From Mission to Vision
Last November 6 the (for now) last exploration group meeting took place. The task before the group was to distill the results of the earlier exploration group meetings into a working mission statement for the years to come. There was recognition that in fact we are now a multicultural community and that we should continue celebrating our multicultural identity through the love of music, food, children, and the arts. We also should support each other as we take our journeys of faith with God and explore different facets of ourselves and faith. The group also concluded that we should endeavor to be more multi-generational as we adapt and evolve in relation to the community around us. We can boil down what was most important in the eyes of this group for the future as: “providing thought-provoking practical sermons that nurture our learning family and our individual searches for faith while we integrate ourselves with our surrounding community to provide service.”
When I presented the results of the exploration group meeting to the session at the annual session retreat on February 8 so that they could crystallize into a mission statement, the result was surprising. They saw the result of the exploration group discussion more as a vision statement for action than as a mission statement. They said that the current mission statement was still valid. To refresh your memory, here it is (with some suggested edits in italics based on the discussion above): “We, the members of Parkview Presbyterian Church, seek to honor our (church’s) Japanese American heritage wrought out of the unique blend of communal and Christian values, immigrant experience and the suffering of internment. This heritage has shaped us to become a unique family of faith, imbued by a spirit of tenacity, loyalty and genuineness, compassion and solidarity. Rooted in, and committed to the welfare of our Sacramento community, we wish to share this spirit with others in efforts to build (having built and wishing to strengthen and expand) a new (strike:new) multi-cultural (and increasingly multi-generational) community of believers committed to their faith in God through Jesus Christ and to the service of God and suffering humankind. “So what the session was in fact saying was that what the exploration group came up would be more a manifestation of the mission statement rather than the mission statement itself.
In summary, our multicultural Christian family keeps evolving and adapting, opening more and more to the city community like a flower while becoming more inclusive in all ways, with sensitivity also to those who have a faith other than ours.
Our commitment to a residency program is already a sign of our opening up to the world around us, for strengthening our bonds with the local community will be one of the tasks of the residents . At the same time we add a new dimension: we become not only a learning but also a teaching community. As our selection committee is about to interview two candidates in the next two weeks we might gratefully acknowledge that the vision of opening up is already being implemented. May God bless our ministry. Aart