Reflections from the R360+ Team

Living God’s Love to Change the World

An exciting affirmation: PB UMC is doing important things right! The Readiness 360+ team attended a gathering of the five participating churches in March to learn more about missional alignment. This means comparing our strengths and resources as a church to the things (missions) we want to accomplish. And because we are not large enough to try to do everything (and this is a good thing), alignment means selecting just one or two ministries, or missions, to throw ourselves into.

As Christians, we are called to put our faith to service. As a congregation, we are challenged to put our hearts, minds and souls into one or two ministries that suit our passions and strengths. To go “deep and narrow” and do all we can to meet the needs of the people we serve. By fully developing meaningful ministries, we can expect to strengthen this congregation and intensify our spiritual experience.

The team readily identified two long-time ministries that define us as a congregation: our status as a reconciling congregation, and our care for the homeless including Wednesday Night, Storefront Shelter, CCSA, and Interfaith Shelter Network. We believe these two initiatives are central to our identity as PB UMC. Fortunately they also line up well with our resources and strengths. We hope you will affirm that our passions remain strong for these ministries.

For those who passively support the ministries (this writer included) it’s time to think deeply and creatively about how to become more active supporters. One of our team members asked: why are we still the only reconciling Methodist congregation in San Diego? It turns out that several churches have approached Pastor Bob about becoming reconciling. What if we reached out and shared stories of our experiences? Or—thinking outside the box—what if we all attended church at their house one Sunday so they could feel what it’s like to be in a reconciling congregation with LGBT and straight families worshipping together with their children and friends?

If you have ever dropped a dime in the collection plate, you support the ministry for the homeless and hungry. Though money is important especially for our Wednesday Night meals, we can do much more. Presence, showing up to meet our guests and help make the meals happen. Prayers in support of the Wednesday night leaders and perhaps specific prayer requests from our guests. Gifts of clothing, referrals, and specialized skills. What if we offered a Wednesday afternoon worship with communion for our guests, many of whom may not feel comfortable on Sunday morning?

These are just a few brainstorming ideas. The team doesn’t have all the answers. We are now working on a plan for the next two to three years to develop ourselves as disciples of Jesus and to reach out in service to others outside the doors of our church. We will be talking with you. More to come.

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