Back when we were more accustomed to thinking of the church as an organization, we used to call the various organizational units “committees.” But language shapes our understanding of reality, and the reality is that the church is called to be not so much an organization as it a ministry sent out on a mission. And so we’ve retooled our language and have ordered life and work into “ministry teams.”
The Worship, Education & Program Team (headed up by Donna Goodfriend) works with the pastor to plan worship that is theologically sound, biblically grounded, spiritually uplifting, and playfully creative. The team is guided by the sweep of the Christian year, keeping in mind the particular needs and issues of the Stone Church community of faith and explores innovative approaches to develop worship that is transformational. The team is also responsible for developing opportunities for study and spiritual growth for adults, teens and children; recruiting, training and supporting teachers/facilitators in the educational program; inviting speakers for educational programs. They review and support the work of the Stone Storytellers and provide personnel support and performance evaluation for the Pastor and Director of Music. They meet monthly during the program year, typically on the first Thursday of each month.
Mission, Stewardship & Support Team (led by Mary Ann Stiefvater) is charged with interpreting the mission of the church through speakers, newsletter articles, posters, minutes for mission, etc.; they oversee the management of the Building Stone Fair Trade Shoppe; lift up social justice issues; encourage opportunities for “service to others” (for example, in Hope House); with the whole Session teach good stewardship and plan and carry out the annual campaign; encourage the best use of people’s time and spiritual gifts and talents (as well as their dollars); also responsible for coordinating special offerings (One Great Hour of Sharing, for example) and fundraising events. The MSS Team meets as needed.
The Membership, Communication & Outreach Team (led by Sherry Robinson) reviews and maintains the Parish Group system of care (with each elder having a “Parish Group” of 6-8 households with whom to maintain contact); they also promote a sense of community within the congregation and plan fellowship events such as picnics, progressive dinners, movies nights, game nights, outings, etc.; typically, the team plans three opportunities per year for newcomers to join the church; works to restore inactive members to activity; plans for the collection of photographs of church events and arranges for displays. In addition, they oversee the communications of the church, including production of The Corner Stone, the Stone Church website, bulletin boards, publicity for church events, etc.; they also support the work of the Office Manager. The MCO team also seeks to look at the ministry of the church through the eyes of the outsider to help create a more visitor-friendly experience of Stone Church and arrange for follow-ups with first-time visitors; they meet as needed.
The Property Team (headed up by John Menard and John Stiefvater) is responsible for all matters related to the upkeep, improvement, repair and maintenance of the church building and the manse; the support and relate to the work of the Sexton. They meet as needed.
The Budget & Finance Team (led by Scott Leonard) prepares an annual working version of the budget before the November Session meeting by collecting requests of the various other teams for their ministries in the coming year; reviews the endowment fund/investment portfolio; arranges for the annual audit, oversees the day-to-day financial operations of the church in consultation with the Office Manager and the Treasurer, recommending economies consistent with good stewardship in support of the ministry and mission of the church through its financial resources; meets as needed.
Each of these teams welcomes those with an interest in their particular ministry to let the team leader know. When it comes to ministry, the more the merrier!