By: Pastor Mary Beth

On Sunday, March 16, as we honored our active charter members, we also took time to gather together in small groups throughout our sanctuary and engaged in conversation around four questions:
Who are we?

  1. What keeps you here at Hope United Church of Christ?
  2. What would you like to see Hope UCC do in the next five years?
  3. What is one word that describes Hope UCC?

There were a wide variety of answers to those questions, as one might imagine with nearly 90 persons in worship that day and meeting in eleven different groups.  Yet there surfaced some consensus as well.  Here is what I discovered as I reviewed the comments provided from that discussion:

Who are we?
“People of God” was mentioned by more than half of the groups; followed by community.

What keeps you here at Hope UCC?
The relationships we have with one another (friendship/people) were mentioned by ten of the groups.

What would you like to see Hope UCC do in the next five years?
Building and remodeling were mentioned by nine of the groups; mission trips seem to be a high priority as six groups mentioned this.

What is one word that describes Hope UCC?
Friendly was the word that was mentioned by seven of the groups, with other words such as: inclusive, loving, caring, and welcoming also mentioned by several groups.

A snap shot of Hope United Church of Christ, using what was shared, might be:
A people of God, a faith community where we value the friendships that have been made as we seek to be friendly, loving, caring, inclusive and welcoming while we seek to build into the future for ourselves and for others through mission and ministry.

Through this small exercise, we have tried to articulate who we are and what some of our dreams might be.  It is a good start.  The conversations will continue as we continue to look at ourselves, our future, and what God is calling us to be and do in our next fifty years.