The newly organized Stewardship Ministry Team met on Wednesday evening, September 11th, and reviewed all the accomplishments Vista Grande United Church of Christ has achieved over the last year. From this, emerged an exciting idea of “How Big Can We Dream?”. Everyone is invited to be part of this theme for the year 2020. We’ll be hearing more about this in the coming weeks as we approach Stewardship Sunday on November 17th, but for now we’d like to share how far we’ve come and how much we’ve accomplished.
- The decision about our physical presence was resolved in July and we are, for the foreseeable future, remaining in our present location. With that determined, we’ve begun the efforts toward maintenance issues, upgrades, and basically giving the church a facelift.
- The cottonwood tree that was an insurance liability has been removed.
- Channel drains have been installed so the rainwater and melting snow will not create an ice issue on the sidewalk.
- The front door has been re-stained (isn’t it beautiful!)
- The Bob Howard Memorial Garden is nearing completion, with only the pathway and pergola yet to complete. (Consider buying a brick to memorialize or honor a loved one as part of the garden.)
- A vision for new signage and improved mission displays is underway.
- Our focus on missions and outreach continue to be a priority.
- We maintain our status as a 5 for 5 church with the UCC denomination which means we give to all 5 areas of mission: Our Church’s Wider Mission, One Great Hour of Sharing, Strengthen the Church, Neighbors in Need, and the Christmas Fund.
- We continue to offer hands-on and financial support of our local missions: Los Pobres, Inside Out Youth Services, Family Promise, and One Nation Walking Together.
- VGUCC directly supports coffee growers in Mexico through our Café Justo connection by using their coffee for our fellowship hour as well as selling directly to the congregation.
- Finding Home is a new LGBTQ+ and 12-step ministry that meets on Friday nights, offering an alternative spiritual experience to Sunday morning worship.
- Our Just Peace team is actively pursuing avenues to make a difference in the areas of homelessness and mental health as directed by the congregation. Additionally, we are well represented at local protests and walks in our new VGUCC blue T-shirts.
- We were delighted this year to call retired Rev. Deborah Tinsley to active ministry as our Minister of Vision and Support.
- VGUCC offers relevant Christian faith formation through the adult “Percolate” group which studies a variety of issues and books Sunday mornings at 8:30. We also offer a community wide study called “Sacred Conversations to End Racism”, with Pastor Clare as facilitator. Plans are in the works for the children to be intentionally included in the Sunday service.
- Lastly, but most importantly, we encounter inspiring, dynamic, relevant sermons and worship services every Sunday, where we experience the Divine and have the opportunity to connect as community. Our choir and special music selections add an important element to our worship experience. This sense of community continues downstairs at fellowship time where we are excited to extend an extravagant welcome to visitors.
We have much to celebrate. The Stewardship Ministry Team recognizes that none of this could be accomplished without the loving, supportive, and generous efforts on the part of each person in our sacred community. We are to be commended for all that has been done, and all are invited to DREAM BIG on how we as a community of faith can expand our reach further in the coming year.
Your Stewardship Ministry Team
Dana Zimmerman Jeanne Harrington
Deborah Tinsley Sandy Gates
John Tinsley Dave Bristow
Chad Siebert Clare Twomey