In August, the Church Council agreed to look at the Future Direction of Tompkinsville United Methodist Church (TUMC) coming out of the COVID crisis. This is in keeping with the visioning process the church initiated twenty years ago which resulted in mission and vision statements and a ministry plan focused on growth and an update about eight years later that was focused and still is today on relationships with God, others and ourselves.
The Council will be engaging in an ongoing discussion using Pope Francis’ book, Let Us Dream: The Path to a Better Future, and its three-step process; i.e., See, Choose and Act, as a framework for that discussion. It is currently in Step One, To See, of the process which is taking a look at our world without bias to really understand the current status of our world and the challenges it faces. Once Step One is complete, the Council will go to Step Two, To Choose, which will look at what issues facing our world to pursue in TUMC’s ministry plan coming out of the COVID crisis. Finally, it will go to Step Three, To Act, to actually implement the resulting ministry plan.
This Future Direction “file” is being set up on our TUMC WEB site so you can follow that discussion of the Future Direction of the church. The first postings include a schedule, the Reading List the Council is using to look at our world and the challenges it is facing, and the Mission Insight presentation that was given to the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre District Superintendent at this year’s Church Conference.
The schedule is a very simple schedule using each Step in the process and the major topics from the Reading List. The schedule is intentionally very simple because the Council is taking Pope Francis’ guidance to allow adequate time for discussion and discernment rather than being driven to meet some artificial date.
The Reading List is a living document. It is a compilation of articles and other resource material that appear to be pertinent to understanding our world and the issues facing it. New articles and resource material that appears to be relevant is added as it is identified.
The Mission Insight initiative is a look at the demographics in the local area around TUMC coming out of the 2020 Census and their impact on TUMC’s ministry. This is a Conference-wide initiative which TUMC has rolled into its broader Future Direction discussion.
We will be adding postings as the Council progresses in its discussion. You are invited, even encouraged, to provide comments, suggestions, inputs to the Council’s discussions via this “file” or by contacting a member of the Church Council. Pope Francis says that, “A basic rule of a crisis is that you don’t come out of it the same. If you get through it, you come out of it better or worse, but never the same.” Together, TUMC and its ministry can come out of this COVID crisis better.