The Board of Trustees and the Interim Search Team identified areas deemed needing attention during the two-year interim ministry.

What are the strengths of this congregation?

  • People are committed to the church as a whole and our health as an institution
  • We have both talented lay leaders and staff who are skilled, creative, adaptive, and willing to risk trying new things
  • Our congregation is comprised of a vibrant mix of ages
  • Our congregation is deeply engaged through church programming: People open up and know one another through Soul Matters, Wellspring, OWL, Coming of Age, restorative justice/peacemaking circle training, social justice connection groups, retreats, Council of Congregational Ministries
  • Our congregation is strongly committed to social justice
  • We have a beautiful and welcoming space that is centrally located, with a peaceful and natural landscape, and it is unique in Des Moines

What areas of focus are needed for the interim ministry? (what needs attention, where is there conflict, what are the challenges?)

  • Developing a mission statement and strategic plan using the ends, developing metrics of success and an action plan that will help us achieve our mission
  • Maintain and grow the congregation, including improving vibrant and visible member engagement and reaching and engaging new members of more diverse backgrounds
  • RE on Sundays (for example, volunteer teacher recruitment and training)
  • Stewardship: supporting acculturation of members, encouraging more volunteering, financial
  • Examine roles of Erin and staff and innovate to play to strengths and aspirations; create more family programming as part of RE and engage Erin and Tracy in planning and execution
  • Leadership development within congregation

Desired strengths of an interim minister:

  • Knowledge of and experience in: working with mid-sized churches moving into a larger congregation, operations, team ministry, creative adaptation of ministerial roles, and policy governance
  • Ability to reach out to and engage with all members
  • Approachable (with office hours); ability to reach out to and engage with all members
  • Thoughtful pattern recognition (is there a single cause of multiple undesirable symptoms?)
  • Variety and depth in sermons

Current areas of momentum that should not lose steam during the interim time:

  • Stewardship: supporting acculturation of members, encouraging more volunteering; caring ministry; developing metrics of success
  • Stewardship: financial – continue engaging congregation through cottage meetings and explore expanding efforts to improve church finances and expand programming and community services; deepen the financial commitment and volunteer base from a broader sub-section of the congregation
  • Musical offerings
  • Strong community connections
  • Wednesday night programming (possibly extending to Saturdays)
  • Building a relationship culture at church

What current traditions or programs do you wish to maintain:

  • Soul matters; Wellspring; small group ministry
  • Two one-hour long services each Sunday
  • Faith in action
  • Community partnership and collecting for community organizations to foster community ties