In January 2018, the session commissioned UPC’s Mission Study Team (MST). The MST comprised 11 members, reflecting the congregation’s diversity across a number of measures, including age, gender, and length of membership:
- Mac Gilliland
- Nancy Jones
- Carolyn Karpinos, Session Member
- Vicki Lotz
- Madi Marvin, Youth
- Gordon Merklein
The session commissioned the MST to lead the congregation through the mission study. Specifically, the MST was charged to engage with the congregation and the larger community to discern God’s voice and leading for UPC. The mission study involved careful and prayerful reflection on UPC’s history and demographic data, thoughtful listening to community leaders, and deep conversation with congregants about who we are and who God is calling us to be. Through this process of studying and praying together, the MST endeavored to discern where God is calling this church family to serve in the next season of its life and to facilitate UPC’s reaching a deep, honest, and mutual sense of call with a new head of staff when the time is right.
One of the MST’s most visible products is the Mission Study Report, which can be downloaded from this page. The report was first submitted for consideration and approval by the session. A revised version of the report was affirmed and adopted by the session on June 24, 2018. The report was then approved by the Commission on Ministry for the Presbytery of New Hope on July 11, 2018. At the same time, the presbytery approved our plans for a congregational meeting to elect a Pastor Nominating Committee, or PNC.