At First United, we have identified three paths forward as part of Vision 2020, our hopes for the future of our church. We are moving from:
Words to witness in our relationship with God.
Individualism to intimate fellowship in our relationship with other members of the church community.
Charity to changing structures in our relationship with the world.
In addition, we have identified six core values:
Spiritual exploration: Nurtured by the grace of God, and caring for one another, we are on a faith journey together.
Faith formation: We challenge and strengthen our Christian faith formation through biblical teachings and spirited discussions.
Inclusion: We value differences and respect all experiences as we lift the power of many voices and ideas.
Social justice: Empowered by the grace of God and following the example of Jesus Christ, we speak our truths and beliefs as we challenge and change social and cultural structures that perpetuate unfair and unjust impact.
Community: We build a faith community where congregation members work together and support each other toward common goals.
Celebration: With a generosity of spirit, we rejoice in our love of God, our community, and one another.
All of these core values are being implemented as part of our First United Strategic Plan.
Refreshing Our Purpose and Covenant
Who are we as a church? What is our identity? What is our very purpose? These questions are studied in depth in a new set of statements that define the church’s priorities, ministries, and vision for the future, along with an enhanced covenant.
Church Council endorsed a new statement drawn up by a task force. After review by some 50 congregation members, Council approved changes, which were approved at a congregational meeting. The new language will be inserted into the church constitution. The revised language is as follows:
Article II — Purpose
We are an open and inclusive Christian Community, members of the worldwide Body of Christ, gathered to do the work of disciples:
- Worshiping God, as we celebrate our faith through scripture, sermon, prayers, song, and sacrament.
- Sharing the Good News of the Gospel, as we join with others to lead the way to a just and peaceful world.
- Nurturing the faith of children, youth, and adults, as we shape Christian character and conduct.
- Caring for each other as a congregation, as we share our hopes and joys, our doubts, and our sorrows.
- Loving our neighbors near and far, as we generously use our hands, voices, and abundant gifts to serve those in need.
Article IV — Covenant
Members of the church covenant together to:
- Follow and model the ways of Jesus Christ, humbly striving to be faithful disciples.
- Search for an honest understanding and expression of Christian faith through worship, education, and involvement in the wider community.
- Nurture, care for, and support each other, celebrating joys; extending support in times of doubt, grief, and struggle; and working in good faith to restore relationships in times of conflict.
- Engage and share in the life of the church, contributing our talents and resources to its purpose and ministries and seeking connection through church events.
- Advocate for people who are poor, marginalized, and oppressed, seeking justice and peace in the world.
- Practice inclusion by valuing people of all races, ethnicities, cultural identities, gender identities, sexual orientations, and abilities in every aspect of our congregational life.