by Kevin Metz
Living Bridges (LB) and the Congregation Leadership Initiative (CLI) sub-committee wish to thank Ebony Yeboah-Amankwah for her leadership and commitment. Throughout this process, Ebony has been a beacon of light through our 4-year journey of transformation. Ebony’s contributions enable us to land where we are today.
Living Bridges met for the first time June of 2018. The committee was tasked with identifying ways of expanding our ministries both inside and outside of the church doors. LB solicited congregational input and acted to supplement our existing ministries.
By 2020 LB, had identified three key areas of focus: Building usage, fundraising, and advocacy. Our current ministries continued through the pandemic but our vision of expansion was halted. Then something happened.
In 2021, Church of Our Saviour was selected to participate in the Congregational Leadership Initiative. CLI is a year-long program, in collaboration with the Episcopal Church Foundation and the Church Pension Group in partnership with the Office of Black Ministries that provides newer clergy or clergy moving into new rectorships or priest-in-charge positions and their lay leaders with resources, tools and other support to help address the leadership and financial challenges of congregational ministry in the 21st century. It was a great opportunity to work on an existing project but with new information and the ECF team and coaches supporting us along the way!
Throughout this dynamic and intensive process, the CLI sub-committee was able to take the input from the congregation, LB and resources provided by CLI and create a transformation change outline. Our vision was of a Community Impact Center moved by the Holy Spirit that prayerfully collaborates and forms meaningful connections with our neighbors.
The concept of the Community Impact Center leverages our current successes and strengths to focus on 3 areas that we best feel can substantially increase our impact and transform our neighborhood and surrounding community. Those areas include Education & Enrichment, Home & Garden, and Food & Fashion. Our existing ministries fall within these three categories.
In May, the CLI sub-committee updated the congregation on our work. At that time, more ideas and suggestions were shared with the sub-committee. We have incorporated the input into our transformational change process. Many of you volunteered more of your time, knowledge and resources to one of the three areas. Thank you! LB will be calling on you in the fall to commence our transformation.
Until then, LB and CLI sub-committee thank you for your dedication to our current ministries and your willingness to make the vision of the Community Impact Center a success. Should you have any questions, please reach out to Mo. Deb, Jim Simon, Vicki Smith or Kevin Metz.
In the next couple of months, the CLI sub-committee will finish with our outside support, finalize our recommendations, and present our vision to the congregation in September. Watch for updates in the newsletter and during announcements.