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five years from now you’re in a hot air balloon, one hundred feet above Mount Olivet’s campus, on a Sunday.
What would you see?
What would you smell?
What would you hear?
Imagine the same scenario, but on a Tuesday - and ask yourself the same questions.
Over one hundred people participated in this visioning exercise between December 2014 and February 2015, and the results brought to light several common themes:
- The property around Mount Olivet was described as having no boundaries, or seeping into the community, like a glacier melting from the building outward.
- People of broad diversity filled the building and the grounds with music, laughter, talking, and also silence. They were engaged in a wide array of activities, from study and prayer, to connecting socially, to groups working on service projects and in the gardens.
- Smells of baking cookies and bread, coffee, vegetables in the garden, fresh mown grass, grilling, and even Axe body spray mixed with Old Spice and Doritos were present.
- The overall feeling was a vibrant community full of energy and anticipation; a safe and judgement free zone; a community gathering place full of delightful sound but with space for silence and reflection.
The compilation of these many vision descriptions resulted in the following Vision Statement:
Led by the Holy Spirit, Mount Olivet is a community that engages and dwells with God, each other and the world. Nourished in spirit, body and mind, sharing faith through action, words and song, we create an experiential community that fosters diversity. We use both indoor and outdoor space for joyful noise and quiet reflection. Our community allows us to safely explore and use our callings, and grow in congregation-led mission inside and outside the walls of Mount Olivet. We love and care for God’s whole creation and show concern for people who will come after us.
We believe this vitalized vision is what God hopes for our future as a community. How do we get there?
Three yearly goals were written to help us:
- For MO members to understand their passions/talents as a gift from God to be shared with the community for the betterment of life for all.
- Learning and practicing our trust in God
- Individually and organizationally MO will endeavor to learn about and set to practice the embrace and nurture of diversity in our community.
This is the work of the congregation moving into God's preferred future - all of us - together!
For as in one body we have many members, and not all members have the same function, so we, who are many, are one body in Christ, and individually we are members one of another. -Romans 12:4-5
Peace to all, Kirsten Kessel, DM