Saturday, July 27 2019 by Matt Horan
It is impossible to miss the ways that the Holy Spirit is moving at Heritage now, and preparing us for what is to come in the future. Check out all that’s been happening already this summer!
Summer Camps and Mission Trips
We sent 28 students plus adult leaders to the Jacksonville area to help rebuild homes damaged during last year’s hurricane season, and sent smaller international teams of students and adults to the Bahamas and Brazil. We had three students and six adults serve as Gulf Central District delegates to Annual Conference at Florida Southern College. We had eighteen elementary school students and leaders attend Camp Kidjam in Lakeland, and six of our own students attend (and one preacher’s kid serving as a counselor at) Warren Willis Camp in Leesburg on top of the many sponsored by our Sunday night spaghetti dinners! We welcomed 260 students to our campus for Vacation Bible School week, and as I write, we have 32 students and leaders attending Big Stuff Camp in Panama City, FL.
Making New Disciples of Jesus Christ at Heritage
We have welcomed 32 new members to our congregation so far in 2019, including our awesome confirmation class. We’ve done two beach baptism days this year attended by great groups of church members and friends. Adding those to some really cute babies and one person who just walked up to us on the beach and asked to be baptized too, we have had 10 people baptized for the first time, and 12 who reaffirmed their baptism as part of a renewed commitment to Christ. We’re on pace for our second year in a row of increased worship attendance, and we consistently have over 300 online viewers each week as well.
The Completion of SLI, and the Beginning of our Future
As you know, we partnered with Spiritual Leadership, Inc. (SLI) starting in 2016. Our vision team worked with them to learn how to create a continuous improvement culture at Heritage United Methodist. After three years of tough self-examination of ourselves, as well as examination of our church’s organizational psychology, many on the team feel that they have been through a graduate school program from all of the reading and writing and research they’ve done! Their final product will be:
- An articulation of our mission, vision, values, and strategy in clear and concise language that the whole congregation can learn, live, recite, and share.
- A discipleship growth process that will challenge our congregation to self-assess where they are on their journey, and equip them to take intentional next steps to grow in the core disciplines lived out by followers of Jesus Christ.
- A leadership training process that helps our lay leaders continue to build a culture of continuous improvement in whatever role they serve.
- Missional priorities that will define the impact God is calling us to have on our neighborhood, city, state, nation, and world.
This final product is going through draft and focus group stages, and will be delivered to the congregation for approval, celebration, and commissioning at our 2019 Charge Conference the first week of November. I hope that our entire congregation will plan to attend!
There is much to be thankful for! I want you to know that I give thanks for you and your contributions to the important work of Heritage United Methodist that made all of the above and more possible. May this work continue long into the future, carried on by generations to some!
Sincerely,Print This Post