Strategies for Ministry
United Church of Angel Fire
Angel Fire, New Mexico
To Be Divine Love in Action
To grow and empower a transforming spiritual community in God’s love through worship, Christian education, outreach, stewardship, fellowship, and congregational care.
To realize the vision, we intend to accomplish the mission through:
· Welcoming, faith-sustaining worship experiences
· Stimulating Christian education
· Responsible, servant-based outreach
· Proactive congregational stewardship that helps grow a more effective ministry
· Creative evangelism
· Effective care for the congregation and family-building fellowship activities
· Careful stewardship of the building, grounds, and cemetery
· Effective financial and operational administration in support of the mission
Worship: To deepen and enrich congregational and individual faith journeys through spiritual growth utilizing preaching, prayer, music, and congregational participation in preparing and conducting worship.
1. Train new council members on monthly worship responsibilities as soon as they join the council.
2. Invite part-time council members to sign up for monthly worship assignments first.
3. Include specific procedures for readers and collection counters in the Monthly Worship Responsibilities for Council Members.
4. Develop procedures for identifying and assisting (handicapped) parishioners with communion.
5. Invite new church members and regular visitors to participate in worship.
6. Working with the Sunday school teachers include children in worship services, especially as acolytes (weekly), and ushers and greeters (2nd Sundays).
7. Grow the children’s choir in membership.
8. Build a children’s music library to use throughout the year.
9. Create and train a Technical Team responsible for use and implementation of all social media, website, and ProPresenter software needs and design.
10. Subscribe to, train users, and implement use of Planning Center Online as a scheduling tool and media/music library for musicians to have access to all music media stored online.
11. Document procedures for obtaining substitute preachers.
1. Eventually include the use of rudimentary musical instruments such as hand bells, guitar, and percussion instruments in the children’s choir.
2. Investigate the feasibility of videotaping services and other events for inclusion as pod-casts on the church website.
3. Enlarge the sound booth to include space for the ProPresenter computer and technician.
1. Emphasize seasonal choirs, small group music, guest musicians, and contemporary music to facilitate a blended worship service.
2. Use the audio/visual equipment as an enhancement to worship.
3. Promote and recruit new singers/musicians for music teams.
4. Continue 5th Sunday Hymn sings.
5. Continue some form of summer musical event.
6. Working with Fellowship, continue the summertime outdoor worship service and congregational picnic.
Missions: To acknowledge and fulfill Jesus’ commandment to love and care for others locally and around the world through:
1. Local missions, including ecumenical community interaction, support of the ALMS program, meeting individual needs for assistance, and supporting church-housed groups.
2. Support national and world missions, including UCAF’s four founding denominations and responses to special stewardship and mission opportunities, such as One Great Hour of Sharing or disaster responses.
1. Provide continued support for the ALM program through financial assistance, maintaining a seat on the board, and assistance with sacking and delivery;
2. Support of UCAF Firewood Angels in supplying wood to needy families for home heating and cooking as needed;
3. Support of the Taos Men’s Shelter needed supplies, meals and other approved items;
4. Support of the Christmas Angel Tree program;
5. Support Eagle Nest Schools through programs including the backpack program, the school supply kits, financial support for the nurse, the art program, and the pre-school program, and continuing to offer the annual Teacher’s Luncheon;
6. Respond to local needs as they arise like providing emergency funding to pay utility bills or other urgent needs;
7. Support of our four founding denominations, to include US and international disaster aid when possible;
8. Consider / allow mission oriented uses of the downstairs space including, but not limited to, local outreach programs, community emergency needs, and other human needs opportunities;
9. Support the local Fire Station / EMS personnel with occasional goodies / meals;
10. Support of the Veteran’s Wellness Retreats with a dinner or other means;
11. Develop / maintain a list of volunteers who could help with specific tasks when needs arise;
12. Develop / maintain a listing of helpful community services and contacts for the needy;
13. Reinstate and support the Blessing Bag ministry in the Parent’s Night Out program;
14. Use frequent Missions Moment during the worship services, as well as the monthly Glow, to provide feedback to the congregation on ongoing projects and / or call for volunteer’s support;
15. And provide quarterly updates to the UCAF Council to report on church mission activities and finances.
1. Investigate the possibility of offering support to HEART in Taos, an emergency assistance, transitional housing and support service for homeless women.
2. Engage UCAF and community to support ongoing and future mission opportunities.
3. Identify individuals to lead each mission activity.
Membership Outreach (Evangelism): To share the Word with the community and to encourage others to join in the UCAF family in worship, study, & service with a focus to:
1. Reach those in the community with a caring spirit.
2. Make visitors feel welcome.
3. Help new members become assimilated into the life of the church.
4. See that all members have opportunities for involvement.
1. Keep church leaflet up to date and make sure every visitor sees it. (We do not print many at one time because positions on the council list change.)
2. Advertise special programs and Sunday School. This should be coordinated with other ministries such as Christian Education, Church Secretary and Worship.
3. Report a list of visitors to Council for follow-up with any they may know personally; coordinate visitor greeting and follow-up as part of worship service coordination.
4. 1st time visitors plan is being used, but a better plan for continued visitors needs to be put in place.
5. Present all 1st time visitors with welcome packet including: visitor registration card, package of notecards, church brochure and cemetery brochure. Ensure name tags are given to visitors and new members. (Coordinate with Church Secretary and Worship Chairman responsible for greeters.)
6. Send note, card or email to Sunday Visitors following Sunday Worship.
7. Present new members with new member gift bag – coordinate with Congregational Care Ministry.
8. Continue to provide coffee and cookies for Fellowship Time following worship service.
9. Continue to coordinate special recognition events; gifts for Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, Graduations; send Thanksgiving cards to all members of congregation.
10. Use the “First Time Visitor” parking signs for two places in front of the main entrance.
1. We need to do a better job of greeting people on Sunday Morning. Impress upon Council members and other church members to actively seek out visitors and visit with them.
2. Develop a means of making new members/part-time members feel more a part of the congregation – possibly develop a shepherding program where new members would be assigned to long time members to help develop relationships and involvement.
3. Actively assist other committees such as Fellowship, Young Disciples, VBS, and Worship, as needed.
4. Continue advertising in seasonal publications such as; Angel Fire Visitors Guide, Eagle Nest Middle School Yearbook, any newspaper that might exist in Angel Fire, Music from Angel Fire Program Book, Yellow Pages, and any other local events available.
5. Arrange and organize updated church pictorial directory every 3-4 years; last done in 2015.
6. Assist other committees in continuing; the after school tutoring program, the summer reading program, the Ski Mountain Chapel service, and McDonald Lecture series, the Back to School Teacher Appreciation Luncheon, the Bible Study program, Taos Men’s Shelter, and other programs that might develop.
7. Investigate new ideas for promoting UCAF in community such as: having a presence in the RV parks; continued appreciation activities for civil servants, teachers, community officials, etc. Work with Young Disciples Coordinator on other Children’s activities.
8. The Membership/Outreach Committee needs to be larger than 2 members, so I will be actively looking for another member or two to serve on this committee.
Christian Education: To stimulate and strengthen Christian faith within the congregation and the community through study of the Bible, Christian history/traditions and topical spiritual issues via:
1. Sunday School (all ages and all levels of Christian growth)
2. Church Library and Meditation Materials
3. Special Educational Programs (McDonald Lectures, home study groups, etc.)
- Establish 1-year Sunday School teacher rotation
- Ensure timely availability of study materials and back-up discussion leaders
- Promote UCAF library
- Advertise UCAF Christian Education activities through posters and electronically on Facebook, UCAF Website, and membership emailing.
- Coordinate Sunday School topics with current church activities.
- Expand pool of Sunday School discussion leaders.
- Establish a basic Christian Education class or small group for adults.
Fellowship: To provide opportunities for congregational interaction, mutual support, and a sense of belonging to our church family through fellowship events and one to one relationships.
Short term strategies:
1) Invite visitors, members, and guests to fellowship events.
2) Organize fellowship events such as:
a. Weekly cookies and coffee after church on Sundays
b. Congregational meals or pot lucks approximately every other month.
3) Promote a mentoring program for new attendees to introduce them to congregation members through church and community activities.
4) Coordinate events with Congregational Care, Outreach, Worship, and other Council leaders.
Long term strategies:
1) Involve others within the church as leaders of fellowship events
2) Organize more fellowship events, especially small group events. Possibilities include:
a. Making new Chrismons
b. Work projects
c. Camping trips and other field trip activities
d. Golf tournaments
e. Small group dinners in homes or restaurants
Congregational Care: To care for members, associate members, and friends during difficult times by demonstrating God’s love.
1. A structure is in place to deliver care to members, associate members, and friends of UCAF in need of support at times of death, illness, etc.
2. New members and associate members need to be integrated quickly and fully into the congregation.
1. Integrate new members quickly by color-coding nametags, posting new member photos on bulletin board
2. Provide a quarterly update on new members/associates for church directory
1. Reach out to associate members when away from UCAF
2. Develop and maintain a list of members, especially those new to the church, willing to call on members needing extra care
Property: To demonstrate exceptional stewardship of the church property, including the building, grounds, and cemetery.
1. Maintain existing property and make improvements as necessary.
2. Coordinate with local contractors and volunteers to complete projects, repairs, and regular maintenance.
3. Conserve utility costs where feasible, and preserve and extend the life of the church structure to the maximum extent possible.
1. Complete window repair/ventilation project.
2. Replace front doors to reduce drafts and improve security.
3. Improve egress from the Sanctuary.
4. Replace the fluorescent bulbs in the fellowship hall with LED's as needed
5. Continue to improve UCAF playground area.
6. Coordinate with Cemetery Committee as to planning and construction issues
1. Monitor potential Solar Project through contacts with the consultant and talks with the Co-op.
2. Review UCAF building options and keep contingency plans up-to-date.
Stewardship: To encourage faithful stewardship of financial resources as a step toward spiritual growth and a proclamation of commitment to Jesus’ teachings.
1. The congregation understands the importance of faithful stewardship and its link to mission and ministry.
2. Congregational understanding of faithful stewardship is strengthened by preaching and teaching.
1. Monthly report to Council
2. Identify and use resources that regularly lift up the spiritual basis for stewardship
3. Provide mission reports for Firewood Angels, ALM, school supplies, etc. to illustrate the “passing on” of stewardship.
1. Grow a congregation attuned to faithful stewardship.
2. Revitalize activity of the UCAF Foundation Fund and enhance congregation’s awareness of goals.
3. Coordinate “Planned Giving” thru wills, estate planning and memorials with Summer Program 2017.
4. Research founding denominations for resources to achieve a, b, c above.
5. Continue direct mailing stewardship appeals in fall 2017.
6. Encourage electronic transfer for regular giving.
Financial Oversight: To maintain current, accurate financial accounts that sustains confidence within the council and congregation.
1. Accounts are maintained professionally.
2. Associated reports are clear, timely, and regular.
Short-term goals (This fiscal year, not in priority order):
1. Insure that all council members’ binders are up to date and contain job descriptions, by-laws, articles of incorporation and any other relevant policy and financial documents.
2. Clearly separate designated funds from general funds in all financial reports.
3. Provide detailed income and expense reports to council chairs prior to each council meeting and follow-up with timely changes and corrections, ideally before the next council meeting.
4. Simplify financial reports for council meetings including a historical perspective on monthly and year to date transactions. List any significant differences or changes.
5. Prepare a “Bookkeeper Manual” which clearly describes the day to day actions of the bookkeeper with detailed examples and worksheets.
6. Prepare a policy for approval of current expenses versus unexpected, which are not routine and included in the budget.
7. Prepare a policy for the handling of gifts by type of gift: cash, stock, land etc.
Long-term goals (This fiscal year, time permitting or next fiscal year):
1. Review and recommend updated financial controls.
2. Develop plans for cemetery financial structure.
Administration: To provide the services and facilities to support the vision, mission, and other objectives of UCAF.
1. The pastor has a clear vision for UCAF and that he/she leads and partners with the Council in moving the church forward.
2. All other paid staff shares the UCAF’s vision and mission and see themselves as integral partners in the church’s progress.
3. Annual performance reviews are carried out by and with the Personnel Committee for the pastor(s) and staff. Reviews will include updating of job descriptions to reflect changing duties and priorities.
4. The Council and staff communicate effectively and regularly with the congregation on financial matters and other important issues.
1. Maintain updated control procedures
2. Establish Leave Policy for staff.
Women’s Group: The role of the UCAF Women's Ministry is to bring all women of our church together, both seasonal, full timers and visitors. Our purpose is to help our women come into a deeper relationship with each other and our Lord through fellowship, spiritual growth and service through scheduled events.
1. Share experiences and fellowship time at the June meeting.
2. Challenge each other to grow spiritually through devotions, prayer, testimonies and Christian book studies at the July meeting.
3. Focus on service at the August meeting conducting teachers’ luncheon and school supplies drive.
Cemetery: To facilitate the operation of the Mountain Vista Cemetery.
1. Maintain road into and around the circle for woodchip paving.
2. Maintain path within circle and cover with woodchips.
3. Improve signage to mark surveyed plots.
4. Update cemetery map.
5. Reinvestigate Cemetery signage on Hwy 434.
6. Cemetery Committee: Educate the members of the committee with the operation of the cemetery. What to do when a funeral is to take place, information regarding sales of spaces in the cemetery, etc. We need sufficient
7. Update cemetery brochure and website; with map, prices, internment rules etc.
1. Establish a working budget for the cemetery.
2. Continue to return funds to the UCAF General Budget regularly.