What is New Beginnings?
- A way for presbyteries or individual congregations to envision a new future for their churches.
- It is both an assessment and a process:
- As an assessment, it provides congregations with information about their church and community, including a building inspection, a financial review, detailed demographic information and much more.
- As a process, it helps churches use that information to discern a new future story for the congregation.
- While the program is primarily geared to churches in significant decline, it is also helpful for churches who simply feel ‘stuck’ in their present situation.
- Over forty PC(USA) churches are already involved in the program – some of which have already decided on a new beginning!
- Future stories come in many forms, including mission redevelopment, relocation, a full restart, or the possibility of leaving a legacy.
New Beginnings: from 'navel-gazing' to 'acting out faith'
As congregations gets "into mix of it" locally, younger folks start to show up
The Presbyterian Church of Ruston, Louisiana, felt like it needed a boost. The small, aging congregation was in good shape; they didn’t have any major problems, having healed from a rift years ago. Of course, they wanted young children and families, but they weren’t dying, and they weren’t panicking.
“But we felt like we need a shot in the arm,” says Commissioned Ruling Elder Edith Hill, who has provided pastoral leadership to the congregation for eight years. “We wanted to think differently—in new ways.”