Announcing Our New Vision Statement
Why does the church exist? What is the church’s purpose? It’s easy to say what a church does: study the Bible, visit the sick, care for the poor, raise our young people in faith, baptize, marry, worship, conduct memorial services, participate in communion, and gather in fellowship. But what is the church’s purpose in these activities?
Over the past 16 months, your Session has been wrestling with the question: what is Preston Hollow Presbyterian Church’s purpose for the next 3-5 years? We have wrestled with that question, recognizing that Dallas, Preston Hollow, and the world is different than when the church was founded 65 years ago. While much has changed, the God we worship and serve has not. God’s love and commitment has remained steadfast. So what is God calling Preston Hollow Presbyterian Church to be now?
The Session did not discern these questions in isolation. Instead, they sought the experience and wisdom of the congregation and the guidance of the Holy Spirit. The Session shared their experiences of encountering God both inside and outside the walls of the church. They gathered in small groups and listened to you articulate your holy encounters, along with your hopes and dreams for why our church exists in 2018. We asked you to dream big, and you did!
Four clear themes emerged from every corner of our community:
- We believe our purpose is to be a community in which people belong, no matter where they are on their journey of faith, life, or love;
- We believe our purpose is to be a community that values diversity of opinion, politics, age, and race;
- We believe our purpose is to not only alleviate the symptoms of poverty, but to work to eliminate poverty in Dallas;
- We believe our purpose is to be a place where people of all ages grow in faith.
Over the span of many months, the Session prayed about these themes and sought a statement that could guide our entire ministry platform for the next 3-5 years. After much prayer and discernment, we are excited to share with you the statement you helped create:
Preston Hollow Presbyterian Church:
Trusting that all belong to God.
Living like we belong to one another.
I am grateful for the many ways you invested in making this statement. I am thankful for the Session’s leadership and commitment to discern with our entire community of faith.
The new vision statement is a theological statement. This fall, we will explore our new vision statement in worship and in our Table Group curriculum. The Session will begin work in September to align our ministry areas with this new statement, including setting goals for the future.
This is an exciting time in the life of our church! It is my hope that this statement will come to life for you, as it has done for me, on a daily basis. For when we trust that all belong to God and seek to live like we belong to one another, we will come to see the living God all around us!
On September 9, at Second Sunday Lunch following 11 a.m. worship, Session members and pastors will hold a forum to discuss the statement and answer any questions you might have. I look forward to our shared journey ahead.
With great hope,