Transition Updates

Transition Team News – Sunday 4.28.24

A short update today. We now have gathered all the research data and input from congregation members that will be used to create the Mission Site Profile that prospective applicants will view. The next several weeks will be spent writing the Profile. And with our target completion date at the end of May we’ll be ready to forward it to the Synod right on schedule!

So, the next time we’ll present Transition Team News will be when we have completed our task and passed it along for the Synod to pick up the torch. With God’s grace and a bit of luck they’ll find us a/some great candidates by the end of June if not before.

Transition Team News – Sunday 4.21.24

Today is the last day to complete the Mission Site Profile questionnaire we released last Sunday. It was designed to identify some specific characteristics of our congregation – as a community, our leadership style, our programming, our theological perspective. We’ve received over 30 responses. If you haven’t yet and still want to have your opinions entered, the link to the survey was in Lynne’s email this week. And it will be posted in Luther Hall as part of this update.

So, what’s coming up this week? All the data that’s been collected will be consolidated, ready for our Transition Team writers to put their pens to paper in May, finalizing the MSP to send to the Synod.

Transition Team News – Sunday 4.14.24
The news for this week was mostly shared in our Wednesday email containing the summary of CAT results and the link to the video of Pastor Anderson’s zoom meeting.
A summary of the summary (hmmm) is that the results were highly validated because of the large number of respondents, both those who regularly attend service and those who are less frequently in the pews. It showed that overall satisfaction with how things are going is high and overall energy or excitement in the church is very high! Priorities for future growth and attention were clearly identified, with the top three being:
1. Make necessary changes to attract families with children and youth to our church.
2. Develop and implement a comprehensive strategy to reach new people and incorporate them into the life of the church.
3. Provide more opportunities for Christian education and spiritual formation at every age and stage of life.
The complete summary results page will be posted on the church website along with this weekly report.

So now, we begin actual preparation of the Ministry Site Profile, the document describing Holy Cross that the Synod will provide for interested candidates. Part of this includes the ‘Why us?’ question that we referred to last week. You can help us discern answers to this question today in coffee hour! And for bonus points, we’ll also ask you for some detail about the priority requesting more opportunities for Christian education. What does Christian education mean to you? What should we be doing at Holy Cross?
Join us for these fun activities in Luther Hall!

Congregation Assessment Tool Survey Results Summary
Demographics of respondents:
• 97 total respondents, 118% of average attendance, providing highly validated data results. Excellent!
• 87% attend church more than once per month; 13% are infrequent attendees.
• 77% were 65+ years old; 17% between 55-64; the balance spread between 19-44 years of age.
Overall satisfaction with how things are going is high and overall energy or excitement in the church is very high! This positions us extremely well as a mission driven ‘transformation’ church. This type of church typically is a source of new meaning and purpose for their members and is one that can serve as a mentor for other churches. What pastor wouldn’t want to join us!?

We feel we’ve been effective in fulfilling the mission as expressed in our current mission statement although we may need to rethink its basic purpose and mission if it is to be effective in the future. 3 Top Priorities in which respondents would like additional energy placed to expand or improve our ministries:
1. Make necessary changes to attract families with children and youth to our church.
2. Develop and implement a comprehensive strategy to reach new people and incorporate them into the life of the church.
3. Provide more opportunities for Christian education and spiritual formation at every age and stage of life.

Additional overall priorities of note include:
• Extend outreach ministries that provide direct services to those living on the margins of society. (i.e. homeless, immigrant, transient persons)
• Adapt the opportunities provided by the church making them more accessible given the pace and schedule of my life.
• Change or improve the music of the church to deepen our worship experience.
• Develop ministries that work toward healing those broken by life circumstances.
• Work to renew and revitalize the community around the church by building coalitions with partners that share this vision and commitment.
A few more key results:
• We are a ‘Conservative-Adaptable’ church, valuing the bridge between traditional understandings of Christian beliefs and contemporary life experiences. Think of how Rich and each of our interim pastors are masters at retelling Biblical stories of individual encounters with God in a way that pulls us into our own experiences.
• Not surprisingly, the degree to which members perceive that the congregation is engaged in offering themselves and their resources to folks who are new, different, or in need was high. The friendly atmosphere that prevails among the members of Holy Cross is a major driver of our energy level.
• The degree to which we believe our faith is central to our lives is high, correlating with the level of hospitality noted above and level of financial giving that has increased in each of the last 3 years.
• While it doesn’t show in the top priorities above, are we actively helping members identify their gifts and connecting them to ministries that best fit those gifts? As examples, have we actively sought out those with musical talents or children’s ministries?

Transition Team News – Sunday 4.7.2024
Congratulations and thank you to everyone who completed a Congregation Assessment Tool! With almost 100 surveys received, we have provided the Holy Cow! consulting group an excellent summary of where members think Holy Cross should head in the future as well as a picture of our congregation’s vibrant culture.
In early April, the interpretation of survey results will be shared with Council and the Transition Team via a zoom meeting from the Synod. Subsequently, a link to the presentation will be shared with everyone. Keep an eye on your email for this.
The next phase of the transition process is well underway, with Team members studying community needs and the state of church worship and ministries. Thank you again to those who have offered thoughts about this to the Team.

Lastly, we will be asking the congregation to help us discern “Why us?”  What does Holy Cross offer to the communities we serve? What would be lacking if we went away tomorrow? Announcements about this opportunity will be made soon.

So…who are we in the eyes of the community? What does our community view our presence to be?

Transition Team News – Sunday 3.31.24

BIG thanks to everyone who completed a CAT survey – nearly 100 have been received!

There’s still time until the extended deadline on Easter Sunday if you haven’t gotten yours in yet. The link has been e-mailed.

AND, remember that additional comments are welcome. Is there anything specific you want to share about our worship or programs that you love? Anything that you wish were different? Ideas for new ministries that might further our mission as a Compassionate Christian Community? If so, you can fill out one of the forms in the Narthex or share your thoughts with any Transition Team member. All our names are posted in Luther Hall. Deadline for submitting your comments is Sunday April 7th.

Transition Team News – Sunday 3.24.24

We’ve reached a 46% response rate on our Congregation Assessment Tool survey – can we make it 50!?
If you just haven’t had the 30 minutes to dedicate to the multiple-choice survey, we still want to hear your voice!
So, we’ve been able to extend today’s deadline one week to Easter Sunday. Hoping this will allow a few more folks to take part.

As a reminder, the link and the QR Code are posted in Luther Hall. And an email will come out this afternoon with the link as well.
We won’t have a report on Easter Sunday, but be on the lookout for email updates.

Transition Team News – Sunday 3.17.24
Great news everyone! 81 Congregation Assessment Tool surveys have already been completed – 45% of the total number sent out. According to Pastor Barter, this is one of the best response rates he’s seen. And we’re not done yet! Still a week to go before our deadline on Palm Sunday!

The next step will be for Holy Cow Consulting group to tally the responses. Once received, we’ll invite Pastor Anderson from the Synod to interpret the results for us in a recorded zoom meeting with Council and the Transition Team. The link to the recording will then be offered to the congregation at large.
And finally, the data from the CAT will be included in the Ministry Site Profile along with details from the community and church service research that the Transition Team has begun to gather. This document is how prospective pastors will learn about us.

A few reminders:
Paper surveys are still available in the Narthex for anyone uncomfortable or unable to complete it online.
The names of Transition Team members, the CAT QR Code, and all the weekly updates are posted in Luther Hall. The updates are also on the website.
And last but definitely not least, your additional input is welcome – you can write your thoughts on one of the forms in the Narthex or just email a Team member.

Again, great work everyone!

Transition Team News – 3.10.24

Great work everyone! As of Friday, we received 49 completed surveys! Out of the 182 sent that’s 27% already in.
For those who haven’t been able to fill out their CAT yet, here’s another way to access the online form! A handy QR Code! Now’s the time to bring out your iPhone to pull that up to be sure you beat the Palm Sunday deadline! This will also be posted in Luther Hall to be sure no one is tempted to complete the survey during Pastor Krick’s sermon this morning.

A little more detail on the next steps:
The Team’s Research group has already gathered extensive community demographic information for York County towns as well as Scarborough.
The Systems group has an initial format established to itemize and evaluate what goes on at Holy Cross – dividing the work into reviews of our bylaws, constitution, worship, church life, methods of communication, community partnerships, and physical plant.
The Team welcomes input from the congregation. To make that easy, there is a form in the Narthex that can be filled out. Or you can email any member of the Transition Team. The list of members is posted in Luther Hall.

So far, the process of transition planning is going very well. No surprise, given this congregation. Thanks to all!

Holy Cross Transition Team

Chair: Lynne Gaudette

Researchers:
Faith Gilman
Alyce Carrera
Dorothy Haws
Ellen Michalowski
Michele Noble

Systems Persons:
Vicky Cherry
Paul Dargis
Karen Fung
Jack Kupp
Michele Noble
Judy Smith

Writers:
Faith Gilman
Janet Miller

Spokespersons:
Lynne Gaudette
Walter Smith

Undeclared/Available:
Dorothy Haws