®Recently, we’ve been working a lot to listen to each other and develop a vision, narrative, and logo which can help us to tell our story at Ford Street Church.
Last week we surveyed the congregation digitally and via paper surveys to see how everyone was feeling about the Embrace, Engage, Encourage vision and the narrative that explains why this vision matters to us. These narrative statements are not intended to be doctrinal or dogmatic (our expression of faith itself is still found in our Articles of Religion and the Confession of Faith in our Book of Discipline, these beliefs are firmly rooted in the person and work of Jesus Christ as expressed in Scripture… THAT NEVER CHANGES) nor are these statements intended to indicate a change in mission (our general purpose always will remain to “make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world”).
A vision and the accompanying narrative is intended to describe how we intend to embody these beliefs and mission in our own particular way at Ford Street Church. Most of you seemed highly supportive of this task. More than 50% of you rated the vision and narrative with a 10 (strongly approve). Those who rated the vision statements and narrative with an 8 or higher represented approximately 90% approval for these ideas expressing who we are. That being said, there were some constructive suggestions, and the Communications Team and Church Council has tried to incorporate and respond to those and incorporate the feedback into a slightly revised narrative set of narrative statements.
Really, what everything comes down to is a searching with God’s Spirit as we together try to discern how to be the best, most authentic, and intentional Ford Street Church. How do we share who we are?! How do we celebrate what God has shaped us to be and live into it more fully?!
The work of developing a logo fits specifically into that questioning as well. How do we take who we are and communicate it in a simple way that leans into our unique identity as a local church? The bell resounding into our community and our United Methodist heritage are both acknowledged in this graphic, and contemporized to demonstrate our continued adaptation for the sake of sharing the gospel.
With that in mind I’m pleased to announce that the Church Council has approved the new Embrace, Engage, Encourage vision, the narrative statements which accompany it, and a new logo all to help us reach the goals named above. It is an exciting time at Ford Street Church! Here is the final statement:
At Ford Street Church, we strive to put our faith into practice in our everyday lives and in our community. We are guided by the sacraments, which embrace us in God’s love, and the scripture, which engages us in living this love out in our world. Founded in 1890, for generations we have worked together to build a strong and resilient foundation through faith, humility, compassion, and service. Now, as we look to the future, we also look to our community–venturing forth in new ways to celebrate and embrace each other and Christ. Through this stewardship, we at Ford Street Church are more than a building in which to gather on Sundays – we are a place of refuge in times of uncertainty, a loving family that encourages respect for all, and a loyal neighbor providing help and encouragement to those outside our doors.
Invitation to All: Ford Street Church is for all people. We invite everyone to be a part of our church community and to share in our Christian faith. We embrace differences and support each individual’s story as we stand united in Jesus Christ. Being part of our church doesn’t mean that we all think or act the same, it means we encourage each other as we grow in our faith. In our ever-changing world, we strive for Ford Street to be a constant source of comfort and connection for all who need it.
We Answer the Call: Warm hearted and generous of spirit, we answer the call when help is needed. Mission work is core to who we are, and it has been for generations. From stocking the shelves of our local food pantry to ensuring children have the necessary supplies needed for school, we strengthen one another within our community, because we know our community strengthens us. We believe it is our responsibility to humbly serve others and to lift up those who need support – no matter who they are and what their circumstances may be. We seek to live our Christian faith through loving service that extends from our doorsteps to the ends of the earth.
Still Resonating Beyond our Walls: Like our church bell that was once a part of our original building, we have called generations of Christians to join us in worship, prayer, and study of the Bible. For more than 130 years, we have weathered the changes and challenges of our world and stood resilient in our unwavering faith and compassionate service to our community. Grounded in the past as we grow toward the future, Ford Street Church continues to adapt – embracing new ways of sharing our faith and venturing forth in order to welcome our friends and neighbors. Building from our rich legacy, we strive to apply our faith and values to the fast-paced and changing world in which we live so that the call to our community is still heard a century from now.