What is the congregation’s or organization’s vision for ministry? Additionally describe how this vision is lived out.
Inspired by the life of Jesus Christ and informed by contemporary, progressive theologians we seek as a faith community to be:
Welcoming and supporting to all. We extend hospitality to everyone and in everything we do. Our communion table is open to all – believing the invitation is one of grace, not prerequisite. We are a More Light congregation. We work diligently and passionately to support inclusion in our Denomination. We are a committed witness with others to advance and maintain full inclusion for LGBTQ persons in all aspects of church life.
Creative and joyful. We express our open hearts and celebrate with outstanding music, theater and visual arts in our church services; along with special events, such as church dinners and nights out at local arts events.
Spiritual and learning always. We believe faith and knowledge are intertwined and live by “Faith exposed to reason, reason enlarged by faith.” Our progressive education programs for children, youth and adults, two book clubs for classics and contemporary literature and other programs ground our learning community.
Called to serve each other. We have deep bonds. Our congregation uses words like “family” and “friends” to describe our relationships. We support congregants in their personal challenges, led by our Deacons. Our Caring Community takes on broad topics, such as navigating change, to address current needs and issues.
Called to serve others through social justice outreach and ministry (more in #2).
How do you feel called to reach out to address the emerging needs of your community or constituency?
For our community:
We are always seeking to be more supportive of others who are overlooked or left behind. Social justice is in our DNA.
We are actively engaged and support a range of social justice organizations and issues with our time, talents and financial resources. Examples: the death penalty, racial injustice, equality for transgendered persons and help for the hungry and homeless. We share our building space with organizations seeking to make Cincinnati more enlightened and supportive of the needs of others. See our website.
We want to be a conscientious, thoughtful and contributing citizen in our neighborhood.
Our members come from all parts of Greater Cincinnati. We are a destination church, united by a progressive theology and social justice orientation.
We want to invite and engage our immediate neighbors to join us. It is a diverse mix of ages, ethnicity, incomes and education.
For our constituency (congregation):
We want to grow and remain sustainable so we can share our faith journey with others. We have a strong, smart, committed congregation. However, our members are aging. We want to attract families and younger persons to join with us. We want to grow yet, at the same time, maintain our intimate sense of family and community.
We want to deepen our faith journey and nurture our well-being as individuals and a congregation. We want a spiritual leader and teacher to guide and grow with us.
How will this position help you to reach your vision and mission goals?
Worship is central to our faith community and life. We want meaningful worship services with relevant, challenging sermons and great music. We honor the traditional, but want to be surprised too. Our next minister can leverage our creative openness to try new things. In fact, we expect it.
The pastor serves as a central connecting point and conduit for our congregation and in engaging new members.
Our Pathways to Purpose study (2012) serves as a guide to understand our current focus, organization and activities. More recently, a congregational survey and focus groups with our members conducted in fall of 2015 provide direction for our leadership and new pastor.
We want to continue to be a leading religious voice in the Cincinnati faith community. We have been a leader on LGBTQ issues, where our efforts and inspiration have made a positive difference. We are engaged in many issues now. Our next pastor can help us focus, guide and plan so we can speak out and be a relevant and effective voice.
We are changing and evolving. We are open and excited about new possibilities. We seek a future grounded in authenticity – who we are. We are bound together by love, respect and a progressive view of what faith means. Our intention is to remain a relevant and life-changing force in the face of a society that is ever-changing and often polarized by faith, religion, belief, spirituality and doctrine.
Provide a description of the characteristics needed by the person who is open to being called to this congregation and or organization.
Progressive theology and inclusive language are mandatory. Our next pastor should treat scripture as an invitation to struggle, keeping doctrine open, not doctrinaire.
We are looking for spiritual depth, someone who can challenge, excite and ignite conversation and help us wrestle with the questions and mysteries of faith. We need a teacher who can help us learn and explore in contemporary ways.
The pastor must have a high level of interpersonal skill and be attuned to the needs of others. We want a pastor we can trust, deliver pastoral care and help us pastor to each other. Compassion and empathy are important personal qualities.
Our new pastor can count on and be open to receiving support from us too. Our next pastor must be comfortable with intimacy –the search for meaning, truth and God is daunting and personal.
Our next pastor must have strategic skills to see the road ahead and help us navigate it. Organizational skills and keen understanding of finances are important. The next pastor must have an invitational spirit to engage current and future volunteer leadership and staff.
We seek a pastor to help us be more invitational to our immediate neighbors, who are ethnically, culturally and economically diverse.
Other traits we are looking for are: intellectualism without being inaccessible; empathic and approachable; strong leader and confident, but flexible and collaborative; a problem solver; and a good sense of humor.
What specific tasks, assignments, and program areas will this person have responsibility?
The pastor serves five essential roles: 1) serves as our congregation’s spiritual guide and leader, 2) serves as head of staff and supports our congregational communities and programs, 3) ministers to our congregants and models ways for us to minister to each other, 4) serves as our representative with civic, religious groups and media and 5) helps us develop a strategy to grow and share our ministry with others.
We are an involved and active congregation. We have lay leadership with extensive experience and organizational skills. We are ready and willing to support and collaborate with a new pastor.
A high percentage of our congregants participate as leaders, community members and volunteers. We encourage all of our members to participate in one of our communities (Caring, Welcoming, Worshipping, Justice Seeking and Progressive Education). The pastor will have support from a committed and creative staff, from volunteers participating in our communities and special programs, and strong congregant leadership on Session and Board of Deacons.
Our staff includes a respected, innovative and creative minister of music, a resident caretaker, a strong administrative assistant (who herself is a Commissioned Ruling Elder) and an accounting assistant.
The new pastor can expect enthusiastic support and collaboration from our members and staff.
Additional information about our church or congregation can be found on our website at www.mtauburnpresby.org