What is the congregation’s or organization’s vision for ministry? Additionally describe how this vision is lived out.
At First Presbyterian Church Winchester, we strive to nurture and equip joy-filled disciples of Christ to share the gospel with others. Our vision can best be stated by our mission statement, “Serving Christ and neighbor in the heart of Winchester and beyond.” We seek to live out this mission in a variety of ways within our church, within our community, and around the world. Our vision for ministry can be seen in three major areas: worship, education, and service.
We offer both traditional and contemporary worship services to help members and guests engage in meaningful worship and fellowship.
Christian education is a priority at First Presbyterian, and offerings span a wide range of ages and interests. A nationally accredited preschool, children’s and youth ministries, and adult education all provide opportunities for people to learn and grow spiritually.
We serve each other through teaching, participating in an active music ministry, and caring for church family members in times of need. We serve our community by providing shelter in our church during the winter for local homeless individuals, by providing a weekly hot meal on Saturdays for our downtown neighbors, and by supporting local agencies that work to meet a variety of needs in our area. Our youth participate in mission trips each summer, and we serve the world through several longstanding international mission partnerships.
We value serving Christ within our church, our community, and beyond.
How do you feel called to reach out to address the emerging needs of your community or constituency?
Our congregation has a longstanding tradition of identifying the emerging needs of our community and developing responses to address those needs. We feel led to strengthen the process by which members are called and equipped for ministry and leadership both within our church and in the community. We feel the following areas are important to address:
- developing and implementing a comprehensive strategy to reach new people and incorporate them into the life of the church with the goal of becoming more ethnically, and educationally diverse
- finding ways to speak effectively to those increasing numbers in our midst who profess no religious identity or affiliation
- expanding outreach ministries that provide direct services to those living on the margins of society and those broken by life circumstances within our church and beyond
- creating new programs and enhancing existing ones for children, youth, young adults, families, and aging members to help us all grow closer to Christ. At First Presbyterian Church, we embrace the message of Galatians 3:26 reminding us that we are all children of God in Christ Jesus. Every member has a place at the table and is called to be a part of the mission and ministry of the church. Our church is open to change that will help us discern the will of God and move toward being better disciples of Christ.
How will this position help you to reach your vision and mission goals?
The vision and mission goals of our congregation will be reached only through a continuing process of discernment under the guidance of the Holy Spirit. Working collaboratively, our Head of Staff should be able to meet us where we are and inspire our staff, lay leaders, and congregation as we enter a new chapter in our church’s history. Our Head of Staff should:
- engage the entire church family in a strategic visioning process that identifies emerging needs within our church in the local community, and beyond
- work with lay leaders to develop a strategic plan that addresses those needs
- articulate our church’s vision and mission goals within and outside of our congregation
- encourage the grassroots creation of ideas to achieve our vision and mission goals, so that lay leadership can carry out those goals in ways not now imagined
- help church family members focus our time, talent, and financial resources on ministries and programs that further our vision and mission goals, and that hold one another accountable for achieving those goals
- guide a celebration of our physical location in the heart of Winchester as we become an even more visible, welcoming, and hospitable church
- acknowledge and nurture diverse views within our congregation
- challenge us to keep our hearts and minds focused on what Christ would have us be and do
Provide a description of the characteristics needed by the person who is open to being called to this congregation and or organization.
We pray the individual who feels called to this congregation as Head of Staff will have a loving heart and an energetic spirit—ready to work with us to “serve Christ and neighbor in the heart of Winchester and beyond.” Key characteristics for success in this work are:
- thoughtful and lively preaching that inspires and connects people to word and is grounded in an understanding of the Bible as a faithful witness to transforming and reconciling work in the world
- strong, yet collaborative, leadership style that challenges our church family to identify and become passionate about a vision for the church’s future and a strategy for accomplishing that vision
- capacity to engage people empathetically and to care for individuals and families in times of need
- effectively teaching and training us to be better Christian disciples
- patiently listening and serving as a non-anxious guide during change
- forming, with experience and skill, a diverse staff into a synergistic team
- understanding with grace that the church’s pastoral staff cannot accomplish the church’s vision and mission goals without active lay leadership
- entrusting the mission of the church to the entire congregation, under the leadership of the Holy Spirit
What specific tasks, assignments, and program areas will this person have responsibility?
The pastor called to this position is to fulfill the functions listed in the Book of Order G-2.0501 and is expected to:
- serve as Head of Staff, with responsibility for leading, directing, and supervising all professional and support staff. The current staff includes seven full-time employees—two associate ministers; directors of music, children’s and weekday preschool; an administrative assistant to staff; and a business manager. Nine others work part-time with various programs.
- develop and maintain a system of pastoral care.
- direct the worship life of the congregation—coordinating and participating in preaching and teaching ministries that lead to the spiritual growth of the membership.
- strengthen and supervise initiatives that recruit, motivate and train youth and adult leadership to spread the good news of Christ and participate in mission outreach.
- collaborate with downtown clergy and community leaders and represent the church at appropriate community activities and organizations, including Shenandoah Valley Westminster-Canterbury, a Presbyterian retirement community.
- moderate the Session and assume responsibility for organizational and administrative oversight of lay leadership. Serve as staff support to the Board of Trustees, and committees focused on worship, finance, stewardship, and personnel.
Church website: fpcwinc.org
Presbytery website: shenpres.org
City of Winchester: winchesterva.gov
Winchester/Frederick County: visitwinchesterva.com
Shenandoah University: su.edu
Winchester Medical Center: valleyhealthlink.com/WMC
Winchester Public Schools: wps.k12.va.us
Frederick County Public Schools: frederick.k12.va.us
Shenandoah Valley Westminster-Canterbury: svwc.org
Top of Virginia Regional Chamber of Commerce: regionalchamber.biz