BUMC 2022-2023 Ministry Focus Areas
By Rev. Dr. HiRho Park, Lead Pastor
“Remember not the former things nor consider the things of old. Behold, I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth; do you not perceive it?”Isaiah 43:18-19a
It has already been a year since I stepped into the lead pastor’s position at BUMC. Even though it seems a short time, we underwent many changes during my first year at BUMC.
I thank members of BUMC who have been adapting yourselves to the unfamiliarity of having the first racial-ethnic woman in charge of the church’s leadership. I understand that it has not been easy for some; however, I also thank you for your prayers and patience with me.
Bishop LaTrelle Easterling graciously re-appointed me to BUMC as of July 1, 2022. I am delighted to continue to serve this great congregation.
I feel the warm breeze of the new spirit at BUMC. Now is the time to grow after a challenging year of changes and two and a half years of going through the pandemic.
The Church Council had a retreat on June 4, and the leaders agreed on five focus areas for 2022-2023 based on the vision and mission statements below.
“YOUR KINGDOM COME, YOUR WILL BE DONE ON EARTH AS IT IS IN HEAVEN.”
– Matthew 6:10
Lead pastor’s vision for BUMC
“THE REPAIRER OF THE BREACH, THE RESTORER OF STREETS TO LIVE IN.”
– Isaiah 58:12
BUMC’s Mission Statement
“GROWING TOGETHER TO LOVE AND SERVE CHRIST, OUR NEIGHBOR, OUR WORLD.”
BUMC’s Call to Action
“Wash More Feet.”
Five Focus Areas
God is calling BUMC to see the dream that God has for us. God urges us, “It springs forth; do you not perceive it?” through the prophet Isaiah. To discern God’s dream for us, the Church Council wanted BUMC to focus on these five areas for 2022-2023.
1. Grow: Go Back To The Basics
John Wesley led the revival movement in England known as Methodism. In his sermon, “On Laying the Foundation of the New Chapel,” Wesley said,
“Methodism, so-called, is the old religion, the religion of the Bible, the religion of the primitive church.” Wesley’s statement calls us back to the basics of our faith.
According to John Wesley, Christian principles are attending public worship, receiving communion, devotion in prayer, reading the Scripture, attending Bible study, and fasting. We will focus on these Christian principles to deepen our faith.
2. Love: Re-Connect and Build Relationships
“Day by day, as they spent much time together in the temple, they broke bread at home and ate their food with glad and generous hearts, praising God and having the goodwill of all the people. And day by day, the Lord added to their number those who were being saved” (Acts 2:46-47). In the congregational survey, we conducted this spring, we asked, “How can we help you grow spiritually, helping you grow closer to God?” We also asked, “What can we do differently for everyone to feel connected and cared for?” As a result, 56% of people responded to checking on those who have not been attending church, and 45% of respondents responded to having more small group opportunities.
To respond to these requests, we will organize ourselves with BUMC Band Meetings. John Wesley, the founder of Methodism, established different meetings from larger to smaller: Methodist societies, class meetings, bands, and Holy Clubs. A band is a small group aimed toward an internal gathering of Christians.
Band meetings were composed of small groups of six to eight people with a facilitator. Through band meetings, we will practice listening deeply to one another and loving unconditionally to heal each other’s wounds of loss, disappointment, and loneliness during the pandemic. Historically, the band has been proven to achieve love and growth in unity. The final goal of the band is to harmoniously seek growth in holiness and pursue holy living motivated by flexibility and change. We plan to organize band meetings during the summer and implement them starting in the fall.
3. Serve: Embrace Diversity and Inclusion
BUMC will pursue equity for all people – equity of opportunities and access to resources will make a difference in people’s lives. About 12 of us have participated in the “A Diverse Church by Design” program from the conference. The curriculum is written based on the Design Thinking Theory. The core concept of this program is that we can achieve diversity by following a strategic process. We are at the stage where we identified the problem at BUMC regarding diversity and inclusion, and the group came up with the statement below:
“The BUMC community has been damaged by the COVID pandemic and world and local events. BUMC seeks to rebuild the foundation; provide a space to encourage and respect diversity in membership, thought, and theology; and address conflict in an open and transparent way.”
We will create space and opportunities so people can have “brave conversations” without judgment.
4. Educate: Share Facility and Your Brain
The love of education is deeply rooted in my heart. Therefore, sharing the reservoir of intellectual resources at BUMC with the community and the world only makes sense since God has blessed BUMC with people with higher education.
There are two ways BUMC can share the resources we have for promoting education:
One is sharing our facility and restarting a nursery/pre-school. Mike Moran, Riley Williams, and Dianna Mears have been exploring a possibility, and there is a great opportunity that we can make this happen in spring 2023.
The other is that we can share the intellectual gift that BUMC has through technology with the world. Now we work with the Lakelands Institute, which helps churches with communication and technology for our communication technology needs. There is an excellent possibility that we can develop online educational resources for the world in collaboration with Lakelands Institute. This could take more time; however, I believe that God has given us this mission.
5. Give: Raise Financial Resources for Ministry
We have formed a Stewardship Team led by Mike Mitchell. The members are (so far): Pat Harvey, Neil Gregory, Shaw Brewer, Karen Kirwan, Mike Moran, and Socorro Sliker. We want to have a young parent for our group. If you are interested, please let me know.
The Stewardship Team prayed every morning for the week of June 13-18 seeking guidance for our stewardship plan. Our goal is to strategize a plan and start implementing it in late August, much earlier than in the past. I pray we will have another full-time associate pastor within two to three years.
I ask for your prayers and support for BUMC to focus on these five areas. The Lord has blessed BUMC with people who possess many gifts, talents, and resources, and we cannot build up the BUMC community and ministry without you!