First United Methodist Church

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Embracing the Vision: Family Dinner Anyone?

One of the benefits we have as members of FUMCWP is to experience and be part of an intergenerational family. Because of this, we are afforded opportunities to grow in faith with others outside of our own contexts. As we gear up for advent and the launch of our new church vision, our vibrant family is already at work living into this vision of energy, grace, passion, and servitude. 

Family Dinner Anyone?

Our family has many different dynamics and facets. Two of which include Forum and Kinfolk.  

The Forum is a Sunday School class for those who would not otherwise attend Sunday School. The class is most often a led-conversation among its mixed participants on topics encountered in current life which is woven in theological and secular insights. The goals of the class include:

  • Empowering individuals to strengthen their spiritual gifts.
  • Extending care to those in need. 
  • Welcoming and discussing new ideas in a safe setting. 

Kinfolk is our Young Adult Ministry led by Jon Tschanz. Recently Kinfolk shifted from a traditional weekly meeting model to one that fully embraces all aspects of life. This model consists of 3 elements:

  • Large, corporate settings that rotate through events shaped by action: Eat. Worship. Serve. Play.
  • Small, intimate settings that include relational groups and non-traditional meet-ups. For example: Pub Night (Thursday nights).  
  • Leadership development through an innovation lab that encourages members to understand personal calling and individual gifts. Through this development component, members are able to cultivate ministries and creative experiences that use their backgrounds, skills, and gifts to create new ways to engage others within their faith journeys. 

Now, flashback to the night of November 6, 2017. Forum and Kinfolk met together for a time of food, family, and fellowship at Bill and Beth Neidlinger’s for a joint family dinner. “This is the second year we’ve held a joint dinner. There were around 40 people – half from Forum and half from Kinfolk” says Jon. Bill is known for saying ‘Get into the kitchen!’ Dinner and conversation are great ways to build relationships and community. “We challenged the group to eat with someone they didn’t already know from the other group” he continues. A family dinner – it really is as simple as that.  

With Anticipation and Excitement

In Pastor David’s Legacy series, he paved the way for the new church vision the Leadership Team has been developing over the past year. As we anticipate and eagerly wait for this new launch, we are afforded the time to prepare our hearts for embracing this concept of a vibrant family. In Andy Stanley’s book Visioneering, he states, “It is interesting that Nehemiah never prayed for God to rebuild the wall. What he prays for is an opportunity to go rebuild it himself. That is the difference between a dreamer and a visionary. Dreamers dream about things being different. Visionaries envision themselves making a difference. Dreamers think about how nice it would be for something to be done. Visionaries look for an opportunity to do something” (2016, p. 34).  

As we look forward to January and the launch of the new church vision, several of our staff members had to opportunity to attend the Deep & Wide Tour discussing: 

  • Aligning church mission. 
  • Catalysts to faith.
  • Approaching the next generation.

“The conference challenged our definition of discipleship and really pushed me to discern the mission of the church” says Andrea Levreault, Assistant Director for Student Ministries.