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Ambler, PA, United States
We are a congregation founded in 1753 and have been in the same basic location that entire time.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Insight into values of the area

There was a survey put together of the values of the surrounding neighbors in Ambler.  Below is the information from these questioners and there results.

Demographic Survey Results for UDLC

The Synod puts together demographic reports on the area we live in.   This information is used by our transition team to look at growth.

Pastor Detweiler and the transition team believes this is a great bit of information to share with the congregation.  These files are much larger than the page usually allows, but we thought it was important to share this information with you all.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Mission Task Force Report, December 5th.

Mission Task Force Report
December 5, 2011
Leaders: Dave Patti & Linda Breckenridge

The Mission of Upper Dublin Lutheran Church is:

To invite and welcome all people to know Jesus, to provide spiritual nourishment and to join in God’s ministries so that we will be strengthened to serve.

The Vision Statement of Upper Dublin Lutheran Church is:

We seek to become faithful servants glorifying God, by leading people to Jesus, by ministering to our community and world with good works, and by empowering disciples for Christ.

Mission/Identity/Lutheran Linkages Tasks
From ELCA Guide for Lay Leaders
What are our most vital ministries?
Look objectively at congregational strengths and weaknesses
How are we fulfilling our mission and vision?
Redefine the purpose and direction of the church
What could we be doing to better fulfill it?
Orient toward the future
Where is the Spirit leading us?
Reconnect with ELCA and synodical resources and programs
What are we doing with other Lutheran congregations and organizations?
Reflect on Lutheran theology and tradition as it affects mission and ministry

Attendees:   Karen Adams (Prayer and Discernment) Linda Breckenridge, Doris Brown (Prayer and Discernment), George Clark, Dee Coyle, Karla Grafton, Kent Griswold (Transition Team), Kiersten Harrington, Judy Rosenwinkel, Cheryl Rozinski, Jody Sprague, Livvy Steffens, and Sandy Silbiger

 Accomplishment:     Attendees compiled the responses submitted by 37 UDLC members to the questionnaires we distributed.  A summary of the responses begins on the second page of this report.

Plans:  Pastor Detweiler gave us three pages from the Ministry Site Profile. (see page 4 of this report.)  Each attendee received copies and has agreed to read the questions, pray about them, and jot down ideas about them between now and our next meeting.

We will meet again on Thursday, December 15, at 7:00 PM to write our answers these questions.
Summary of Responses

 1.  What are our most vital ministries?

Our most vital ministries are Worship, Education, Youth, and Outreach

Our worship ministry includes our three very different worship services, our band, choirs, and organ, our Christmas Eve, Lenten and Holy Week worship services, and the many worship assistants who make these services possible.

Our education ministry includes Sunday classes for all ages, a large catechetical program, weekly Bible studies, small study groups, retreats, and our weekday nursery school.

Our youth ministries include Tween, Junior,and Senior youth groups with their large variety of activities and ministries.

Our community outreach includes OHAAT Beds for Kids, Chosen 300, Community Cupboard, Loaves & Fishes, Parish Heath Team, Appalachian Service Project, Hospitality Network, Troop Packages, Financial Peace University, Marriage Ministry, Prayer Shawl Ministry, and the Flea Market.

Our global outreach includes the support of ministries in Tanzania, China, Egypt, Libya, Haiti, and Kenya.

2.  How are we fulfilling our mission and vision?

We invite people to know Jesus with genuine caring and personal contacts, with our signage and website, and by sharing our facilities with community groups.

We welcome people by greeting visitors with genuine caring, by offering coffee and snacks at our coffee bar, and by providing comfortable and attractive facilities.

We provide spiritual nourishment with three unique weekly worship services, youth and adult education classes, inspiring music, small interest and study groups, Bible studies, and fellowship on Sunday mornings. 

We join in God’s ministries with our community and global outreach programs.

That we empower disciples for Christ is evident in the number of leaders and  member-started ministries and small groups we have in our congregation.

3.  What could we be doing to better fulfill our mission and vision?

We could better invite by having a coordinated evangelism program to attract new members, by reinstating our “Sunday caller” program, and by improving our ability to frequently update our website.

We could better welcome by providing cleaner facilities and more parking, and by wearing name tags regularly.

We could better nourish by using a variety of media to communicate with members, by providing more fellowship opportunities for people to meet and know those who attend different worship services, by contacting members whose attendance has dropped off, by plugging new members into committees, small groups and ministries, and by creating more small groups for members with specific interests and needs.

We could better join in God’s ministries by working with local disaster relief efforts, and by publicizing our various ministries so that members are more aware of them.

4.  What are we doing with other Lutheran congregations and organizations?

With Cathedral Church in Tanzania, we support a scholarship program, the widow’s group, the six sub-parishes, our ELCA missionary, and visitations.

With St. John’s Lutheran Church  in Mayfair  we support a community cupboard.

With Gloria Dei Lutheran Church we share youth activities and OHAAT responsibilities.

With St. Peter’s Lutheran Church in Lafayette Hill we support their Boars Head Festival with our attendance and share a quilt day.

With The Lutheran Theological Seminary in Philadelphia we attend retreats, gatherings, worship services, and learn from their professors in Adult Forum.

With Southeastern PA Synod we attend conferences and gatherings.

With Lutheran Children and Family Services we sponsor refugee families.

With ELCA we support world hunger and global mission events.

With LWR we send money to Egypt, Libya and Haiti.

5.  Where is the Holy Spirit Leading Us?   We have yet to be so bold as to answer this question.

These are the seven questions from the Ministry Site Profile.   Please study and pray about them before our meeting on December 15.  We must answer each in 250 words or less.

1.  How does this congregation understand its reason for being in light of God’s call to mission and service?  Who are you?   Why are you here?

2.  What are your gifts and resources for fulfilling this purpose?  What are the congregation’s top three assets and how are they being used?  Are there obstacles that must be overcome to be able to use these gifts and accomplish the mission?

3.  Describe your congregation’s current programs for mission and ministry.

4.  If there is a Strategic Plan in place for the congregation, what are the primary goals to which you are committed?

5.  What is your congregation really excited about right now?

6.  How does this congregation see itself as a member and active participant in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America and the synod?

7.  In light of the way you have described your ministry context in this Ministry Site Profile, what are the top three mission priorities which, if accomplished, hold the most promise for the continued development of this ministry?

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Are we leveraging the groups that meet in our building?

Things we currently do:
* Welcome Cart in Narthex with information/material to take with
* Sunday School & Global Mission Bulletin board
* TV monitors which are on when Preschool is in session but off at night

* Have an Event Coordinator who would be available at least at the beginning of an event to welcome people, show them where things are, tell them (nicely) if they unplug anything it all needs to be put back the way it was – smiling while saying everything!
Welcoming wall art in meeting rooms (You are always welcome here, God loves you, etc)
* 2 week Blitz of Hospitality to people meeting in our building where we would welcome people to the church set up a complimentary refreshment table outside of meeting room and be there every night to greet and offer hospitality – possibly do twice a year
* Have some visitor’s bags (we would like to get the reusable grocery store bags that people can re-use) in all meeting rooms available for anyone to take with them
* We would like an app tag that people could use their smart phones to link them to our web-site immediately just by using the app tag – this could be publicized around the building as well, put on our visitors bags etc.
* Have our building be available for use as a venue for meeting rooms by non-profits, advocacy groups, local groups etc. the more people talk about UDLC the better.

Evangelism Readiness Assessment Survey

Evangelism Readiness Assessment Survey
In a very unscientific survey, using a small sample we scored as follows in the following areas (these are just the high and low questions):
Our church has a clear, written vision statement that pictures our desired future
Our church has completed a spiritual and demographic analysis of our target group and can describe the community’s hopes, fears and values (with notes that we are currently working on this)
Our Church plans outreach events such as special events, guest speakers, and topical sermon series.
We have an easy-to-navigate website with its own domain name that close matches the name of the church, providing essential information about us and clear communication about our identity.
Our church has allocated funds for local outreach programs, events and tools.
Our church has a paid or volunteer outreach director overseeing an outreach team.
We provide quality childcare and Sunday school activities for children, and a youth program for teens.
Attenders are contacted after their visit by phone, letter or thank-you card.
Our entrance is visible from the street and well-marked.
Our leadership structure is designed to facilitate outreach through a minimum of red tape and a clear priority to outreach.
Our outreach team has a budget for advertising, direct mail, and other tools and can easily access the funds.
Barriers to Outreach
***Newcomers are not limited to a single point-of-entry, but are given multiple entry points in addition to our Sunday service, such as special events, women’s groups, small groups, children’s programs, and fin arts program***
Barriers to Outreach
Newcomers are not expected to find the church only on their own, but are actively invited to attend by their church friends who have been trained to use specially designed invitations.

Past Ideas for Evangelism  
* Welcome Fest – Rich Krizner & George organized – Band played out front, speakers, t-shirts, food activities invited the local community
* Flea Market – put an invitation to worship in each bag sold
* Sheparding Team – if people haven’t come in a while would follow up with them
* Outside signs for special programs, inviting the community to join us
* Nursery School
* Pastor Al was involved in community programs: Rotary, Interfaith Hospitality Network
* Offering various book studies/guest speakers
* New Members class
* Super Greeters
* Sunday Outreach Callers
* Social Videos groups etc. the more people talk about UDLC the better

Future Ideas for Evangelism

* Volunteer Coordinator (perhaps 2 or more) – volunteer to match up new members with existing ministries so that they can be involved in a timely manner

* Event Coordinator – someone who would welcome groups to our church, show them where the bathrooms are, explain that if they move or unplug something they MUST put it back the way they found it prior to leaving, smiling as they say it. 

* Re-launch/Rename the Evangelism committee (to Outreach committee?) – new Pastor could be involved in this, find new chairperson invite members to be involved and hold meetings again.  Some members of this committee have expressed a desire to help re-launch the team

* Educate congregation on what exactly Evangelism is (everything we do) and that you don’t have to go to Seminary to share your faith.

* Divide and conquer, make the tasks for outreach small enough that one person isn’t burdened with everything and each person makes a contribution.

* Would like to have a one day event each year (maybe in early June) with all leaders of all ministries to go over their respective calendars  so that synergies could be identified and ministries could be even more interconnected.  Everyone  would be aware of what we’re each ministry is  doing  and we would all be on the same page.  At that event we could collect from each ministry what they want in the visitor bags that year.
* Our website needs to be updated in a timely manner and freshened up a bit  with video clips so as to attract people.

* Not only have Visitor Bags in every room, keep some on top of the mailboxes for any member to give out to someone who is identified as a visitor (may have signed the visitor log in your row as a visitor, you may find out while talking with them.  We need to educate our members to do be ambassadors for Christ.  Especially have a lot of bags available for Christmas and Easter.

Results of the Ministry Survey

UDLC Ministries, Activities & Programs
 A= adult     YA= young adult (post high school-30yrs.)  Y= youth & children      
Global Ministry : all are welcome but tends to be A

World Hunger
A, Y
Scholarship Program
A and families
Global Christmas Shop
A, Y
Companion Congregation Connection
Global Discussions
Refugee Resettlement

Social Ministry

Red Cross Blood Drive
Chosen 300
A, Y
One House at a time
A, Y
Loaves & Fishes
Parish Healthcare
Community Cupboard Supporter
A, YA, Y
Flea Market
A, Y
Inter-Faith Outreach

Koinonia I    A
Project Day Workers  All are Welcome but tend to be   A
Women’s Circle  All women invited but tend to be older women 60+
Eve Circle

Men’s Breakfast  All Welcome but tend to be older men 60+
Tech Team  All invited but tend to be older 30+ some youth
   Computer support

Fishing MinistryAll invited but tend to be older men 30+
Day trips for fishing and fellowship

Women’s RetreatAll invited by tend to be older women 30+
Marriage Ministry  All married couples invited but tends to be older 40+
Married Couples

Educational Ministries/Small Group Studies

Adult Sunday School
A – all adults but tends to be older
Life Keys Seminar
A, YA, Y
Men’s Study Group
Men’s Retreat
A – 40+
Women’s Daytime Bible Study
UDLC Book Club
Coffee/Refreshments (after Sunday Worship)
A, YA, Y
Disaster Preparedness Team
Prayer Shawl Ministry
A – women
Collators (afternoons help collate Sunday bulletins, This Week and Puffs Corner
Green Team-educate and encourage recycling
A – all are welcome
Fit & Fun Functional Training Class-Meds  & exercise
Mom’s Club
Kaizen-Discussion group

Financial Peace ClassA  and   YA
Offering Counters     A

Property Committee    A   tends to be older adults  30+
Cemetery committee     A  tends to be older adults  30+
Worship and Music Ministries

Assisting Minister
A, YA, Y
Communion Assistant
A, YA but mostly older A
Homebound Communion Assistant
A – mostly older
Parish Healthcare
Community Cupboard Supporter
A, YA, Y
Flea Market
A, Y
Inter-Faith Outreach
Chancel Choir
A – mostly older adults 50+ all welcome
Angelic Voices
Y K-2
Voices of Praise
Y 2-6
For the Band
Y - All welcome tends to be MS & HS kids
For the Spirit
A 30+


Super Greeter
A (tends to be 30+ only at 7:45 Service
Sunday Outreach Caller
A, family
New Members/Sponsor Program
A, YA, Y
Public Relations
A-All welcome tends to be 30+

Stewardship & Spiritual Gifts

Special Needs Ministry
Families w/children/youth w/special needs
Special Events
A, YA, Y
Church Library
A, YA, Y (but mostly for Adults)
Cradle Roll
Y under 3 years
Weekday Nursery School
Y (2 Yrs – 5 yrs)
VBS (Vacation Bible School)
Y (4 yrs to completed 4th grade)

Youth Ministry

Junior Youth Group
Y (3rd& 4th Grade)
Tween Group
Y (6th& 7th Grade)
Jr. & Sr. High Youth Group
Y (8th-12th Grade)
Appalachia Service Project
A & Y (8th-12th grade)

Christian Education for Children and Youth

Y (7th – 9th grade)
Children and Youth Sunday School
Y (3yrs – Sr. high)
First Holy Communion
Y (all ages but intended for 5th gr.)
Y (Older teens/Adult buddies for special needs children – Christian education