Vision 2020 Survey and Small Group Feedback

Thank you to all who participated so far in the survey, small groups and individual interviews providing insight about St. Timothy’s past and present and what it means for our future.

As you can imagine we are collecting tons of raw data to consider as we discern what God is calling us to be.  If you have not yet participated in the Vision 2020 process, you will have many other opportunities to do so before we finish.  This round one summary is designed to share feedback to date with all, and prepare the way for the next stage of our discernment journey toward Vision 2020.

To begin this process we asked each other:

  • Why is St. Timothy’s here?
  • Where do you most see God at work at St. Timothy’s?
  • What are our strengths?
  • If you could change one thing at St. Timothy’s, what would it be?
  • If you could create one thing at St. Timothy’s, what would it be?
  • What are the major issues/concerns facing St. Timothy’s over the next year?
  • How can St. Timothy’s be more relevant to your life?  To the community?
  • What do you hope/dream for St. Timothy’s?  In other words, what should/could St. Timothy’s be/look like in 2020?

God is Alive at St. Timothy’s and Calling Us to Consider Our Parish Future.  We heard a symphony of voices who feel that God is alive in this place we call our spiritual home. We heard an outpouring of love for our clergy and staff.   But we realize that during the lifespan of this Vision 2020 plan we face the retirement of Steven and/or Kathy and the call of their replacements for the next stage of parish life.

God reminds us of our Duty to Serve Others. We realize that to meet the financial needs of the parish we must grow our pledge base and membership. We see the demographics of both our parish and the communities we serve changing, the population aging, diversity enriching the fabric of our community and the needs of the underserved and unchurched growing.

Look into the Face of a Child and there you will find God’s Unconditional Love. We celebrate in our feedback St Timothy’s long held passion for youth ministry and creating a “village” to raise our children and celebrate the sacraments together as a faith family. But lament that we lack the resources to sustain the youth ministry staff and programs to meet the needs across age groups.

St. Timothy’s is a Link in an Unbroken Chain of Faith calling us to the Mission of the Church. Through many separate gatherings came many of the same views expressing the values and strengths that make St. Timothy’s special. From the words of the founders to those of newcomers, the same frequently used words of praise are heard:

  • St Timothy was a follower of Paul and our parish name comes from the faith of St. Paul’s Walnut Creek to heed the Bishop’s call to plant a mission church in the San Ramon Valley. We are now part of that unbroken chain of faith called to pass that same gift onto others.
  • We sought to build a community of faith as a spiritual home for our journey toward a loving relationship with God. Our mission is to give that gift to others by growing our church family.
  • I feel welcome and at home here. The second time I came to St. Timothy’s Steven Strane called me by name. Every Sunday someone new finds God through the joy of this place.
  • Kathy’s work and programs feed my soul and help us reach our questions of faith. Her work among the many branches of the faithful in our vineyard strengthens the Body of Christ.
  • St. Timothy’s provides a ‘village’ to raise our children and nurture our spiritual growth.
  • We are an inclusive parish that welcomes all who love God and seek Christ. We see God at work in the faces of people in our faith community. We celebrate our diversity.
  • Everywhere you turn at St. Timothy’s people are doing God’s work in many ways. We need parish financial stability to meet the needs of a vibrant community with programs and ministries to serve all ages, all life stages nurtured by an involved parish community.
  • Our parish mission calls us to outreach to carry on the work of Paul, to feed the poor and love God and each other unconditionally—a welcome light in the darkness that speaks for justice.
  • Steven leads by example and encourages all of us to follow God’s call in our hearts. He empowers us to create a spiritual place where we can find God.

We Celebrate God’s Blessing in our Life at St. Timothy’s. We asked participants to rank topics by order of importance in shaping the Vision 2020 plan.  Here is what you said was most important and the number of times we heard it said:

  1. Inclusiveness (42)
  2. Clergy & Staff (41)
  3. Outreach (34)
  4. Spiritual Growth (33)
  5. Pastoral Care (32) tied with Fellowship (32)
  6. Clergy or program expansion mentioned in other (28)
  7. Music programs (25)
  8. Sermons (24)
  9. Traditional Worship (18) and Youth Programs (18)
  10. Service to Others (16).
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