Posted by Paul Ellis Jackson

Below are the documents to be discussed at this Sunday’s Congregational Cafe.  If you would like these documents in a different format, contact Paul at

University Congregational Church—Strategic Planning



Our Covenant:

In the love of truth, and in the name and spirit of Jesus Christ, this church exists to serve those that believe that the Christian faith affords our clearest insight into the nature and will of God.  Accepting that faith as our guide, we join one with another to worship and work so that peace, justice and brotherhood may prevail in this world.


Mission Statement:

  • To provide an inspiring, thoughtful and welcoming place of worship
  • To encourage spiritual exploration and fellowship in a theologically progressive and accepting environment
  • To share our talents and gifts in service to our community and the world in the spirit of Jesus

Strategic Vision:

  • To become a dynamic, self-sustaining congregation that fosters relationships—with God, church and community

Target Audience:

  • Individuals and families seeking a supportive, open community in which to participate in the quest for deeper understanding of an evolving faith—through thought-provoking worship, music and fellowship in an inspiring environment

Objective One:

  • Expand worship experiences that sustain participants throughout the week

Objective Two:

  • Expand the Christian Life experience  to empower people through life-span education, opportunities for participation and ministry and ways to inclusively engage all people

Objective Three:

  • Expand internal and external relationships through outreach and interactive experiences


Strategic Planning Committee Members:  Leigh Aaron-Leary, Lavinia Gerould, Jonnie Rhea, Gary Nye, Dick Pilgrim, Jo Ann Pottorff, Mary Ellen Conlee, Grace Kneil, Paul Jackson, Robin McGonigle, and Karen Parker



University Congregational Church–Strategic Plan–2013 through 2015
VISION: To become a dynamic, self-sustaining congregation that fosters relationships–with God, one’s church and one’s community
Objective 1 Expand worship experiences that sustain participants throughout the week
Project Examples Resources Leadership Timeframe
Greeter/Usher/Host program Church talent Deacons/SRM Fall 2013
Follow-up process for visitors Church talent Deacons/SRM Fall 2013
Additional worship opportunities/Wed.  Or Sat. evening/Taize *Taize is a simple, specific type of worship SRM/worship Deacons/Music/SRM Spring 2014
Increase worship and/or meditation offerings SRM/worship Deacons/Music/SRM Spring 2014
Sustain meaningful Sunday morning worship experience SRM/worship SRM Spring 2014
Objective 2 Expand the Christian Life experience to empower people through life-span education, opportunities for participation and ministry and ways to inclusively engage all people
Project Examples Resources Leadership Timeframe
Education programs-increase Faith-based, computer, interfaith, parenting Church talent CE/DCL/SM Fall 2013
Increase family specific events Hanging of the Greens, CE Board CE/Guild/Deacons Fall 2013
Transportation options/church van/car pool Church talent Trustees/Council Summer 2014
Additional support/care of shut-ins and others Stephens Ministers SRM/SM Fall 2013
Improve media/technology access and training DCL/SRM/church talent DCL/SRM Fall 2013
Provide more faith-based classes Church talent SRM/DCL/Deacons Fall 2013
Evaluate the time Sunday School is offered CE Leadership/church CE Spring 2014
Rekindle Interfaith Service Area faiths DCL/SM/Guild/Deacons Spring 2014
Objective 3 Expand internal and external relationships through outreach and interactive experiences
Project Examples Resources Leadership Timeframe
Promote music education opportunites that leverage our college students Classes for elementary schools, College scholarship students MM/Music Spring 2014
More outreach program Done-in-a-day, Habitat for Humanity Church talent Outreach Spring 2014
Expand mission opportunities Sponsor refugee family, utilize NA missions NACCC/area churches Outreach Spring 2014
Choir exchange Intra-church events Choir/other churches Music Board Spring 2014
On-going Projects (including but not limited to:) Examples Resources Leadership Timeframe
Ice Cream Social Church talent CE Annually
All-Church Picnic Church talent Deacons/Guild Annually
Baby Shower Church talent Guild Annually
Angel Tree Church talent DCL Annually
Honduras Project Church talent Guild Annually
Dress for Success Church talent Outreach Annually
College Music Scholarships College/Choir Music Board 10 month





From the 1st congregational café held on May 9, 2013

(Not edited—only categorized by functional board)



  • Develop program that involve people on more personal basis to encourage meeting as a group rather than individually
  • Hire an education director
  • Strengthen multi-generational activities such as the ice cream social {hanging of the greens, blessing animals}
  • Develop a more structured comprehensive and organized adult education
  • Faith based classes such as deeper exploration of contemporary Christianity or developing an adult faith and support in small group
  • Non-religious group activities including summer camp approach to sharing skills and talents while becoming closer to each other
  • Support group(s) for life change issues and how faith and community works within those
  • Signature event such as the plays Karen did, art exhibits or other ways to become known and identified to the greater community
  • Consider moving children’s Sunday School to 9 or 9:30 so kids or youth could attend services with their parents
  • With so few children 10-16 find ways to integrate and associate our youth with larger groups of young people such as Young Life while still retaining the in our church
  • Better balance integrating younger and older groups
  • Offer Wichita Area Social Justice Seminars such as Civil Discourse, Religious Intolerance, Immigration
  • A 3-4 week discussion of Diana Butler Bass’ book Christianity for the Rest of Us
  • Repeat the Living Questions series and invite the public
  • Consider a small group interested in developing Christian practices, prayer, meditation
  • Offer small Bible studies groups or books that did not make it into the canon
  • Offer a family “stay-cation” instead of Vacation Bible School
  • Qualifications of youth director: dynamic to attract young families, a good program fit
  • Have a mom’s day out
  • More groups like book club, Pitch, gardening, photography
  • Re-establish CE
  • Discussion group at additional time besides 9 on Sunday morning


  • Continue monthly communion
  • Do we really need communion each month?
  • Sponsor exchange activities with other faiths (follow up on peace event)
  • Connect with the Muslim community, visit other churches, choir exchange
  • Consider a second (possibly shorter) service, maybe on Wednesday evening or Saturday night for those who travel or may be out of town on weekends
  • Consider moving Sunday school for children to 9 or 9:30 so they can attend church with their parents
  • Partner with other churches or organizations with community projects
  • Better balance integrating younger and older groups
  • Offer a Taize service, possibly during Lent or Advent or include some of those elements during our Sunday worship
  • Open our doors (certain hours) for prayer or meditation as a respite
  • Technology committee to inventory present equipment, check our system
  • Church van for picking up those who cannot drive
  • Deliver alter flowers to shut-ins or post surgery members or new moms
  • Interface sermon videos with portable electronics; visitations could include IPad showing of recent services
  • More participation by current members in visiting shut-ins
  • Update sound system (tech committee)
  • Use of the electronic media center: defining how used
  • What other uses are there for the sanctuary besides one hour on Sunday
  • Request for no symbols in sanctuary
  • Basket for name tags at the door
  • Inventor of church equipment—maybe with ID tags


  • Install a new sound system for the sanctuary and fellowship hall
  • Purchase new hearing devices that will work in both areas
  • Move ahead on the sound system
  • Continue supporting college “kids” with scholarships
  • Trade choirs with another church occasionally


  • Refurbish and enhance the interior of the church
  • Inventory of church equipment


  • Educate our congregation more regarding current activities such as Barbara Mckee or baby shower
  • Consider sponsoring a refugee family
  • Change dinners from getting to know members to program that encourages members to bring prospective members to dinner or lunches after church
  • Inventory of church equipment with ID tags


  • Create outreach projects that encompass other churches and people outside our church
  • Promote more community hands-on outreach programs
  • Expand mission opportunities
  • Consider better “service to the world”
  • Work with NACCC to broaden our world service –possibly support education or entrepreneur efforts in 3rd world
  • Educate our congregation more regarding current activities such as Barbara McKee and Guild’s involvement as well as baby shower
  • Consider sponsoring a refugee family including time and $ to help them integrate into community
  • Make better use of the “sleeping giant” of Hygiene pantry: get our name out there, big sign, newspaper coverage, tee shirts with our name. Fund raiser to help. Make this our Signature event
  • Partner with other churches for good of community
  • Collaborate with Interfaith or other churches to build a labyrinth for all people (we have the space)
  • More done in a day groups