Staff parish committee - ministries

Staff parish committee - ministries

First United Methodist Church, Lincoln, Nebraska - May 2006

We see ourselves as a congregation with a mission and we have worked together to formulate a statement of purpose, attached, that guides our worship, education, congregational development, and community service. The senior pastor for our congregation should be comfortable with this document.

In addition, over the past several years, the laity has fashioned some special emphases that we wish to see continued and supported by our senior pastor. They are:

Sacramental Ministry

We have two Sunday morning worship services, one of which is informal in structure and celebrates the Eucharist on a weekly basis. Our worship services are based on the scriptures of the Common Lectionary for that week. Lay readers assist each week in our services. Congregational prayers are also an important part of our services. We observe the seasons of the Christian year with special events, especially Easter and Christmas.

A Prayer and Meditation group has been meeting weekly for many years as well as Covenant Discipleship groups that meet regularly in the church. We expect the senior pastor to be able to provide leadership for such groups and support other activities of spiritual development that help us grow in all worship arenas.

Music is a very important part of each worship service. The congregation has many opportunities to participate in different choirs and the senior pastor should encourage this ministry.

Our senior pastor should regard preaching as a major responsibility and consider that social issues, as well as spiritual concerns, be addressed from the pulpit so that laity are encouraged to approach issues with an informed, thoughtful, and prayerful attitude.
Educational Ministry

In addition to the usual Sunday morning classes, members are offered continuing educational opportunities through Adult Studies in the fall and spring and Lenten classes for all ages. We expect the senior pastor to be able to teach and help expand our education ministry within the congregation. In the past, our senior pastor has been offered the opportunity to teach courses at Nebraska Wesleyan University. We have found such a congregation-campus relationship to be beneficial and would like to have a senior pastor who could continue to function in that capacity as opportunities are offered.

We also expect the senior pastor to help and encourage ministry to the youth of the congregation. A short message each Sunday to the children, and active participation with the youth in different activities has brought a new spirit to the congregation and should be continued.
Evangelism Ministry

The senior pastor needs to be someone who has strong leadership skills and is a unifier to the staff , congregation, and community, and recognizes the value of every age group within the church.

Visitation of both hospitalized and elderly members has been an intentional part of the senior pastor's ministry. This will continue to be a much needed pastoral practice.

Social Justice Ministry

Our congregation has a long tradition of involvement in social issues and social justice concerns. We have had a long-term commitment to community organization as a way for our congregation to help University Place and Lincoln to become a better city in which to live. University Place Community Organization (UPCO) is an outgrowth of that commitment. The church building is utilized regularly for community service programs and meetings. We expect our senior pastor to provide leadership in addressing concerns regarding social justice issues.
Inclusive Ministry

First United Methodist Church membership is inclusive of all persons (regardless of education, ability, economic level, gender, race, ethnic group, age, sexual orientation, etc.) as part of our purpose statement. A pastor who embraces such inclusiveness as a guiding principle and who both speaks and acts accordingly is needed to work with the laity to continue this ministry.

Inclusive language has been an intentional aspect of worship, programming, and literature of this congregation for many years. It is expected that a new senior pastor will appreciate and abide by this intent of the congregation.

Ongoing pastoral counseling is needed by such a large and diverse congregation. Being able to nurture with care and sensitivity is needed by a candidate for the senior pastor position.
Collegial Ministry

First United Methodist Church is a congregation with strong lay leadership. Such leadership develops when it is supported and encouraged by the senior pastor. We expect our senior pastor to provide the kind of collegial style of congregational leadership that has been so vital to us.

We need a senior pastor who is interested in all church functions and will accept the responsibility of administering church finances and directing a complex church staff.

Stewardship Ministry

Our stewardship involves proportionate sharing of time, talents, and treasures. We need a senior pastor who demonstrates the ability to inspire personal/congregational commitments of service and financial support.
Special Needs

Many of us have grown up with the paradigm of local neighborhoods and homogeneous congregations. While we need to broaden our congregational activities in support of University Place community, we need new models of mission to the entire city. We want a senior pastor who can help us continue that effort.

We value our connection with Nebraska Wesleyan University and continue our special programs for college students; e.g. internships and involving students in all aspects of the congregation. We want a senior pastor who will help us sustain and enhance our relationship to the students, faculty, and administration of Nebraska Wesleyan University.

Our proximity to the United Methodist Conference Headquarters has encouraged a significant involvement of clergy, staff, and laity in Annual, Jurisdictional, and General Conference activities. We accept this involvement willingly and will look to the senior pastor for leadership within and beyond the congregation in fulfilling this responsibility.