The Story of Who We Were….
Cycle I Survey Highlights and Summary as of December 25, 2021
The FCC Renewal Listening Team thanks all of you for being involved in this process of developing a narration of us, First Congregational Church. This is a living document – one open for improvement. One we’ve adapted using feedback from many of you about earlier drafts was gained. As new themes became evident we’ve tried to strengthen the authenticity and breadth of this account of what has historically attracted us and bound us to one another in God’s sight and for God’s purpose. With this version of “Who We Were…” we will lay Part One of our story as a church aside for a while, so that we can focus our attention on the next phase – “Who We Are Now….” Even so, we remain open to improvements in this summary and intend to renew our look at who we were on a recurrent basis in the future. For now, this story of who we were will serve as a great launching point for next steps in renewal. Again, huge thanks for sharing!
What We Heard You Say About Who We Were…
We heard you say that when you initially came to First Congregational Church, it felt like home; it felt familiar. The people were sincerely welcoming. There is a special community within this church. We heard you say that you feel you are valued for what is in your heart.
You highlighted the importance of intergenerational involvement and a sense of being “knit together” like a family. Generations of biological relations attending FCC together provided stability and deep roots on which families thrived. For some of you, virtual families in Christ were created and bolstered relationships with our God and within our congregation that reinforced values you hold deeply.
You gave us accounts of seasons of powerful spiritual growth at FCC from bible studies, impactful sermons, prayer gatherings, mission work preparation and participation. Similarly, you told us the holy spirit’s presence and movement were deeply felt in prayers to, for, and with one another individually, in small groups, and as a congregation.
We heard too that you value FCC for the care, empathy, and nurture of our spirits and of our minds. You have valued many in our church community because of the good and spiritual ways they have influenced you and helped you be people of healthy and holy influence. Having members who have modeled and meaningfully taught discipleship were important spiritual inspirations for you.
We heard you say that through the generations our youth programs have been and remain critical to providing a shared purpose, continually provided social and spiritual growth, a sense of belonging, fun and even delight.
We heard frequently and clearly: Music drew you into worship here. It was and is esteemed as one of the best qualities at FCC. You said it inspires, is foundational in celebrations and important church traditions, reorients and grounds us in prayerful attitudes. And for those who share their musical talents it provides purpose, a sense of belonging, fellowship, and personal growth – both spiritually and musically.
We heard you say that our church is at its best when we have unity in purpose in service to others. As we work on projects and events together, sharing the Gospel and our gifts, we gain a sense of identity as a community of faith working together in love, actively answering God’s call.
This is what we heard you say: having programs for all members of all ages is important. These programs have included Bible Studies, Fellowship Groups, Youth Group, Sunday School, Choirs, Interpretive Dance, Boy Scouts, Summer Camp, and Vacation Bible School.
You repeated many times that fellowship at FCC cultivates joy and meaning in your lives, and what we do together at and through church builds relationships that enrich us beyond our church doors.
We again wish to thank you in advance for your prayers as we continue in this process of discovering of what God has in store for us all as we move forward from this day.