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  • Writer's pictureFr. Guillermo A. Arboleda

Invitation to Strategic Planning Process

January 29, 2023

4th Sunday after the Epiphany

Dear St. Matthew’s Parishioners,

In 2022, St. Matthew’s Vestry commissioned a Strategic Planning Team to facilitate a process of listening and discernment about where the Spirit is calling St. Matthew’s in ministry and mission. As a whole congregation, we will envision possibilities for a 3-5 year strategic plan for growing our ministries and congregation. We believe the time is right for us to enter into this process. We have hired The Kaleidoscope Institute (KI), a ministry development organization, founded by The Rev. Eric Hong Fat Law, to guide us through this process using their Holy Currencies approach to strategic planning. The Rev. Bill Cruse and the Rev. James Fielder, from KI, will be our guides and facilitators for this work for the next 6-9 months.

Holy Currencies is a holistic model for creating missional and sustainable parishes and ministries. When the Holy Currencies flow and recirculate, they form a Cycle of Blessings which empower congregations to strengthen their internal relationships as well as reach out and connect with the diverse populations in their neighborhoods.

We are writing to invite you to Three Congregational Engagements. Our goal for this process is to hear what God is calling us to be in the coming years in light of our changing context and resources.

The initial step in the process is to listen to each other regarding what you think about the parish and where it should go in the future. Each Congregational Engagement will last 2 - 2 ½ hours, include a meal, and feature facilitated group conversations covering the following topics:

Sunday, February 26, 2023, 11:00 AM - 1:30 PM - St. Matthew’s Past: Celebrating and Learning from our Parish History

Wednesday, March 29, 2023, 5:30 - 8:00 PM - St. Matthew’s Present: Understanding Who We are Now

Saturday, April 29, 2023, 10:00 AM - 12:30 PM - St. Matthew’s Future: Discerning God’s Call For the Future (BBQ Picnic to Follow)

From May through August, the Strategic Planning Team and the Vestry will discern a new vision for St. Matthew’s and offer a strategic plan based on what we’ve learned from these discernment events and other research the team will conduct. We hope to complete this process on or before the 168th Parish Anniversary on Sunday, September 24, 2023.

The Strategic Planning Team’s task is to gather data and do research between the sessions to build our strategic plan and to facilitate the discernment process. We will work both transparently and comprehensively, reporting to the congregation at least monthly.

This Process will NOT:

● Replace work done by the Vestry, ECW, or other ministries;

● Force any existing ministries to change;

● Make any final decisions, but rather recommend the resulting strategic plan to the St. Matthew’s Vestry.

Your input is extremely important. It’s vital for this process to work. We invite you to:

● Appreciate the gifts we all bring to our life together at St. Matthew’s

● Make participation in our discernment sessions a top priority.

Please contact our Strategic Planning Team Chair, Mrs. Shaina Berksteiner, Fr. Guillermo, or any other team members with questions about the process.

“Glory to God whose power, working in us, can do infinitely more than we can ask or imagine!”

~ (Ephesians 3:20) ~

Yours in Christ,

The St. Matthew’s Strategic Planning Team

Shaina Berksteiner, Chair

Joenelle Gordon, Vestry Liaison

Idella Jones

Jayda Newton

Karsten Tyson

Monica Gray Williams

Fr. Guillermo Arboleda, Rector

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