Strengthening Our Service: Listening Sessions

Strengthening Our Service: Listening Sessions

The “strengthening our service” component of the capital campaign begins with hiring a consultant who will work with the Outreach SLG to envision how we can more robustly support our outreach programming. However, before we draft the request for proposals from possible consultants, we want to solicit input from the congregation with regard to the type of outreach that the church wants to sponsor and support.

The most consistent thread in Old First’s outreach efforts since relocating to 4th and Race has been a focus on urban poverty, specifically homelessness. However, there have been other efforts as well, for example providing educational and recreational opportunities for city children, especially during the summer. The physical, economic, social and psychological needs associated with living in poverty are manifested in a variety of ways, and we want to be sure that we are focusing our efforts on programming that is widely and strongly supported by members of the Old First congregation. Therefore, we invite you to share your thoughts, perspectives, and questions on the outreach programming we should be sponsoring.

Here are ways in which you can share your suggestions and observations:

o One-on-one conversation with a member of the Outreach SLG – we will be directly contacting some of you who have been involved in outreach efforts over the years, but others of you who have not been involved are encouraged to talk with any member of the SLG listed below:
o Clark Dingman
o Hannah Cartwright
o Andrew Hartman
o Mike Wass
o Steve Wilhite
o Michael Johnson

o Conversation with Old First leaders – Clark and Hannah will lead a discussion of outreach possibilities at the gathering of Old First leaders on Saturday, March 14.

o Conversation with Young Adults Group – Hannah and Andrew will lead a discussion of future outreach efforts following the shelter dinner on April 10.

o After-church group conversations – on the two dates listed below members of the Outreach SLG will lead small group discussions during coffee hour about the future of outreach at Old First. Please come and share your thoughts and suggestions.

o Sunday, April 12
o Sunday, April 19

o Conversation with outreach volunteers – if you have volunteered before at the Saturday breakfast and clothing cupboard or with serving dinner at the homeless shelter or leading service camp reflections, please consider coming to a special listening session for outreach volunteers on the following date:
o Saturday, March 28, around 11 a.m., following the clothing cupboard

o Email to the Outreach SLG – if an email message works better for you, please send your message to me, Steve W. (my contact info. is available from our REALM online directory or from the church office).

When we have collected and analyzed the feedback provided, we will share with the congregation what we have heard and how that will influence our identification of a consultant to assist us with developing a new strategic plan for outreach at Old First.

Thanks for your attention.

Steve W., Outreach SLG Leader