DCC Vision 2028 is Taking Root and Blooming!
With spring time bursting all around us, and the scent of Easter lilies still strong in the air, the energy of rebirth is around us. It is with the spirit of new life and deep roots that the Session, clergy and the visioning planning team wish to share with you an update on the DCC Vision 2028 process, and to invite you into the next steps in this journey.
DCC Vision 2028; Following Our North Star, Planting Seeds and Nourishing Roots:
“The desire to embark on this journey came directly from 2014 Mission Study findings and directives, which include an assessment of the state of our congregation and challenges we need to engage,” shares Session member Liz Stevens.
“To that end, Session has been taking the time to thoughtfully, with much discussion and prayer, develop values and goals that will point us toward strategic actions. We have looked to our rich heritage and deep roots as a faithful congregation and a strong force for good in our civic work—locally, regionally, nationally and internationally. We also realize that DCC, as a mainline Protestant church, runs a huge risk of becoming an antiquated institution if we do not focus on the future. Not only is DCC at risk, but we see many aspects of our lives in peril: the future of our species, our planet, our natural resources, the systemic injustices imposed on those who may not have a voice, the loss of a moral collective voice – the loss of hope.
“This sense of urgency is what is driving the Session and clergy to adopt a framework from which we can strive to, ‘Seek the wellbeing of the places God Sends us.’ (Jeremiah 29: 7) Building on the past, while looking toward the future, this scripture text aims to encapsulate why we exist as a church.”
Speaking to this urgency, and our important role within the Davis community, Session member Roger Kingston adds that, “Our location in the heart of the community and our marvelous facilities are assets that almost demand that we be engaged with the whole community in addition to meeting the needs of our own church family. As we continue to reach out into the community seeking engagement, our own relevance and indeed, our survival as a church is more assured.”
For some Session members, this process has helped to connect them more deeply to the recent history of our church. Janet Mukai shares that, “I was unaware of the mission study that preceded the hiring of Pastor Chris and the amount of work involved in discerning the future of DCC. Having been so deeply involved in the current process, I understand more fully the place that we are at and what we need to strive for in developing and executing the vision of DCC in our community.”
Imagining DCC in 2028; Fully Mature Trees:
An important aspect of the visioning process we are experiencing is to consistently draw on our imaginations to envision the DCC of the future. What does it look like to nurture the deep roots of this faith community, while tending to new growth that is responsive to the winds of change blowing through the world? I asked Session to share with you some of what they’ve been imagining with. As you read these examples, we invite you to take a moment to engage your own imagination. What does your DCC and surrounding community look like in 2028?
“I feel very positive and encouraged when I think about DCC twenty years from now,” Liz states. “DCC has been guided by clergy and congregations that has always put the welfare of the community first (both spiritual and secular) – there is no reason to believe this will not continue. I think this current visioning process will continue, and that we will not become static or a relic of the past.”
“We have a unique opportunity to make a change in our community and influence the course of the future,” adds Janet. “I see DCC drawing people together, working together, a community driven and inspired by love and acceptance through Christ. I see DCC developing the vehicles for which this can happen. It is exciting to be part of this development.”
Why This Work Matters:
“DCC is a core part of the Davis and Yolo County community,” Liz points out. “We are intertwined – we build bridges with all members of the community, and I pray that we will continue to be open and welcoming to all. Second, it matters because I feel we, as a congregation, are so blessed with resources and talents that will lead our community (both spiritual and secular) forward with hope and determination to develop and sustain our “commons,” as Diana Butler Bass describes. As Bass puts it, we must form a world of commons that combines, ‘unity, relationship, action.’ (pg 266 from Grounded).
“Finally, it matters to me because I feel that DCC is part of my family. I would do just about anything to promote its vibrant sustainability and growth. Change can be hard, but if you believe in the core values, which I do, then it is worth the inevitable discord that often leads to positive change.
Janet adds that this work matters because, “Our country is spinning out of control. We need to re-evaluate and re-establish core values to human kind. We are poised to be a group that can accomplish this.”
What’s Next? We Need YOU!
“We are close to creating a distillation of our work – in words that are clear and authentically represent what God is calling us to do, ‘Seek the wellbeing of the places God sends us.’”
The distillation of the work that Liz describes above is emerging from the Session retreat on April 7th. Then, in May and June, we will be hosting listening circles for any congregation members who wish to vision, imagine and help to inform the strategic direction that is emerging. The first of these listening circles will be following the Everybody Eats picnic on May 6th. Some of them will take place within existing groups that meet monthly, and others will be scheduled to offer diverse times and contexts for you to gather around this material. Below is a brief timeline:
~May/June: Congregation invited into Listening Circles (following Everybody Eats, within affinity groups, and other times to be determined).
~July: Session on Sabbatical while planning team cultivates the visions and feedback that came from the Listening Circles
~August: Session reviews and determines whether plan needs minor or major revisions.
~September: If ready to act on, Vision 2028 will be put into operation, for example:
• Informing the associate pastor search
• Driving conversation with the City and other entities about collaboration
• Serving as guide for program planning
• Sparking cultivation groups to steward each of the six strategies in the life of the church
To begin stirring your imagination, below is an excerpt from a document that very briefly summarizes four key questions guiding this process. Thank you for holding this process in your prayers and imaginations. We look forward to sitting in circle with you around this work.
DCC Vision 2028, Excerpts:
Why do we exist?
“To tend the well-being of the place and people around us.”
What do we do?
“We help people thrive—body, mind, and soul”
How will we behave?
We will grow in gratitude and generosity, offering a sense of belonging, meaning, and personal-agency
What will focus our strategy?
What will focus our strategy over the next decade–that is, what will guide our decision-making in a purposeful, intentional, and unique way that will enable us to generously tend the well-being of the place and people around us, and help people come alive, in all their fullness—body, mind, and soul?
1. become more diverse as a sign of God’s intention for the world
2. leverage new economic practices that foster sustainability, resilience, and involvement
3. broaden active participation through a myriad of pathways of connection
4. recover and extend the political nature of Jesus in ways that shape a better world
5. cultivate spiritual practices that promote soulfulness
6. steward our land and buildings responsibility for the sake of the future