UPDATE ON THE IMPLEMENTATION OF OUR VISION PLAN
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.” (Proverbs 3:5-6)
God has uniquely equipped Hyde Park United Methodist for an exciting future: one where we are making God’s love real, in which people will be connected people into loving community, transformed to be more like Jesus, and equipped to teach others how to live life as God intends. Claiming that future involves adapting to the challenges of the present. Just like the early church did thousands of years ago, we must tailor our practices to reach an ever-changing population in Tampa and beyond. Our mission is the same; some of the ways we fulfill that mission must be adapted to the times.
Here is a reminder of where we have been over the last two years, and an update on where we are heading:
- The Vision Team synthesized a year’s worth of information from meetings with hundreds of church members and visitors, staff and lay leaders; through ministry assessments; open-invitation visioning chats with more than 200 participants; and a congregation-wide survey with more than 700 respondents; among other outreach.
- A long-term strategic Vision plan was voted on and unanimously approved at a Church Conference on Dec. 17, 2018. It sets the foundation for deepening our faith, widening our outreach, and uniting together in the love of God (read more). The Vision plan:
- Names opportunities and challenges we face as we seek to fulfill our mission in a changing culture
- Identifies facts bearing on the challenges we face
- Sets the framework and rationale for what, in some cases, need to be major changes in our approach to ministry
- Makes recommendations for next steps and follow on actions
- An Implementation Team (7 volunteers and 2 staff) was established by the Committee on Lay Leadership, as part of a decision at the Dec. 17, 2018 Church Conference, to shepherd the process and the work of the lay teams.
- 12 Initiative teams were formed in Februrary, 2019 and are focusing on each recommendation from the Vision Team: Worship, Communications, Stewardship, The Portico, The Portico Cafe, Organization, Staffing, Connection, Discipleship, Debt / Property, Invitation and Missions. These teams are made up of 77 volunteers and 10 staff.
- Each team is working on recommendations. Teams are considering a wide range of topics, including ways to enhance our worship services, easy ways for new people to connect with small groups and missions opportunities, better ways to communicate, and how to increase our biblical literacy. (Read more about each team’s focus) Teams have met an average of 4-6 times. Some teams will complete their work this summer, and others will continue working through November.
- No decisions have been made yet. Proposals will first be reviewed by the Implementation Team. Depending on the nature and scope of the proposal, approval may need to come from the Ministry Leadership Council and, in some cases, by a called church conference. Initiatives will be implemented as the overall timeline develops.
- Next steps in ministry together will be communicated along the way as things become clearer. Your Hyde Park staff and Implementation Team will share information via our website, bulletin, eNews and email. If you’d like to offer comments or ask questions at any point in the process, you can email the team at email@example.com
As Proverbs 3:5-6 says, we are trusting God in this process. We believe that God has uniquely equipped this church to be on the leading edge of what it means to share God’s love across a changing landscape, just as generations have done before us.
Church Conference Voted to Approve Recommendations on Dec. 17
The congregation of Hyde Park United Methodist unanimously voted to adopt our long-term strategic plan. It sets the foundation for deepening our faith, widening our outreach, and uniting together in the love of God.
Town Hall Gathering recap
- Download “ADAPT” handout – This accompanies the Town Hall video and is referred to in the presentation below.
- Watch Town Hall Gathering
For more than 14 months, a team of 16 people representing our congregation has been hard at work engaging all the members of this church, our staff, our programs, and our missions. We have undertaken this sustained Visioning process knowing we have a special and enduring calling in a dynamic and changing world: to make God’s love real in all the ways we can, in all the places we can, and to all the people we can.
The Vision Team has synthesized a year’s worth of information from meetings with hundreds of church members and visitors, staff and lay leaders; through ministry assessments; open-invitation visioning chats with more than 200 participants; and a congregation-wide survey with more than 700 respondents; among other outreach.
In July and August, the Vision team issued a church-wide survey, and your response was truly amazing. 710 people took part in the survey, a sample that well represents every cross-section of our congregation. We had proportionate representation from those who attend each of our worship services and perspectives from both those who are new to Hyde Park and those who have been here for decades. Survey participants provided literally thousands of written responses to open-ended questions, each of which has been thoughtfully read.
So what’s next in this process? The Vision Team is prayerfully reviewing content from the many Visioning Chats that were held in the spring; meetings with small groups; data looking at attendance, demography and community attitudes; and the survey. The team is synthesizing their findings from these efforts, which will result in recommendations to this church. Those recommendations will be widely shared via town-hall-style gatherings, after which we will all be invited to a church conference to vote on them. Please continue to keep this process in prayer.
Vision Survey Recap
Thank you! 720 people participated and responded with thousands of written responses to open-ended questions.
Vision Chat Recap
It is with deep gratitude that we express our appreciation to everyone who participated in a Vision Chat this spring.
Close to 200 members of our congregation contributed openly and generously in these important conversations as part of our sustained effort to discern how the Spirit intends to use Hyde Park United Methodist– its people, its service and its worship – to make God’s love real and make disciples, both today and in the future. We had congregation-wide open chats as well as focused meetings with specific groups (the youth, previous leadership, choir and JPT, 20s and 30s
We had chats open to the entire congregation as well as focused meetings with specific groups, including current and former leaders, our 20s and 30s ministry, our youth, small groups, and the Chancel Choir and Joyful Praise Team, just to name a few.
Together, we explored and wrestled with challenging questions about our high calling as Christ’s church in Tampa, asking
- How can Hyde Park United Methodist deepen its discipleship?
- How can Hyde Park United Methodist extend its reach into the community and the world?
- How can Hyde Park United Methodist adapt to cultural changes?
In response, you shared personal anecdotes, perspectives, meditations, observations, and revelations, all of which are shaping and being incorporated into the next step in our listening phase of this initiative: a congregational survey.
This online survey is being developed now and will be rolled out this summer in June or July. We’ll communicate the survey widely and look forward to deepening this conversation with you.
What are we doing?
- Engaging a sustained effort to discern how the Spirit intends to use Hyde Park – it’s people, its service, and its worship – to make God’s love real (John 21:15-17) and make disciples (Matthew 28:19), both today and in the future
Why are we doing this?
- God is calling Hyde Park UMC to an exciting future: one where we are making God’s love real in all the ways we can, in all the places we can, and to all the people we can
- The world is changing, and people think the world is becoming more separated and more divided.
- Our mission to Make God’s Love Real hasn’t changed. Our goals of sharing the message of God’s grace and forgiveness, bringing healing to our city and the world, and inviting people to follow Jesus are as urgent as ever.
- We can no longer assume the church has the same stature, authoritative voice or appeal as it once did in our culture. The world is changing and Tampa is changing, too.
- Hyde Park UMC can play an important and practical role as repairer and restorer of the divisions we see in the world. (Isaiah 58:12)
What have we done so far?
- Met with leaders of the church’s ministries
- Met with the church’s elected committee leaders
- Met with program staff
- Asked for the congregation’s “headline” visions
- Reviewed data on the demographics and engagement of our church members
- Engaged in focused conversations with nearly 200 church members through Vision Chats
Where are we in the process now?
- Listening mode and further data gathering – with a congregational survey being distributed in July. We’ll communicate the survey widely and look forward to deepening this conversation with you.
What do we need from the people of Hyde Park?
- Be in prayer that our congregation hears and discerns the Spirit’s word to us
- Participate in the upcoming congregational survey