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Action Plan for
First Christian Church
Baltimore 2011-2016
Approved by Church Board
August 7, 2011

Motto: Welcome to the Table

Statement of Calling:

Committed to the unity of God's people at Christ's Table, through the Word of God, we strive to—
      enable service,
            foster fellowship, and
                  encourage education
so that we may grow in God's love.
Developed by participants in our church's Claiming God's Vision Planning Meetings, Spring 2011

Program for
Fulfillment of Calling—
The "Four Legs of the Table":

The Centerpiece of Our Faith:

worship Action Plan for First Christian Church 2011-2016

"Worship God" Program Goals:
  1. Regularly check to make sure that we are visitor-friendly. Is our service easy to follow? Do we have someone to greet and welcome visitors? Are the spaces in the church clearly labeled?
  2. Consider offering Taizé services once a month, weekly during Lent and Advent.
  3. Offer outdoor worship services on the portico or embankment. This year schedule a Blessing of the Pets in October.
  4. Coordinate special music with the worship themes. Explore new types of music while also enjoying familiar hymns.
  5. Select Sundays (5th?) to worship with other congregations. Arrange for a Seder service with Beit Tikvah.
  6. Build on the shared worship services that we already have. This year we are currently planning to add Sept. 11, Christmas Day and New Year's Day as joint worship services in addition to Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, and Christmas Eve.
worship Action Plan for First Christian Church 2011-2016

"Enable Service" Program Goals:
  1. Sponsor fundraisers or honor the leaders of House of Ruth (eg. "Baby Shower").
  2. Find more events to participate in with the House of Ruth.
  3. Participate in the service projects of our building faith partners, which increases our interfaith / ecumenical goal of unity of God's people.
  4. Participate in the 4 planned service projects of the Interfaith Communities of Roland Park (ICRP), which will be initiated at the Memorial Day picnic held here at First Christian.
  5. Set up a "5th Saturday Parent's Day Out" program.
  6. Sponsor a series of lectures dealing with life issues from a faith perspective. Another suggestion: Being a Christian to other religions – how to have conversations with people of other faiths.
  7. Develop a Faith and School partnership via Greater Homewood Community Corporation with Abbottston Elementary School.
worship Action Plan for First Christian Church 2011-2016

"Foster Fellowship"
Program Goals:
  1. Retreat times – this year we have the September retreat scheduled. We could also try for a one-day trip to Bon Secours. What else can we do?
  2. Group events – trips to theater productions, sports events, restaurants.
  3. Potluck dinners – perhaps with speakers (then it works with Education goals, too); these could also be game nights – like Bible Trivia.
  4. Music – concerts (perhaps outside?), jam sessions.
  5. Photos – post photos of members in the church directory and visitors on a Fellowship Wall.
  6. Shirts – provide FCCB polo shirts to wear while going out as a group for fellowship or service so that we are identified as a faith community.
worship Action Plan for First Christian Church 2011-2016

"Encourage Education"
Program Goals:
  1. Book studies – our own (like Who Stole My Church) or joint offerings (like Constantine's Sword along with Beit Tikvah; Making Sense of Scripture with the other Christian congregations and the community).
  2. History of the Disciples.
  3. Baptism / Confirmation class (new and renewal).
  4. Bible Study.
  5. Sunday School – for children and adults.
  6. Website as an educational tool – virtual church – teach on the website, figure out ways to drive members to the website.
  7. Participate in the World Religions lectures with ICRP.

worship Action Plan for First Christian Church 2011-2016

Centerpiece of our Faith: The Chalice

The Lord's Supper or Communion is celebrated in weekly worship. It is open to all who are followers of Jesus Christ. The practice of Holy Communion has become the central element of worship within the Disciples tradition.

Disciples' observance of the Lord's Supper emanates from the upper room, where Jesus shared bread and wine with his disciples on the eve of his crucifixion. Through the power of the Holy Spirit, the living Christ is met and received in the sharing of the bread and the cup, representative of the body and blood of Jesus. The presence of the living Lord is affirmed and he is proclaimed to be the dominant power in our lives.