|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. Part-time resident Council members to be given priority for monthly worship assignments to accommodate individual travel schedules.
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. Encourage Council members to 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. Encourage the music director to grow the children’s choir for occasional participation in worship.
8. Encourage the music director to build up the children’s music library.
9. Work with Council and technical representatives to coordinate worship presentation equipment and materials and any needed training.
10. Document procedures for obtaining substitute preachers.
11. Encourage the music director to emphasize seasonal choirs, small group music, and guest musicians to facilitate a blended worship service.
12. Work with all participants to be worshipful, respectable and limit unnecessary movement and distractions.
13. Promote and recruit new singers/musicians for music teams
14. Continue 5th Sunday Hymn sings.
15. Continue some form of summer musical event.
16. Working with Fellowship, continue the summertime outdoor worship service and congregational picnic.
1. Encourage the music director to include the use of rudimentary musical instruments in both the adult and children’s choirs.
2. Work with Council to investigate the feasibility of videotaping services and other events for inclusion as pod-casts on the church website.
Missions: To acknowledge and follow Jesus’ example using divine love in action for others locally and around the world through:
- Local missions, including ecumenical community interaction, support of the ALMS Food Pantry program, support of the Firewood Angels program, meeting individual needs for assistance, and supporting church-housed groups.
- 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.
- Support for the ALM Food Pantry and ALM Food 4 Kids programs through financial assistance, maintaining a seat on the board, and assistance with sacking and delivery.
- Support of UCAF Firewood Angels in supplying cut and split wood to needy families for home heating and cooking as needed.
- Support to HEART in Taos, a women’s transitional housing shelter, through financial assistance, needed supplies, and other approved items.
- Support of the Taos Men’s Shelter needed supplies, meals and other approved items.
- Support Eagle Nest Schools through programs including 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.
- Consider / allow mission related uses of the downstairs space including, but not limited to, local outreach programs, community emergency needs, and other human needs opportunities.
- Support the local Fire Station / EMS personnel with occasional goodies / meals.
- Support of the Veteran’s Wellness Retreats with a dinner or other means.
- Develop / maintain a list of volunteers who could help with specific tasks when needs arise.
- Develop / maintain a listing of helpful community services and contacts for the needy.
- Use 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.
- And provide updates to the UCAF Council to report on church mission activities and finances.
- Engage UCAF and community to support ongoing and future mission opportunities.
- 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.
- Keep church leaflet up to date and make sure every visitor sees it. (We do not print many at one time to accommodate Council or staff changes.)
- Advertise special programs and Sunday School. This should be coordinated with other ministries such as Christian Education, Church Secretary and Worship.
- Report a list of visitors to Council for follow-up with any they may know personally.
- 1st time visitors plan is being used, but a better plan for continued visitors needs to be put in place.
- Present all 1st time visitors with welcome packet including: visitor registration card, UCAF notecard, a bookmark, church brochure, cemetery brochure, plus information on ALM and Heart of Taos. Ensure name tags are given to visitors and new members. (Coordinate with Church Secretary and Worship Chairman responsible for greeters.)
- Send note, card or email to Sunday Visitors following Sunday Worship.
- Present new members with new member gift bag – coordinate with Congregational Care Ministry (several mugs printed with “Divine Love in Action” are available).
- Continue to coordinate special recognition events; gifts for Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, Graduations; send Thanksgiving cards to all members of congregation.
- Use the “First Time Visitor” parking signs for two places in front of the main entrance. These need to be located and used as weather permits.
- Compile a pictorial church directory, summer 2020.
- Talk to minister/interim pastor to inform the congregation at least every other Sunday about membership options (full-time or associate) and invite people to become members.
- Continue to do a good job of greeting people on Sunday Morning. Impress upon Council members and other church members to actively seek out visitors and visit with them.
- 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. Encourage Council members to include them for worships jobs such as liturgists, communion servers, greeters and ushers.
- Actively assist other committees such as Fellowship, Young Disciples, VBS, and Worship, as needed.
- Continue advertising in seasonal publications such as; Angel Fire Visitors Guide, Eagle Nest Middle School Yearbook, Touch-Me-Not online news or any newspaper that might exist in Angel Fire, Music from Angel Fire Program Book, Yellow Pages, and any other local events available.
- Arrange and organize updated church pictorial directory every 4-5 years.
- Assist other committees in continuing Summit Chapel service during ski season, McDonald Lecture series, the Back to School Teacher Appreciation Luncheon, the Bible Study program, Taos Men’s Shelter, and ALM.
- 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.
- The Membership/Outreach Committee needs to be larger than 2 members, so I will be actively looking for another member or two via membership surveys.
Christian Education: To strengthen Christian faith through stimulating Christian education and deeper Biblical knowledge 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.)
- Share resources with adult Sunday School to aid in teacher rotation and ensure timely availability of study materials and back-up discussion leaders.
- Investigate use and need for the UCAF library
- Advertise UCAF Christian Education activities through posters and electronically on Facebook, UCAF Website, and membership emailing.
- Improve communications and advertising of Christian Education opportunities.
- Coordinate Sunday School topics with liturgical year.
- Expand pool of Sunday School discussion leaders.
- Establish a basic Christian Education class or small group for adults including ‘entry level’ programming.
- Revisit Young Disciples programming and create a welcoming place for children of all ages.
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.
- Organize fellowship events such as weekly cookies and coffee after church on Sundays and congregational meals or pot lucks approximately every other month.
- Encourage participation of new members and attendees.
- Coordinate events with Congregational Care, Outreach, Worship, and other Council leaders.
- Involve others within the church as leaders of fellowship events
- Organize more fellowship events, especially small group events. Possibilities include:
- Work projects
- Camping trips and other field trip activities
- Golf tournaments
- 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.
- 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.
- New members and associate members need to be integrated quickly and fully into the congregation.
- Keep up to date on needs through input from the church office, pastors and prayer requests.
- Deliver food, cards, and phone calls to members and friends of UCAF at times of illness, death, or hard times
- Send flowers and/or memorial gifts in honor of deceased members or friends.
- When appropriate, host dinners for the bereaved.
- Provide appreciation gifts for retiring staff members and for weddings and graduations.
Property: To demonstrate exceptional stewardship of the church property, including the building, grounds, and cemetery.
- Reach out to associate members and former members when they are away from UCAF through cards and phone calls.
- Help to create an up to date church directory.
- Coordinate with the Fellowship and Membership teams on events and helping new members feel a part of the life of the church.
- Maintain existing property and make improvements as necessary.
- Coordinate with local contractors and volunteers to complete projects, repairs, and regular maintenance.
- Conserve utility costs where feasible and preserve and extend the life of the church structure to the maximum extent possible.
- Investigate costs and practicality of a monument style sign to be placed on West Ridge Road.
- Consider funding the project by purchase of memorial bricks incorporated into landscaping around the sign.
- Investigate costs of graveling the parking lot.
- Continue to improve UCAF playground area.
- Establish a separate Cemetery Committee for management, planning, administration and construction issues.
- Incorporate into the annual operating budget, a line item of $5,000 for the next five years to be put into a reserve fund to upgrade or replace the heating system.
- Reupholster all seating in the sanctuary.
- Investigate changing propane companies and any cost savings.
- Monitor heating system and consider upgrading the system.
- Review UCAF building options and keep contingency plans up to date.
- Begin to research the capability to construct a Sunday School wing as an extension of fellowship hall, or a separate building, connected to the existing building by a covered breezeway or by a hallway wide enough to accommodate storage cabinets and shelves.
Stewardship: To encourage faithful stewardship of Divine Gifts as a step toward spiritual growth and a proclamation of commitment to Jesus’ teachings.
- Increase use of scripture and its interpretations in stewardship articles
- Increase awareness of mission work funded by 10% contribution of undesignated giving
- Continue reporting information on IRS Qualified Charitable Donations with emphasis on sharing tax savings with UCAF.
- Timely reporting of memorial gifts in stewardship articles
- Continue direct mailing of annual stewardship letter to all members, friends, and frequent visitors
- Encourage designation of a portion to the building fund when increasing undesignated giving
- Develop and document maintainable procedures for coordinating giving through wills, estate planning, and memorials
- Encourage giving of time and talents to church leadership, ministries, and mission programs
- Encourage awareness of local area needs and looking for opportunities for new missions
- To establish and oversee financial controls that ensure the Church’s assets are safeguarded.
- To maintain current, accurate financial accounts and reporting that sustains confidence within the Council and UCAF congregation.
- To analyze giving trends and cost trends to be forward looking at the future financial outlook of UCAF.
- Oversee the work of staff bookkeeper (or outside contractor) so that accounts and records are maintained in a professional manner and reports are timely and presented in a clearly understood manner.
- Provide detailed income and expense reports to Council chairs prior to each Council meeting and follow-up with timely changes and corrections, if needed. Keep ministry chairs informed of income and spending in their ministry area and advise when approaching budget thresholds.
- Update and maintain the “Bookkeeper Manual” which clearly describes the day to day actions of the bookkeeper with detailed examples and worksheets.
- Establish a Financial Oversight committee to assist the Treasurer in analyzing giving trends and cost trends to be forward looking at the future financial outlook.
- Establish written policies for the following financial matters and maintain a Financial Policies notebook. Apprise the Council members and church staff of the financial policies, and location of the notebook. Assist the Pastor, Council President and other Council members with monitoring compliance with written policies and discuss egregious violations with the Council President and/or Executive Team.
- Policy for administration of the annual budget
- Policy for establishing pastor compensation
- Policy for calculation and disbursement of annual staff Love Offering
- Policy for conflicts of interest
- Policy for dishonesty, fraud and whistleblower protection
- Policy for records retention
- Policy for donor privacy
- Policy for the approval of issuance of debt
- Policy for acceptance of gifts by type of gift: cash, stock, land etc.
- Policy for approval of current and unexpected expenses, staff payroll, check signing, use of UCAF debit card and expense reimbursement requests
- Policy for spending restricted funds
- Policy for investment of financial assets
- Policy for periodic, independent review of financial controls, and financial records
- Policy for treatment of receipts and expenses related to Mountain View Cemetery
- Policy for treatment of receipts for building use and sources of income other than undesignated offerings in light of unrelated business income tax implications
- Policy for use of the New Mexico Nontaxable Transaction Certificate when making purchases on behalf of UCAF
- Policy for financial support of sponsoring denominations and responses to requests for per capita and apportionments
- Make arrangements for an independent review of financial controls and financial records before the close of the current UCAF financial year.
- Coordinate with the Stewardship ministry chair to:
- Revitalize activity of the UCAF Foundation Fund and enhance the UCAF Congregation’s awareness of Foundation goals. Establish a policy that allocates part of the savings account interest to the Foundation fund and includes other parameters for receipt of gifts and spending from the Foundation Fund. Locate existing and update, or, create a UCAF Foundation document.
- Schedule a Sunday School lesson series and pastoral sermons that revolve around the spiritual benefits of giving. This is not intended to be a financial appeal, but rather explore the joy that giving brings.
- Schedule a file cleaning day to organize records in storage in the church basement and in the off-site storage shed. Determine which files fit the record retention policy. Take obsolete documents to a professional shredding service.
- Stay informed of matters of tax regulations and other legal requirements that affect UCAF’s not-for-profit status. Advise the Pastor and Council of changes to important tax and legal issues.
- Be a resource for and support the members of the Council and church staff by providing financial data and insights both proactively and upon request.
- Monitor insurance policies and other standard expenses and evaluate for savings opportunities.
- On an annual basis, evaluate records in storage for retention or destruction. Keep records organized and confidential.
Administration: To provide the services and facilities to support the vision, mission, and other objectives of UCAF.
- The pastor has a clear vision for UCAF and that he/she leads and partners with the Council in moving the church forward.
- All other paid staff shares the UCAF’s vision and mission and see themselves as integral partners in the church’s progress.
- 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.
- The Council and staff communicate effectively and regularly with the congregation on financial matters and other important issues.
- Maintain updated control procedures
- Establish Leave and Compensation Policy for staff.
Cemetery: To facilitate the planning and completion of Mountain Vista Cemetery.
- Maintain road and walking path into and around the circle for woodchip paving.
- Improve signage to mark surveyed plots.
- Update Cemetery records and map.
- Establish Cemetery Committee of 3 to 4 members and educate members with cemetery operations.
- Keep cemetery brochure up to date.
- Establish a working budget for the cemetery.
- Continue to return funds to the UCAF General Budget regularly.
Women’s Group: To coordinate women’s activities at UCAF which demonstrate “Divine Love in Action” throughout the community through:
- Involvement in and promotion of events and activities in the church
- Providing spiritual, educational and cultural programs and activities for women
- Promoting UCAF through involvement in community activities
- Working with other committees of the church to fulfill their strategies
- Provide an avenue for women’s fellowship in the church