A 40-year-old man looks at printed text of prayers and songs in church

Vision 2024: Transformed and Transforming

I. Grounded in God

“I will put my law within them, and I will write it on their hearts;
and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.” – Jeremiah 31:33b

Image of hand painted cloth with the words

We imagine ourselves, individually and collectively, to be a fully enlivened congregation; with the love of God as our source, guide and destiny.

We pursue a life continually re-formed through relationship with God.  Through prayer, discernment and engagement we hear the voice of God and surrender to the Holy Spirit’s call to represent Christ, God’s saving and healing love, in the world.

Through a variety of Christian spiritual practices and disciplines, we dedicate ourselves to seeking out the holy mysteries of God and listening for God’s still speaking voice, looking beyond human limitations of logic, justice and love.

We meet our transforming God in the midst of dynamic and excellent worship that is varied in form, practice and style and that engages all of our senses.  We gather in our sacred space that evokes our history, and is equipped to support worship in today’s context.

II. Becoming the Body of Christ

“Now you are the body of Christ and individually members of it.” – 1 Corinthians 12:27

A woman serves communion to a man

We imagine this church, fully as the Body of Christ, inviting the broader community to a  congregation with open doors, open hearts, open minds and an open table.

Following the example of Jesus of Nazareth, we throw open our doors and our lives to welcome stranger and friend.  As a place of sanctuary, we honor the struggles of all who enter, and discern, celebrate, encourage and employ their unique gifts and talents.  We are a church of deep relationship and mutual care; we are family.

That we might faithfully respond to new contexts and challenges, we strive to foster Christian Formation for all ages that engages the Scriptures, inspires the mind, strengthens the soul and compels the body.

Claiming our rich history of mission, teaching and theological inquiry, we take up the mantle of bold intellectual commitment required by our faith.  Equipped and enriched, we reach for the courage to be Jesus’ voice of extravagant welcome, radical justice, life-giving love and unbounded mercy in the community and world.

We engage the world and each other to learn, claim and use the language of our faith.  Within and beyond our walls we speak of and from the faith written on our hearts authentically and courageously.

III. Responding to the Spirit

“Then Jesus told his disciples, ‘When the Spirit of truth comes,
he will guide you into all the truth’” – John 16:13a

Two children fill bags of food for the hungry and homeless in Pittsfield, Massachusetts

We imagine this congregation, in the midst of being transformed by the Spirit, transforming our local communities and the world.

Responding to God’s grace (love freely given and fully offered), each of us strives to deepen our Christian relationships with one another, and embolden our engagement with the world.

Responding to that same grace, we endeavor collectively to build justice through peacemaking, service and reconciliation.

We are called as people made in God’s image to reflect God’s creative essence.  We respond by striving to bring order where there is chaos, light where there is shadow, abundance where there is scarcity and beauty where it is needed.

We seek partnerships around shared issues and concerns, working with denominational, ecumenical, interfaith and non-faith based organizations toward a better world for human flourishing.

Our staff and facilities are cared for, equipped and maintained at levels that can support the robust life and ministries of this church.