Transition Team Report
Transition Update (4-21-21)
We have just about completed our survey of local community leaders, and we are currently putting together a brief (3 page) history of the church. Along with this brief history will be a “Ten Important Moments of our Church’s Life” countdown! A church property report is being drafted as well.
The most important work will be coming soon. These will be a series of four large group gatherings that focus on:
The past and highlights of our history (Meeting 1).
Our values and what we currently are doing (Meeting 2).
Our dreams for the church’s future (Meeting 3).
An exercise in mission and vision brainstorming (Meeting 4).
Because of the timing of the end of the pandemic and the challenge of attendance at meetings over the summer months, the transition committee has decided to schedule the in-person large group meetings for the end of August and beginning of September with the hopes that we will be back to having large in-person meals.
As these gatherings are scheduled, we hope that you will make attendance at these gatherings a priority. Your input is crucial as we plan for the future.
Transition Update (3-15-21)
The primary task of the first part of the transition process is creating a “mission study.” The mission study is made up of a number of parts. The first half is generally a snapshot of the church and it includes:
An Area Demographic Study (Completed)
A Survey of Community leaders about the needs of the community (in Process)
A Congregational Survey (Completed) Click Here to Access It (call the church office for the logon ID and password)
A Review of finances (Completed)
A Statement describing the church property (in process)
A Brief history of the church (in process)
We have completed the Area Demographic Study, the Congregational Survey, and the review of finances. Currently the transition team is working on the Survey of Community Leaders (see below) and writing a Brief history of the church. The church property statement is also being written.
The second half of the mission study includes gatherings where congregation members come together in groups to reflect on the highlights of the church in the past, talk about what we value about the church now, and think about what we believe the priorities of the church should be moving forward. We hope to be able to do this in medium sized groups beginning in late April.
Once the mission study is completed, the whole is presented to the congregation for review. If we feel that it does a good job of reflecting where we are and where we are going, we move into the second major task of the transitional work. At this point, the standing nominating committee comes up with a list of folks to serve on the Pastor Nominating Committee (PNC). This committee is then presented to the congregation for election. Once elected, they get assigned a PNC liaison from Salem Presbytery, and they begin developing the Church Information Form (CIF). The CIF is the document that is circulated among pastors in the denomination who are looking for a position. It describes the church, its ministry, and what the church is looking for in a new installed pastor and is developed from the Mission Study. The transitional pastor is not involved in the work of the PNC once it is formed.
The goal of the transition team is to have the Mission Study completed by mid-Summer and the PNC elected by the end of the summer.
Community Leader Interviews:
Over the last month, members of the Transition Team have been interviewing various community leaders to discover their answers to the following questions:
From your perspective, what are the greatest strengths of our community?
What are the greatest challenges or needs facing our community right now?
How can churches in general and FPC-HP in particular strengthen our community or address our challenges?
How is FPC-HP perceived in the community?
The team has spoken with: Mayor Jay Wagner; Police Chief Travis Stroud; Nido Qubein, President of HPU; Tim Webster, President Presbyterian Homes, Inc; Tom Smith, Executive Director River Landing at Sandy Ridge; Ryan Ross, Open Door Ministries; & Jeff Patterson, Senior Pastor of Wesley Memorial Methodist.
As to community strengths, all mentioned the willingness of the High Point Community to come together to find ways to address problems and get things done together. There is a great community spirit.
As to community challenges, items mentioned included violence, homelessness, drug use, poverty, and racial division.
As to how churches can help, some mentioned continued support of food and homeless ministries, providing forums for interactions between divided groups, providing the lead in racial reconciliation, and opening doors to the “have-nots.”
As to the perception of First Presbyterian High Point in the community, each mentioned how grateful they are for the church in the community and that the church does good work in the community. There is a great tradition and legacy here.