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Small Church Roundtable
May 4 @ 12:00 pm - 2:00 pm
Small churches, those with an average Sunday attendance of 30 or fewer people, are welcome to attend this casual get-together. We will share best practices, and compare notes as we brainstorm ways to work together to build God’s kingdom. The Rt. Rev. Katharine Jefferts Schori, Ms. Jan Romerdahl and possibly the Rev. Canon Susan Brown Snook, bishop-elect, will help us strategize and think creatively about about our small church ministry.
RSVP to Alyson Terry: firstname.lastname@example.org by May 1.
Signs of Vitality in Small Congregations
- A generosity of spirit grounded in a theology of abundance.
- The sacraments available as desired and not tied to the wealth, geography, or the size of the congregation
- Openness to creativity and new experience-new people, new ideas, the arts
- Commitment to the ministry of every baptized person-the ministry of every member counts and is received through baptism rather than confirmation or ordination
- Extensive and intensive emphasis on hospitality and keeping the doors open to the community; people in the community know to go there for help
- Immersion in prayer and worship
- Spiritual formation for all is a key value, with an emphasis on small groups for study and nurture
- Intergenerational participation in all aspects of community life
- Experience of reconciliation and healing of the disjointed parts of members’ lives
- Shared leadership and decision making at all levels of the community’s life
- Responsibility for pastoral care, worship and administration facilitated through shared leadership
- A focus on Christ’s mission in the world and a commitment to social justice through outreach and service
- Ecumenical and interfaith partnerships; celebrates denominational identity in an expansive sense and is open to those beyond traditional boundaries
- Ecological consciousness through the care of resources, stewardship and the environment
- If a small and vital congregation were to disappear, it would be missed-not only by its members, but by the wider community as well.
Compiled by Fredrica Harris Thompsett and Sheryl A. Kujawa-Hollbrook, Pastoral Excellence Project, Episcopal Divinity School, Cambridge, Mass, 2005
- Nancy Holland