DAVIS COMMUNITY CHURCH
DCC’s Session initiated a comprehensive two-year visioning process in late 2016. In the spring of 2017, Michaela Daystar, a consultant, came on board to provide direct leadership, alongside the Session and pastoral staff. The study involved the Session, staff, lay leadership teams, and the whole congregation through a series of retreats, prayerful moments and rituals, focus groups, surveys, workshops, a Collaborative Design Studio, and other venues for fostering inspiration, listening, collaboration, and ways to envision DCC’s future. The process built upon the 2014 Mission Study engaged by the congregation to provide the 2014 PNC with direction when hiring our current senior pastor, Dr. Chris Neufeld-Erdman. The current vision process culminated in October 2018 with a clear and new statement of Why We Exist, What We Do, How We Behave, and What Strategies Will Guide Us(attached). The congregation is now prepared to implement VISION2028. Our conclusions will influence our staffing design, and, in particular, the kind of pastoral partner we intend to call through the 2018-19 APNC search process.
- Objective #1: Deepen and expand the current DCC vision to help discern and guide what more DCC is called to be and do as a twenty-first century church.
- Objective #2: Engage the DCC/Davis community in determining projects and action steps through large group methodologies.
- Objective #3: Create structures and processes to support those engaging this process and orient new Session members and others into the process.
DCC seeks to become a hybrid space, a true “commons”, for people of all walks of life, a threshold community that brings together the spiritual and the material, the religious and the non-religious—in ways that complement each other rather than compete with each other. In this time and place, we will create a center for spiritual formation, human transformation, and compassionate engagement that sustains fruitful ways of life, making us all more open, more generous, more courageous, and the world more beautiful, sustainable, resilient, and capable of honoring the sacredness that’s all around us.
We realize that we are living in unprecedented times. With rising tides and increasing tensions, our planet and all we hold dear is in peril. Though there have been crises throughout human history, we now inhabit a time in which the very future of our species and the planet, itself, is in question. Throughout the world, the realities of greed, oppression, hatred and violence have distorted and deformed the natural world and brought untold suffering to the human community. Such pain might lead to despair, but we have reasons for hope. Human beings may have hastened the peril, but we also have the power to heal and shape a just and more peace-filled future.
Amidst the systemic injustices and brokenness arises a renewed moral voice speaking the language of transformation, healing, and reconciliation. The world’s religious and spiritual traditions, despite past failings, provide such a voice and offer the best hope for the future. The sacred texts, living witness, rituals and transformative powers of religion have the capacity to awaken the human heart, stir spiritual awakening, and kindle a prophetic imagination that can contribute to the wellbeing of the world. This is a threshold time. And it’s high time we claim our divine calling as Christians—rising to the challenge, rejecting despair and fatalism—and truly seek the well-being of the planet.
IMPLICATIONS FOR OUR PASTORAL SEARCH
DCC’s Session realizes that structural changes will come as we move forward into this vision. For instance, we may need to change committee structures and other things to more nimbly and energetically engage the Vision. However, at this point in time, we cannot predict what those changes will be.
All Ministry Commissions, ministry teams, staff, and volunteers are charged with finding creative ways to live into this Vision. The same is true for our pastoral staff. Both pastors are charged to help the congregation live the Vision. Particular strategies are not assigned to particular Commissions, teams, pastoral, or ministry staff.
The APNC, along with the Personnel Committee and Session, are developing a position description for our new pastoral partner that will complement the roles and responsibilities of our current pastor so that our pastors can apply their gifts and sense of calling to help the congregation engage the strategies and live into VISION2028.
ATTRIBUTES WE SEEK IN OUR NEW PASTOR
- Progressive, fully-inclusive, ecumenical, and missional perspectives.
- Vibrant inner life supported by psychological awareness, wisdom, and spiritual practices.
- Relational, collaborative, collegial, warm, and personally engaging.
- Proven capacity to turn vision into reality; ability to set goals, develop structures and programs for ministry.
- Able to inspire and organize lay people for ministry.
- Passion and competency for teaching.
- Technologically savvy and able to lead us into new, relevant applications of technology.
- Ability to guide, support, and evaluate lay and professional staff.
- Awareness of the changing perspectives, habits, and needs of emerging generations and changing demographics as well as the ways religious communities must adjust to address them.
- A respect for traditions while able to innovate for the sake of a Christianity fit for the 21stcentury.