In my hot summer recap video from a few weeks ago, I spoke about how I thought we would look back upon the summer of 2022 ten years from now and realize that’s when God started turning things around for UMCG. After this weekend, I feel that way even more.

I had asked you, as a church, to show up on Friday night for the Moving Forward Summit – and you did — to the point where I had to set up extra chairs! Thank you! We had at least 60 people in attendance for an energizing session with Ministry Architects as we dreamed about what news headlines might say about UMCG in 2027. Together, we named our values, who we feel called to reach out to, our 15-month goals, outcomes we hoped for and verbs that describe UMCG. Everyone had a chance to name what the Spirit placed on their heart and mind, and we all voted on where we found resonance. You can view the list and voting results here.

On Saturday, Church Council, staff, pastors, and the Moving Forward team began taking what was named on Friday night and drafting that data into a Mission Statement, Values and Goals. The result will be a direction-setting document for UMCG for the next 15 months. This work is still in process, but the Moving Forward team will present the direction document to Council so that it can be recommend for a church-wide adoption at our regular Annual Church Conference at the end of November.

I am very grateful for the time and energy so many people put into the Summit weekend, especially for the extra work from hospitality ministry that supported our time with Ministry Architects.  I am also very hopeful and energized for the new vitality God is breathing into our church. Thank you, again, for participating!

And if all that were not enough to excite us, our fall ministry kick-off was incredible! Our first fall youth event at Funway exceeded attendance expectations by 25% thanks to you inviting friends and our new High School Sunday School format saw 150% higher attendance than last year. When I spoke with the adults who were energized after spending the two days prior at church, they shared how time with the youth filled them to overflowing. Pastor Lisa and I also had a great new member class with 4 persons interested in joining UMCG.

What great weekend! I think that’s because we serve a great God who has great plans for the people called United Methodist of Geneva!

Thanks!