Congregational development is church growth, a goal of our leadership and people. We believe communities of faith have a responsibility to grow, to increase their resources, to deepen their organization and to broaden their reach into the world. Growth is part of the spiritual DNA of authentic ministries.
In an effort to achieve this goal, the Vestry has set benchmarks for growth. One includes adding six new families by year’s end. In recent months we have seen an increase in membership. About a dozen new communicants have chosen to call Saint Martin’s their church home. Some have been transfers from other Episcopal communities, especially folks relocating to the Chagrin Falls area. Others are new to the Episcopal Church.
Over the summer the Congregational Development group of the Vestry offered two mid hour forums on Sunday to invite parishioners to give their input on how our parish should seek to grow. These were essentially open meetings where members could share their views and insights. The people of Saint Martin’s responded by filling the library and filling a dry marker board with good and effective ideas. Some of these have been implemented already.
We encourage all our members to contribute to the growth of our community. Ways of doing this include: inviting others to join us in worship and service, adopting a welcoming and hospitable attitude to newcomers and visitors, and praying for God’s blessing on our efforts to increase our ministries and resources.
Vestry members who have been working on Congregational Development include Dan Carter, Todd Palmer and Carolyn Downie.