Many Possible Futures: Identity Task Force Community Conversation, Feb. 25

We are at the beginning of an exciting process — the process of designing a future together. This first part is the “possibility generation” stage. It’s not exactly dreaming or brainstorming because we are looking at real information about churches, people, neighborhoods, governance and resources here and now. We are looking at your needs and the needs of the greater community. We want to tell you some of the things that we have discovered are possible and hear what you think is possible. This month, we invite you to engage in initial “Many Possible Futures” conversations. Come to a community conversation, respond to our interactive materials at the FUUN website and/or on the bulletin board in the social hall. We are not ready to make a choice, the creativity has just begun. But we will not be able to make a real choice towards our future unless you join in the co-creation.

The second Identity Task Force Community Conversation will be Feb. 25 after the second service – 12:30-2 p.m., Fireside Room.

We want your feedback.  Please use the comment section below to give your pros and cons of each, questions, and comments.

Many possible futures include the following:

  1. Remaining the same
  2. Creating a sibling church
  3. Completely rebuilding our current campus
  4. Moving and Growing

5 thoughts on “Many Possible Futures: Identity Task Force Community Conversation, Feb. 25

  1. I have often thought about the “divide and build a sister congregation” option. I feel like our church is located in an area of Nashville that has the least need for the surrounding community. By creating a “sister” congregation (or fellowship) in a part of the Nashville community that really could benefit from our belief structure and inclusiveness, instead of “sitting pretty” in an affluent neighborhood, would perhaps be more attractive and feel more integrated (quite literally) and in line with our core values. Investing in a part of Nashville in a more direct way, I think, would have much more impact than where we presently stand.

  2. Of all options, presented, at this time, I lean toward the “Move and Grow” option. Our campus has significant challenges with physical accessibility. The sloped lot is daunting for many in terms of parking and walking. The availability of the lower lot is not helpful for individuals with physical challenges. There are only two accessible restrooms—too few for a congregation our size on a Sunday morning, especially, when the overall availability of restrooms is relatively small. Not to mention, our facilities are highly maintenance-intensive! I fear we would not raise enough money for the mixed-use plan, and the sister-church plan would end up putting a strain on resources as we try to support both churches with separate leadership, staff, facilities maintenance, etc. While the “Move and Grow” option presents challenges as far as intimacy, I believe it also presents opportunities. The small-group ministry model can help to address the intimacy challenge and there would be a greater variety of programs around which members can coalesce. We own a very desirable piece of land and I would hope that we could sell it a good price, find a less-expensive (and less-exclusive) location, and put ourselves into better financial shape. Thanks for this opportunity to provide feedback. I look forward to hearing the views of others as I continue to think about this!

    1. I understand the concern about strain on resources. However, I would like to see that we initially make an investment in a “sister” congregation/fellowship in a part of Nashville that would end up being then independent and supported by the surrounding community and of course the members. One of the pros to the “move and grow” option would be the potential to combine the ideas of the “move and grow” and “sister” congregation, including a “less-exclusive” location. However, my largest concern with the “move and grow” option is still the presence of a predominantly-white membership. We have sought to be more inclusive and diverse as part of our covenant with one another. However, I speculate despite our efforts, this option has failed due to our location and the make-up of the congregation. Perhaps the idea of “putting ourselves into better financial shape” might be a means to an end. “Move and grow” and eventually starting a “sister” congregation? But setting a concrete timeline would be critical instead of just an idea “floating” about.

  3. I also like the sibling church option, which gives us opportunities to keep what works from the past and innovate into the future. It would give members options according to their preferences. Also, there’s a built-in marketing campaign: the SUUN is rising!

  4. I’m intrigued with the idea of building a space to be leased out to give us income. But what excites me most at this point is the thought of selling the property to build somewhere less expensive, and starting afresh with an energy-efficient space that really meets our needs!

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