Today, I am pleased to reveal to the congregation for the very first time the fruit of nine months of diligent prayer and work by you the people of Gardens Presbyterian Church.  The fruit of which I am speaking is our church’s new mission statement and congregational values.  We began (informally) working on these vision documents in November of 2016 when we partnered with Ministry Architects to conduct a church-wide assessment of our ministry.  That work lead to our scheduling a Vision Summit in May of 2018.  Many of you, in fact the vast majority of you, participated in both the assessment in November and also the Vision Summit in May.  Our mission statement was crafted from your thoughts, prayers, reflections, and ardent and honest conversation over the course of these past nine months.  I firmly believe this is the work of the Holy Spirit as discerned and articulated by our entire congregation.  This is not just my vision as Pastor; this is not just the vision of our Session; this is God’s vision, given to our church, representing the whole of our church.

The fruit of all this work and thought and prayer is now before you.  Our mission statement and our identity is as follows:

“Through the endless grace of God, GPC is a community led by the Holy Spirit, who cares for and develops people of all generations to worship, to serve, and to share the good news of Jesus Christ.”

As we go about seeking to be obedient to the mission that God has put before us, we are called to be people who embody the following values:

    • We will be a welcoming community because Jesus Christ loves us, we will welcome, love, and accept all.
    • We will be a Holy Spirit led community seeking to partner with the Holy Spirit through prayer and Scripture to fulfill God’s calling to us.
    • We will be a faithful community as by the grace of God we are guided to know, love, and worship Jesus Christ and live according to His Word.
    • We will be a relational community as the Holy Spirit leads us into an authentic relationship with God, which strengthens us to develop authentic relationships with others.

Our Mission Statement articulates who we believe God has called us to be and what we believe God has called us to do.  Our values state the qualities and characteristics of our way of being and living that are important to us and how we will go about seeking to live into God’s mission for our congregation.

Over the course of the months of August and September as we gather for worship together on Sunday mornings, we will begin a new sermon series focusing on a different phrase and aspect of our new mission statement.  I look forward to these opportunities as we together reflect on our identity and mission as the people of God here in the northern Palm Beaches.