Supporting Our Ministries: New Approaches

Many of you have had to pause from things you used to do. There are changes in health, family, energy, and sense of purpose and commitment. We honor that and support your discernment of all these things. We also are at a pivotal time in the life of our church. We will have to do things differently than the way we’ve come to expect them.

There are some things we used to do that we no longer have the capacity to do. We are seeking a sense of grace, as we clarify our essentials and our identity as a church community. We hope in these next months, including the next round of Table Talks, together we will get clearer about some of these questions.
Committees that used to meet every monthly in person will do things differently. Maybe that means meeting on Zoom just once every other month, or quarterly. Teams may fall away, and new teams will form as we have energy and vision to accomplish specific things.

Our Nominating Committee has started its work in thinking through where we need leadership.

Consider these questions: 

  • You are passionate about the adult education offerings – what speaks not only to the mind, but to the heart and spirit of our community. Might you serve on the Worship & Education committee to help keep those interests in the forefront?
  • You want to get back to monthly Brunch Church, celebrations, special events. Might you support the efforts of our Nurture Committee?
  • You are a storyteller – someone who seeks to share stories of how people’s lives have been changed or faith renewed through the church. Might you like to spend a bit of time helping us collect these stories for the stewardship effort?
  • You are a big picture thinker, vision caster, and interested in how the community
    communicates across our various pockets. Might you consider serving as an at-large member of our Church Council for a year? That’s ten meetings next year with a clear agenda, community building, and a front row seat for the critical decisions of our congregation.
  • You prioritize the church’s community engagement – World Relief, City with Dwellings, etc. Would you like to serve on our community engagement team meeting every other month to facilitate the congregation’s participation?
  • Welcoming new people to the church is a top priority for you. Would you to agree to be available for one-on-one conversation with a few new people to help them feel
  • The church is in a good financial position. There’s lots to celebrate. Would you consider helping us guide the communication and decisions about our finances, meeting a few times per year with our Finance Committee?

Focusing our Energies
Over the last months, we’ve generated some great ideas of things Parkway might consider doing as we move forward. We cannot manage to implement all these ideas. For a few to happen well, we’ll need people to get behind them.
Which of these suggestions stirs you most to be involved?

Current commitments:

  • WISE (Welcome, Inclusive, Supportive, Engaged) Initiatives
  • Hosting Freedom School this summer
  • Soul of Aging series (late fall)
  • Complete new deck expansion
  • Prepare for a two-month sabbatical time of discerning new governance and priorities
  • Participation in broad-based community organizing with Industrial Areas Foundation

On-going or in development:

  • Anti-racism work in regard to housing, education, health care and food
  • Refugee resettlement with World Relief
  • Partnership with a Crossnore Children’s Home cottage with eight 14-17 years-olds, meeting with them once per month for activity
  • Support of City with Dwellings
  • Summer Community Support Agriculture Shares/Support of Project Grow in which middle
    school students learn how to grow food in the community garden to support the CSA
  • Focus on eating and other environmental efforts
  • Our campus as example of restorative practices (compost bin, water capture, edible landscape, ivy mitigation, trail, sacred grove gathering area, rituals, forest garden and workshops, land acknowledgment art work, more gateways and signs interpreting for wider community)

Other possibilities people have expressed interest in:

  • Congregation time-share program in which we catalog what people can do and support each other by “banking” hours that then can be used for something we need support on (quilt repair, genealogy, portrait painting, plant-based eating coaching, dog sitting, etc.)
  • Serving simple soup and bread type monthly meals for community building, light education
  • A bench and free library just off Irving St.
  • UCC Disaster Relief training to be a relief site for natural disasters
  • Informal gatherings – dances, dinner groups
  • Return to Brunch Church
  • Host 12-Step or other support group
  • Seasonal art installations with message on Silas Creek embankment