Vitality Initiative Findings


Background on the Vitality Initiative: Southwood applied for and was selected to participate in the Congregational Vitality Initiative being led by the ELCA synod. This initiative has phases spanning approximately 18 months and started in September 2023. We are looking at what is Congregational Vitality? How do we know if Southwood is a vital congregation? If Southwood disappeared, what would be the impact on our community? We are walking through four phases where we learn about our church, the community around us and how we are and can continue to be vital. What we learn will help guide us as a church to determine our purpose and role in God's mission for us as a church in the future. We are completing the first phase where we are looking at who we are as a church, what makes us unique, and where God might be leading us into the future. 

The Vitality Team has gathered stories from members of the congregation and found some overriding themes of where God is working within our church. We are looking to share those themes in this video. They include 1) providing a community that is Welcoming and Invites People into Community, 2) Our Outreach in the Community, and 3) Faith Growth. The exact wording of these is probably still being tweaked in our script. Examples of moments of these in the church are: for number 1 that it is a feeling of home and being welcomed right away such as on Sunday mornings or when gathering that everyone is genuinely happy you are here and is communicated in all we do....small groups, youth, choir, serving teams, sunday school....all of it is welcoming and help people feel like they are home; for number 2 it is more external as we serve in the community and around the world in order to extend and build community beyond our walls; and for number 3 it is more of our closer in our relationship with God as we praise and thank him in worship, etc.

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