a 5 Year Plan?
In 2002, Grace Church engaged
in a self-study. We used the resources of the Gallup Organization to determine
our spiritual health. The study helped us to examine the extent of congregational
engagement and spiritual health. In 2003, Grace Church began a process of strategic
planning. We asked questions about membership, the property and its use, stewardship,
education, outreach and parish life. We also acquired information from the National
Office of the Episcopal Church. The information charted the location of our parish
in the institutional life-cycle patterns.
information and discussions indicated that Grace Church had achieved a position
of only relative stability. We are one of a group of "transitional"
(which is defined as a Church with an average Sunday attendance of 200 to 225).
We are at a tipping point. We can make a commitment to growth and health, or we
can decline and face the fate of many parishes
death. The data shows us
that parishes slightly smaller than us, with an average Sunday attendance of 150,
face a number of difficulties. They are unable to meet their commitment to the
Diocese, they fail to maintain their church buildings, and they find it difficult
to pay for a full-time clergy person. Many of these churches will not survive
to the end of this decade.
of New Jersey has already been forced to close four churches in the past two years.
Two of those churches were in Camden Convocation of which we are part. Congregational
development studies show that Grace Church faces two choices. We can ignore the
issues and face a continuing decline (and possibly death) or we can commit to
a process of redefinition that will lead us to growth (and life).
faces a number of structural conditions. Some people dislike and resist change.
We can too easily fail to understand the sources and reasons for our particular
customs and traditions. All Churches must periodically examine the state of their
spirituality as both individuals and a parish. The studies, from people like the
National Church and Gallup, show us that we must become more comfortable with
diversity and a variety of practices. There is more than one way to redefine and
foster church growth.
2005, the Vestry established a new vision statement. It is our hope it will guide
us in the process of redefinition and growth that will ensure our life, health
and future. The process that we have engaged is grounded in our faith as Christians,
and centered in our Lord, Jesus Christ. The learning has been multifaceted. The
possibilities are many. The challenges are exciting. It is our hope that you will
join us in this next exciting phase of Grace Church. Together, we can build a
future for Grace Church that we will not only be proud of, but that will attract
many more people.
May God bless us
in this adventure!
GOALS FOR GRACE CHURCH, THE FIVE-YEAR PLAN
GROWING THROUGH GRACE
be the Episcopal Church in this community that makes disciples for Jesus Christ,
grounded in love.
therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the
Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything
that I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the
age." (Matthew 28:19-20)
through Grace" is the vision statement adopted by the Vestry in January of
2005. It is grounded in the belief that the grace of god is the gift of unconditional
love given to us through Jesus Christ. We understand this vision to be the guiding
statement that shapes the rest of our goals. It reflects our prayers and reflections
from the past several years.
to the List of Goals
THE BUILDINGS & GROUNDS
provide warm, welcoming space to carry out the many ministries
to which God
has called us.
Point for this area - Bill Lubenow)
not let your hearts be troubled, Believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father's
house there are many dwelling places. If it were not so, would I have told you
that I go to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you,
I will come again and will take you to myself, so that where I am, there you may
be also." (John 14:1-3)
#1. - Renovation of the Sanctuary
(1) Develop a "Design Team", Advent 2005
(2) Inform the Parish at
the November, 2005 Meeting
(3) Gather estimates Fall, 2007, secure architect
(4) Develop a budget and capital campaign for 2008
the design with the money, Fall, 2008
(6) Solicit bids 2009
ground by 2010
#2. - Redesign the Rectory into office and meeting space
#3. - Secure additional tenants for the use of the buildings
the possibility of a charter school or after school care program
to the List of Goals
provide Christian education for all people, from cradle to grave,
they may live out their faith now.
Point for this area - Marianne Gambardello)
said, you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your
soul, and with all your mind. This is the greatest and first commandment. And
the second is like it; you shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two
commandments hand all the law and the prophets." (Matthew 22:37-40).
#1. - To provide for a full-time Director of Religious Education by September,
- To design educational programs, begin researching in 2005
(1) To identify and utilize the
resources and talents within the parish
(2) To design a program for parents
to use at home to teach their children about faith, ethics and Christianity
(3) To design an educational program for parents of the Confirmation class to
parallel their program, increase participation and ensure greater participation
after Confirmation of both the young adults and parents
- To create an after school program that is based in language immersion by September
Goal #4. - To establish and fund an adult lecture series on contemporary
#5. - To develop the parish library as a book and computer community resource
#6. - To explore the feasibility and introduce a charter school that is based
on Spanish Immersion for elementary school children by September 2007
To help equip people
to tell the story of God and Jesus Christ
As it has been experienced in their
Point for this area - Carol Shindle)
Jesus said to them, do you not understand this parable? The sower sows the Word.
And these are the ones along the path, where the word is sown; when they hear,
Satan immediately comes and takes away the word, which is sown in them. And those
in like manner are the ones sown upon rocky ground, who when they hear the word,
immediately receive it with joy; and they have no root in themselves, but endure
for a while; then, when tribulation or persecution arises on account of the word,
immediately they fall away. And others are the ones sown among the thorns; they
are the ones, who hear the word, but the cares of the world, and the delight in
riches, and desires for other things, enter in and choke the word, and it proves
unfruitful. But those that were sown upon the good soil are the ones who hear
the word and accept it and bear fruit, thirty-fold and sixty-fold and a hundred-fold."
#1. - Come to understand the larger community in which the parish is located.
#2. - Tell and share our stories
(1) Find place within Sunday
worship for people to share stories
(2) At the November parish meeting, provide
guidelines and establish small groups so people came practice storytelling
(3) Homecoming Sunday, September, 2005, share stories
(4) "Bring a friend
home Sunday, September 11th"
#3. - Target specific groups within the community for Church
(1) Special Sundays, i.e. Health
Care Professionals Sunday, October, 2005
#4. - Establish small groups
(1) Men's group; women's group; singles group;
young couples with small children, start this fall
provide the financial resources necessary for conducting the 50/50 ministry
Point for this area - Jason Miller)
not lay up treasures for yourselves on earth, where moth and rust consume and
where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven,
where neither moth nor rust consumes and where thieves do not break in and steal.
For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also." (Matthew 6:19-21).
#1. - To reach the 50/50 level of giving (For every dollar collected, $.50 is
spent on the Parish and $.50 is spent outside of the parish)
(1) To make our full level of
giving to the Diocese of New Jersey by 2007.
(2) To increase the budget 25%
(3) To increase stewardship to meet our budget projections, a balanced
budget by 2007 (not having to draw on any reserves).
(4) To increase stewardship
so pledges cover the operating expenses by 2007.
(5) To achieve a goal of
600 pledged givers with an average at or above the national level of 2.5% of income.
#2. - To create additional sources of income for the parish.
(1) To establish a planned giving
program for the parish in 2006 with the goal of establishing a $1,000,000 endowment
(2) To develop a property management committee and have the buildings
fully rented by 2008.
(3) To investigate the feasibility and benefits of being
declared a historical site at the state and national level (would make us eligible
(4) To develop a capital giving program for future renovations
#3. - To hire a part-time bookkeeper (who might possibly become full-time).
to the List of Goals
provide the people and talent resources necessary to carry out
of the Church
Point for this area - Marty Rosica)
this the Lord appointed 70 others and sent them on ahead of him, two by two, into
every town and place where he himself was about to come. And he said to them,
the harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few, pray therefore for the Lord
of the harvest to send out laborers into the harvest." (Luke 10:1-2).
#1. - To help people identify their gifts, passions and learn how to use them
(1) Create a safe environment for discernment.
(2) Create a leadership development program.
(3) Update the volunteer book
(4) Match people with their passion.
(5) Significantly increase
the number of people involved in parish programs by 5% each year.
focus groups to explore the Five-Year Plan this fall.
create an inclusive and diverse community that lives out the Christian faith
Point for this area - Chuck Haughton)
just as the body is one and has many members, and all the members of the body,
though many, are one body, so it is with Christ. For by one Spirit we were all
baptized into one body - Jews and Greeks, slaves or free - and all were made to
drink of one Spirit. For the body does not consist of one member but of many."
(1 Corinthians 12:12-14).
#1. - To double the Average Sunday Attendance by 2010 from 250 to 500.
(1) Target the unchurched (specific
(2) Develop a warm, welcoming inclusive community that invites other
people to come and be with us.
(3) Invite people to attend Church, seek to
grow the membership by 50 people each year.
(4) Create many small groups for
spiritual interaction to develop and foster relationships and community.
Host specialized Sundays to invite new members in.
(6) Make use of advertising
opportunities and search out new methods.
Goal #2. - Focus on present
members and increase their engagement in the parish.
(1) Recognize years of participation
and membership of members, such as on Homecoming Sunday.
(2) Develop a Shepherding
Program to follow-up on members missing.
(3) Create a program with diverse
topics and speakers with a Christian viewpoint.
(4) Advertise events; increase
the use of signs on the property.
(5) Reestablish the greeters program by
(6) Create a database on the membership listing their gifts, talents,
and vocations by 2008.
to the List of Goals
help people to live out the Gospel within the larger communities
of which we are part.
Point for this area - Jean Horn)
O blessed of my Father, inherit the Kingdom prepared for you from the foundation
of the world; for I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave
me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you clothed me,
I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me, Then the righteous
will answer him, Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, thirsty and give
you drink? And when did I see you sick or in prison and visit you? And the King
will answer them, truly, I say to you, as you did this to one of the least of
these my brethren, you did it to me." (Matthew 25:34-40).
#1. - To develop the 50/50 initiative.
(1) Form an Outreach Committee
by spring of 2006.
(2) To make outreach more visible in the parish, including
a budget line for 2006.
(3) To increase our Diocesan pledge by 25% each year
until our full pledge is met by 2009.
- To think globally and act locally.
(1) To involve
each member of the parish in outreach.
(2) Make outreach a part of the Christian
Education program and fund at least $1,000 for it in the 2006 budget.
Increase our participation in the Haddonfield Council of Churches outreach efforts
(such as: Crop Walk; IHOC; etc.).
(4) To increase our involvement with Habitat
of Humanity and build one house a year ($50,000) in Camden.
(5) To expand
the role of the Gold Tournament for Habitat and double the amount we raise the
next three years.
(6) To assist St. Andrew's in Camden to achieve the transition
from mission to parish by 2010.
(7) To explore the possibility of reconnecting
with Bancroft School.
to the List of Goals
provide for and create a deeper, healthier faith community in this place
Point for this area - Marianne Buzby)
God has so composed the body, giving the greater honor to the inferior part, that
there may be no discord in the body, but that members may have the same care for
one another. If one members suffers, all suffer together; if one member is honored,
all rejoice together."
(1 Corinthians 12:24-26).
#1. - To discover what we are becoming as a parish and meet the needs of our members.
(1) To address the fellowship,
social and community needs of the parishioners.
(2) To develop a sense of
vocation in the parish.
(3) To develop a kind of parish predictability, so
people know what to expect.
#2. - To offer programs and activities to help people grow spiritually.
(1) To increase the number of
spiritual retreats offered by the parish.
(2) To offer retreats twice a year
for 2006 and explore expanding.
(3) To encourage parish leaders to participate
in a retreat over the next 3 years.
(4) To explore media and spirituality
twice a year as an intergenerational event.
Goal #3. - To examine the changing
regional and local demographics.
To use the information to align programs with the parish population.
complete the examination of data by 2006
Goal #4. - To establish multiple
Include Bible study, book groups and other education offerings.
(3) Develop specialized ministries, such as a singles
(4) Develop a short-term ministry for people who will only be with
us for a limited time.
(5) Maximize the groups we have and establish several
new groups each year.
to the List of Goals
To provide worship and services
where people might glimpse
and/or experience the love and presence of God
Point for this area - Barbara Tamarri)
I received from the Lord what I also delivered to you, that the Lord Jesus on
the night when he was betrayed took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke
it, and said, This is my body which is for you. Do this in remembrance of me.
In the same way also the cup, after supper, saying, this cup is the new covenant
in my blood. Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me. For as often
as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord's death until he
comes again." (1 Corinthians 11:23-26).
#1. - To develop meaningful worship that appeals to a wide number of people.
(1) To examine the multiple service
structure to find the days and times that will work best for Grace Church and
(2) To prepare a DVD on the "How to do Church" explaining
terms, liturgies and the options for worship.
(3) To explore musical offerings
that appeal to a wider range of people and ages.
- To modify the worship space to reflect both modern and traditional theologies
and Increase its flexibility for various worship forms.
(1) Organize a Worship Space
Committee in the spring of 2006.
- To hire an Associate Rector by 2010.
#4. - To explore means of enriching and enhancing the worship services.
To use printed bulletins containing the entire service.
(2) To hire paid section
leaders for the choir.
(3) To explore the alternative and supplemental liturgies
and prepare the parish for the next edition of the Book of Common Prayer.
to the List of Goals