Pastor
Session discussed options for staffing at Grace in light of Pastor Wonjae’s departure on June 12th.  A Search Committee was formed to begin searching for a part time interim (temporary) supply associate pastor. 

Children’s Education Team
A new curriculum by Potter’s Publishing has been approved by the Children’s Education Team and by Session. This new curriculum will be put in place and begin on Rally Day in September. Please look for upcoming opportunities to teach/volunteer for Sunday School.  In addition to informational emails, explanation regarding the new curriculum will be posted on the bulletin board in the hall across from the office.  The new format allows for teachers to volunteer for a four or six-week period.

Presbytery of Philadelphia News
Rob Eyre was examined and approved for ordination at the May Presbytery meeting.  He will be serving as an Evangelist at Christ’s Community Church in Haverford.  Session is also pleased to announce that Pastor Sandy Hull’s will be representing the Presbytery of Philadelphia at PCUSA’s General Assembly in June.  Sandy will be in Portland, Oregon from June 19-25th.

Please keep the Mission Study Team and Grace’s fall programming year in your prayers.

April 2016

Communication
Of most importance is communicating with you, the congregation, and we are working on ways to improve avenues of communication. Highlights of Session meetings will be shared with the congregation on a regular basis. Please look for an email from Session following our monthly meetings.

Listening Groups and Mission Study
Currently, many of you are engaged in a listening group. Your valuable work will soon be transformed into a narrative describing Grace Church, considering both who we are now and who God is calling us to become. We want to thank everyone that has dedicated time, thought and prayer to participate in Listening Sessions. Close to one hundred people have participated in listening groups and group leaders have captured valuable information from those discussions. The purpose of these groups, following a curriculum used by many Presbyterian congregations, is to listen to the voice of the congregation and the movement of the Holy Spirit to identify gaps between how we see ourselves as a congregation now and where we need to be moving forward in order to accomplish God’s purpose for our church. The process uses input from the participants in the groups, input from the community, and the data in the survey taken by the congregation in December.

Narrative and Town Hall
After the listening groups have completed their work, the Mission Study Team will use all of this information to draft a preliminary narrative describing Grace Church now and a vision for Grace in the future. The narrative will be discussed and reviewed at a leadership retreat at the end of May comprised of the Session, the Mission Study Team, and several deacons. After worship on June 5, an all-congregation town hall meeting will be held when the narrative will be available for the congregation to discuss. More details of this town hall meeting will be announced soon.

Sundae Sunday
Session approved Student Ministry Team’s request for a “Sundae Sunday” fundraiser on May 22nd. This will immediately follow the 10:30 service and funds raised will help offset the costs of the summer mission trips for middle and high school students. We look forward to seeing you at the “Sundae Sunday on May 22nd and at the Town Hall on June 5th .