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The Congregational Church of West Medford is now doing business as Sanctuary UCC.

relationship-crossroadsBeyond Crossroads:
Conversations about our Experience, An Assessment of our Ministry, and Developing Next Steps in the Sanctuary Experiment

The Sanctuary UCC Leadership Circle has developed a plan for assessing our ministry and developing a plan for Sanctuary’s next steps.

We have been moved by our experiences of being Sanctuary to date, the impact of the Boston Globe Article, the affirmation and recognition received from the UCC and the powerful experience we have had of reading and resonating with our UCC General Minister and President, John Dorhauer’s book, “Beyond Resistance”; a highly pastoral book about “loving the church into a new way of being.” We are hoping that all of our members might read this book (you can purchase it) or borrow one of the copies we have purchased for the church.

Whether you have been with us only once or twice or have raised your children in this congregation…  Whether you come for Art, Film or Coffeehouse, Dinner Church, ARTChurch, Darkwood Brew Study or our regular Sunday Worship… Whether you are connected to our conversations on race, attended a Pine Ridge Volunteer Trip or are a member of Sanctuary… You are part of us and we are in need of you (and your input)!

Sanctuary is spending some time this summer assessing our “stuff” and we would really like your input. Seriously, even if you have only been to one or two things, we still would like to hear how you experience Sanctuary’s ministry and programs.

Our Experience of Sanctuary’s Ministry*
(5) Wednesday at 7:00 PM: July  20, 27, August 03, 17, 24

Onsite @ Sanctuary UCC, 458 High Street, Medford.
Online via Fuze Meeting (download the app):
Online Meeting URL:
Via Teleconference: +12014794595
Meeting ID 33207394

We ask that you invest time this summer in sharing your experience of Sanctuary and her ministries. We will ask about your experience through a series of questions designed to solicit objective feedback. You can participate by attending one or all of small group conversations (in person at Sanctuary or online via Fuze) and/or by responding to the questions in writing.

  • Wednesday, Jul 20: Go Out and Make Disciples:“Who is our Neighbor? Let’s Meet Them!”  In this session we reviewed key concepts about the post-modern context in which we are being a faith community and shared experiences of how Sanctuary is connecting with the community and doing evangelism in our context. Here is a PDF of the key concepts: 2016.07.20 Go Out and Make Disciples Session. You can still provide feedback on this topic here: Respond to the questions on this topic.
  • Wednesday, Jul 27 – Love God: Worship and Prayer:  We will share our experience of Sanctuary’s music, worship and prayer life (format, style, setting).  Respond to the questions on this topic.
  • Wednesday, Aug 03 – Baptist Them and Teach Them: We will share our experience of our engagement with the community, our offer of hospitality, and Faith Formation offerings (Arts and Inspiration, worship as formation, study groups and other formation). Respond to the questions on this topic.
  • Wednesday, Aug 17 – Love Neighbor: Outreach, Mission and Care. We will share our experience of Outreach and Circles of Care ministries (Lakota and Pine Ridge, AM2PM, Volunteer Opportunities, Open Sanctuary, Recovery Ministry, etc.). Respond to the questions on this topic.
  • Wednesday, Aug 24 – Sanctuary Operations, Administration and Communication: We will share our experience of Sanctuary’s administration, governance, operation, processes and communication. Respond to the questions on this topic.

Sanctuary’s Annual Visioning Retreat
Saturday, October 1, 2016 (tentative schedule: 8:30 am – 4:00 pm, watch for more information)

Based on the experiences of our ministries and our assessments thereof, the Strategic Planning team and Leadership Circle will develop a recommendation about which the congregation will discern and decide during the Annual Visioning Retreat. The topics about which we will discern include (but may not be limited to):

2017 Ministry Plan, Leadership Development, and Staffing

Again, please invest as you are able in this process by staying informed of additions and updates to this plan  and investing in the process with your time and talent.

*The Sanctuary ministry plan is based in Jesus’ Great Commandment and Great Commission to:
Love God (Worship and Prayer), 
Love Neighbor (Mission and Care), 
Go Out/Make Disciples (Evangelism and Connection), 
Baptize Them (Community/Hospitality), and
Teach Them (Faith Formation, Leadership Development).
References: Executive-Summary-2016-Ministry-Plan.pdf; 2016-Ministry-Plan-Update.pdf

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