The following was prepared by the Purpose and Vision Committee in January, 2005.
Each of us comes from unique spiritual and cultural backgrounds and, as a congregation, shares similar beliefs, morals, and principles. We arrived at Monroe Congregational Church for a variety of reasons and circumstances, and have discovered one or more “connections” - spiritual, emotional, musical, pastoral, and the like - that have drawn us into the congregation’s life. We willingly contribute our talents, energy, and skills to our various initiatives, and continually strive to expand the breadth and quality of our programs and missions. Our common link is that we are seeking God and responding to God’s call to be a faith community.
We each have a unique perspective on the purpose of the broader “church” and Monroe Congregational Church in our community and world. While our initiatives are generally spiritually based and motivated, we sometimes lose focus of the underlying purpose. We need to ask, “Does this initiative advance us toward the fulfillment of God’s Kingdom?” We need to continue to evaluate each initiative to ensure that we are keeping God’s Kingdom at the heart of the motivation behind it.
The Purpose and Vision Committee has been diligently working with the congregation to discern and discover the answers to the following questions:
What is our purpose as a church?
Where do we believe God is calling us in the future?
Through a series of small group meetings over the past six months, the Committee members met with 90 members of the congregation to study scripture, openly discuss these questions, and identify common themes. This document represents the culmination of the Committee’s discoveries, and we are proud to share this with you.
With God’s Grace,
The Purpose and Vision Committee
Co-Chairs: Pete Allen and Andy Nivison
Members: Marge Atkins, Ken Fredeen, Cynthia Robinson, Steve Spillane, Pat Summerer, Ron Villani, David Ward, and Jacque Ward
Who is Monroe Congregational Church?
The identity of Monroe Congregational Church is characterized by the following traits:
What is the Purpose of Monroe Congregational Church?
- Diverse: We are diverse in background, perspective, and beliefs, but lovingly welcome each other in the congregational family. We conscientiously strive to build unity in Christ.
- Active: We are an extremely active congregation, both inside and outside the Meeting House. We provide a variety of opportunities to participate with other congregants and build relationships. We also have a high expectation that members belong to at least one group or committee, and are not afraid to actively recruit participation.
- Encouraging: We encourage each other to learn and grow spiritually.
- Youth Oriented yet Intergenerational: We are committed to guiding our children in their spiritual growth, and to providing a spiritually energizing atmosphere for all generations. Children are good for us spiritually, and they teach us something important about faith.
- Caring: We embody Christ’s love and caring for each other, and continually reach out to those in need regardless of their circumstances.
- Comforting yet Challenging: We strive to provide comfort and support in times of need, yet invite each other to question and be challenged by the gospel.
- Grateful yet Confessional: We are blessed and truly thankful for what we have, and aware of our sin and our need for God’s grace.
- Rooted and Foresighted: We embrace and respect the tradition and history of Monroe Congregational Church, and use this knowledge to guide our future programs and planning.
- Covenantal: We are able to do all of this not because we all believe the same things but because God has called into covenant with each other in the Spirit of Christ.
- Balancing: We are continually striving to find a balance between inward and outward faith.
- Confessing: We acknowledge the gap between God’s purpose and vision and our efforts striving toward that. We realize that the fulfillment of God’s kingdom does not rest solely on our shoulders.
The short answer is “to transform the lives of people who will in turn transform the world.” This transformed world is the Kingdom of God – a place of peace, love, and justice for all of the peoples of the world.
As a Christ-centered church, we believe that the primary ways of fulfilling our purpose are to:
In fulfilling its purpose in this manner, there are many things that the church, as both an institution and as a group of people in covenant with each other, must strive to do and to be. With God’s help, we, as the people of Monroe Congregational Church, strive as a faith community to:
- Create and nurture disciples of Jesus Christ that live and witness the Gospel.
- Create and nurture a community to be the Body of Christ in the world.
...all to the fulfillment of God’s Kingdom.
- Worship God faithfully
- Draw ourselves into closer relationship with God and each other
- Provide a place of comfort, security, and belonging
- Foster unconditional love
- Care for and support others both within and beyond the church
- Draw out gifts from our members and empower them to use these gifts faithfully
- Learn, grow, and expand our faith
- Teach, share, and witness to the lessons of our faith
- Welcome people into our covenantal community
Where Do We Believe God is Calling Monroe Congregational Church?
Using Jesus’ life and ministry as our guiding example, we are called to become:
Ever closer to God …
By being living witnesses to the transforming power of God’s unconditional love.
Beyond our congregation and Monroe Congregational Church, we will embrace God’s unconditional love for us and communicate his love to children, members and neighbors. Recognizing that how we live our lives is the strongest way to communicate God’s love, we will also communicate this through different outreach and educational opportunities, particularly Christian education.
Ever closer to each other …
By learning to manage and live through conflict and change constructively, faithfully, and with love. The overall health of our congregation depends on our ability to effectively manage through difficult issues and potential conflicts. We need to learn how to creatively address conflicts, and despite our personal opinions, discern a resolution that is most consistent with our role in the fulfillment of God’s kingdom. We also need to foster an environment where discussion and debate are welcomed.
Ever closer to God’s Kingdom …
By expanding our active, outward ministry in community and world – especially where we are uncomfortable, at risk, and challenged.
And by giving and living sacrificially: working toward “all that we are and all that we have…”