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It’s an exciting time to be the church at Abiding Presence! If you haven’t already seen it, please take a look at our annual publication Where We’ve Been and Where We’re Going that tells the story of what Abiding Presence has been up to in 2018 and where we hear God calling us in 2019. It’s filled with pictures, stories and examples of our Spirit-filled faith community.

Once you’ve taken a look at our vision, please complete your Statement of Intent for 2019 to indicate your financial commitment to help make this vision a reality. It will take $60,000 in new income and all of us working together to make our vision a reality. You will receive a statement of intent in the postal mail this week or you can make your commitment online. Please make your commitments by Sunday, November 11 in preparation for “Celebration Weekend” November 17/18. Your commitment will allow us to build a budget based on anticipated income to support our ministry in 2019.

Below are some the highlights of how we hear God calling us to “Make Firm the Foundation” in 2019. Thank you for your support! Abiding Presence is the vibrant, active, growing faith community because of your commitment to making ministry happen.

Making Firm the Foundation of our Worship Life

Exceptional worship is a core value of the Abiding Presence faith community. Everything we do as a faith community flows out of our weekly worship services.  

We feel called to continue building and growing our three existing weekly services by:

  • Increasing our average worship attendance to 290 people each week

  • Increasing the number of people involved in worship leadership, with special care given to involve families and provide opportunities for older children and youth to serve alongside a mentor

  • Discerning the possibility of a 4th weekly worship service

More than just cultivating our own worship life, though, we hear God calling us to support other churches as they seek to cultivate their worship life by:

  • Embracing our identity as a teaching church that was formed as an internship congregation

  • Sharing sermon series ideas and some of our contemporary worship resources with other congregations through our website

  • Exploring how we might support the work of the larger church through teaching/mentoring opportunities for seminarians, clergy and other churches

In our fast-paced world, we hear the call this year to offer people the space to experience Sabbath rest by:

  • Adding a quarterly contemplative adult worship service

Making Firm our Living Out of God’s Story in Our Story

God’s story is not just limited to the pages of Holy Scripture. God’s story is our story, too, lived out in our experiences and relationship. Having spent the past year focusing on dwelling in God’s word and learning God’s story, we will now turn our focus to living out God’s story in our daily lives. We want to equip each person with tools, experiences and relationships to take the next step in their discipleship journey.

 Adult Small Groups

  • Increase the number of people involved in congregation-wide adult small group experiences so that at least 125 people will be part of a group this year

  • In order to help people experience Sabbath rest, create an adult spirituality group that will be led by a trained spiritual director to help people explore various spiritual gifts and discipline

Senior High Youth Ministry

  • Discern the “next big thing” for our ministry to and with senior high youth through our participation in the “Community of Practice” with the Log College Project of Princeton Seminary

  • Establish a new ministry specifically geared toward 11th graders called the “Launch Team” that will gather youth for small group Bible Study, prayer, participation in the Dominican Republic Mission Team and discussion about the transition to young adulthood

 Children’s Ministry

  • Explore how to make our children’s ministry scalable for growth given the significant increase in the number of children involved in Sunday School and midweek youth groups

  • Find ways to provide tangible and intentional experiences for children to live out their faith

  • Explore ways for our senior high youth to serve as faith role models for our children and continue equipping them to lead our elementary school youth groups

Making Firm our Facility Care

As a growing church, it has become apparent that our facility has become a limiting factor to expanding our ministry and outreach to the community. We still have plenty of room in the sanctuary (although we might need to order a few more chairs!). The rest of the building, however, has the wonderful challenge of bursting at the seams.

Firming up our facility will allow us to continue to respond to God’s bold vision for our faith community. We will take the following steps this year:

  • Engage an architect in a planning study of the facility, which will involve establishing a facility use committee, writing an RFP, interviewing architects and spending 4-5 months engaged in the actual planning study

  • Explore health and wellness resources that might be offered to the congregation and community during the week, especially counseling, spiritual direction and a parish nurse

  • Be intentional about how we connect people to Christ through our Abiding Presence Community Center by providing a welcoming space that makes clear who we are and what we are about as a faith community

Making Firm Our Commitment to Every Member Serving

Instead of simply involving members in occasional service projects, we want service to be a way of life for our faith community. The goal will be for every person in our faith family to serve in at least one way, both inside the congregation and on behalf of the congregation in the community.

To meet the goal of “Every Member Serves…Literally!”, we will:

  • Provide “Time and Talent” commitment cards in February to each person, asking them to indicate how they plan to serve in the coming year, and follow up at the end of the year to see how we have done achieving our goal of “Every Member Serves!”

  • Equip people to look at all that they do during the week through the lens of being a disciple of Jesus through preaching, teaching and small group conversations