Dear Ladies and Gentlemen!
I am grateful that we could agree on the weekend of 19-20 October 2019 to con-duct a visitation with you. Our Church Constitution requires a visitation of every congregation once every four years. This is a good regulation, because a visitation allows you as a congregation to look at yourself critically. The intention of such a visitation is to recognize how greatly the congregation is blessed and at the same time to establish areas where improvement is due or needed.
The visitation team is not a team of experts, who know all the answers, but rather a team coming from outside that looks at the congregation. They can possibly see things the congregation no longer perceives. At the same time it can possibly es-tablish whether the congregation is healthy and well run, humanly speaking.
The intention is to observe, to discuss, to guide, to encourage and to assist.
The visitation team will consist of 3 or 4 members.
For your and our preparation I would like to request the following documents from you:
- Statistical Report of past 5 years (if possible electronically to determine trends of membership and Sunday service attendance in graph form.)
- Annual Report 2018/2019 as presented at AGM
- Financial Report 2018/2019 as presented at AGM
- List of immovable and movable assets for stocktaking accountability and insurance purposes.
- Details (description and cost) of improvements, alterations and maintenance done during the past 3 years. List of any planned extensions, new buildings and necessary maintenance for the foreseeable future.
- Inventory of congregational registers and official documents
- The current and last two newsletters of the congregation
- List of the various groups in the congregation, names of leaders of those groups and average participation, including the following: purpose and tar-get group, name of leader and co-leader. We request that the group leaders submit a short report so that we can gain an insight into these ministries.
I would like to encourage the church committee members all study the reports as well, that we all have the relevant information at hand by the specified date.
I recommend that each committee member “paints a picture of your congregation” (be specific, creative and visual) – in other words: that each one of you writes down/paints a picture of how you view your congregation. I do not want to prescribe various areas, but rather encourage each one to share what is on your mind. From the different “pictures” you could “paint a picture” as council. This picture could help us to discuss the congregational situation in a constructive way.
The Church Committee should draw up a list of all groups and ministries in the congregation and develop a time schedule for the meetings and invite the respective leaders. Not only should the group leaders attend the discussion groups, but also the participants of the various ministries and groups! The congregational council members are encouraged to join the different groups for the discussions.
Bishop G. Filter.