Mid-year Vision Update
On Tuesday, August 11, the Prince of Peace Board of Directors heard updates from four of the implementation subcommittees. The subcommittees have been meeting since the first of the year to discern the best way for their area to embody our new vision. None of the subcommittees have a final answer yet; the discernment process continues. Even though they are still in the research and exploration portion of their work, ideas are beginning to gel and a direction is beginning to become clear. They continue their work, trusting that God will use this process to lead them to a final recommendation.
Below are the highlights of those reports. You will see some overlap in services and ideas; the subcommittees beginning to talk about they might work together.
Children and Teens
The Children and Teens Subcommittee’s first goal was to define what hope and wholeness looked like for children and teens. They interviewed teachers, health professionals and leaders in religious and community organizations, and came up with three key things children and teens need:
- Supportive relationships with parents/guardians or another caring adult
- Positive peer connections
- Opportunities and access to meet basic needs (food, clothing, housing) including health care
The subcommittee is currently exploring ways to meet these needs by partnering with other organizations.
They are currently excited by what they have learned about Reaching Out Ministries. Reaching Out Ministries began as a program to offer homework help to a few kids in need. It is now serving 400 children and teens. Older student volunteers provide not only homework help, but friendship. Lunches are served in the summer, to make up for missing school lunches. Lessons in English as a Second Language are taught to family members. Guests from the University of Minnesota Extension Service come in and talk about gardening or home economics. Family meals are served. The efforts of Reaching Out Ministries provides touch the work of other subcommittees; families living in poverty are served and there are potential volunteer opportunities for seniors.
The Children and Teens Subcommittee is working to understand Reaching Out Ministries better. They want to know what we can learn from them and if we can – or should – partner with them.
Right now, the subcommittee is looking closely at:
- Some kind of homework help or peer connections
- Transportation to bring kids to services they need
The Seniors/ENOCRE subcommittee has determined that to experience hope and wholeness, seniors need:
- To be respected
- To have others meet them where they are and listen to the story of their life
- To have their choices honored
- To know they are needed
During their interviews with community organizations, members of the subcommittee discovered there are services available to area seniors, but many seniors have troubled accessing them. Some services are only available if seniors are enrolled in another program. Some require transportation. Others are just difficult to find or apply for.
They identified key needs:
- Meaningful relationships
- Attitudes in seniors and younger people that make asking for and giving help easier
- Quality of life support (cleaning, yard work, light repair, etc.)
- Help navigating the system of services available
The subcommittee talked to representatives from DARTS and Community Action Project (CAP) about the services they provide and how volunteers from Prince of Peace might get involved. Unfortunately, they learned that doing so is more complicated than they had realized.
The two main ideas the subcommittee is exploring are:
- Developing a Caring Ministry similar to our Lay Ministry where volunteers go through a back ground check and extensive training then provide in-home services, provide transportation and do wellness checks. This could be a joint ministry with area churches.
- A coffee space/time where seniors can gather to form peer friendships, find volunteer opportunities and learn about how to get help they need
Out of Poverty
The Out of Poverty Subcommittee identified two key areas they want to address:
- Life skills (enhancing and working with what the Mission Outpost is already doing)
Like the Children and Teens Subcommittee, they have been talking to Reaching Out Ministries, specifically about their job training, legal services, housing services, child care and educational programs.
The Land/Building Subcommittee looked at options from building a brand new building to making due with what we currently have. Our present buildings are 40 years old and significant maintenance is required on both buildings. After talking to staff and the other subcommittees and their dreams for the future, they are thinking the most efficient solution might be:
- One building
- Worship space on the ground level
- Seating for less than 900 in the worship space
This leaves us with the question of what can we do elsewhere and what do we need to do in our buildings.
- There are several options the subcommittee is still considering:
- Selling our land and buildings and building elsewhere
- Making due with what we have
- Selling the Worship Center and build onto the Christian Living Center
- Selling or leasing the Christian Life Center and building elsewhere on the land
The Land/Building subcommittee will evaluate all land and building options using the following questions:
- What will our square footage needs be going forward?
- What is the value of our land and buildings?
- What is the cost of new construction?
- Can we afford to carry new debt and if so, how much?
- How will this effect our ministry?
Each subcommittee will provide a recommendation to the Board of Directors by November 15. The recommendation will include both a broad 30-year outlook as well as recommendations for first steps in the next few years. Early in 2016 the staff, Board and entire congregation will be invited to speak into these recommendations and help shape the future of our congregation.