At the spring New Orleans Association meeting a presentation was given by David Schoen, of Local Church Ministries UCC, invited the churches of the New Orleans Association to participate in a project that could be called “ From Surviving to Thriving: A Vital Future for Louisiana Congregations”.

The specifics of the project have to be developed, but the highlights of the project are as follows.

The project would put together a program that meets the needs of those churches that respond positively to being a part of the pilot vitality program.

Here are suggestions as to what that program might include:

  • Help in assessing the congregation’s strengths, challenges and future including mission site, demographics, assessment process and consultant to work with the congregations.
  • Assessment of potential candidates for churches in search process.
  • Based upon the assessment and congregations involved, LCM staff would put together programs for training for pastors and leaders of renewing/new churches.
  • Expectations for congregations would be that they would make commitment of time, persons, and finances to this program.

This is a simple draft of how a program might be developed.

Each church present at the spring NOLA Association meeting was encouraged to discuss the proposed project with their governance bodies.  

Rev. David Schoen has requested that the association and the conference endorse and support the project.  Also, the association is asked to designate a volunteer liaison that will work with the LCM staff and the   project participating churches of the association.

Next Step:

  • Appoint a liaison from the association who will work with the staff of LCM and the participating project churches.

I would like to encourage anyone who would be interested in being this liaison, to please let me know on or before 31-AUG-2010.  I would also like the clergy in the New Orleans Association to promote this venture and encourage anyone who may be interested to contact me. The person(s) who express interest would then be reviewed by the New Orleans Executive Board and an appointment would be made.

Alyce Downer
Moderator, New Orleans Association