Ministry Information Form Narrative Questions

1. What is the congregation’s or organization’s vision for ministry? Additionally describe how this vision is lived out.The vision of North Anderson Community Church Presbyterian is:
The NACCP family embraces all as we seek love, justice and peace in our fragile world. We celebrate our differences as we demonstrate openness, compassion and understanding.We celebrate our differences as we demonstrate openness, compassion and understanding. This is “lived” by celebrating our differences whether they are racial, cultural or different sexual orientations. We honor ideas even if they are different from our own. This has been lived through participation in the Interfaith series of world religions and the United Religion Initiative.Over the entrance of our church is the Aramaic word Ephphatha “Be opened”. Our church has embraced this as our motto, to be opened in mind and heart to God’s plan for our lives and our church in the world today. As the only More Light congregation in South Carolina we hope to lead with love in an ever changing world.

We endeavor to be a family that embraces all. We provide a welcoming environment for anyone who walks through our doors, including people of different faiths and those who profess to be agnostic or atheistic. We also welcome God’s creatures and well behaved, leashed dogs often attend our church services.

We are a supportive community that demonstrates compassion and understanding by supporting members who may struggle with illness, addiction, depression, loss, grief, mental illness, and homelessness. This support comes in many different forms to address the need: finding housing, food, furniture and providing visits, encouragement, and prayer.

We seek love, justice and peace in our fragile world
. We show this intent through local charities and an international mission. Every third Sunday, a member of the church provides a meal where donations are collected and given to a charity of their choice. Also, over the past twenty years, NACCP has supported a Nicaraguan mission. This mission was established by a group of our charter members in order to assist third world farmers in improving the quality of their lives. They have made a major impact in this area of the world and this is an ongoing, successful endeavor. We try to find a way to bring love and peace when we see a need, whether local, national or international.

In a world so fragile we are mindful of taking care of the earth we live in. We try to be good stewards of our earth by recycling at the church. We are reminded of how fragile our world is by participating in “Fold the flock” which consisted of folding a representative flock of carrier pigeons that are now extinct.

We live our vision through the attached list of activities past and present. We pray in this very brief response you see how our church expresses God’s love through action and a vision that is not just mere words on a page.

Activities Past and Present

Special Services Activities for our Congregation Community Events Community Service Fundraising
Maundy Thursday Wednesday Eat and Meet Advanced Directives Class Blood Drive Third Sunday Meal
Sunrise Easter at the Labyrinth Progressive Dinners Alzheimer Training Christmas Meal for the Homeless “Souper “ Bowl
Christmas Pageant Tubing on the Chattooga Religious Education Fishing Derby for The Village Alzheimer’s Fundraiser
Christmas Eve Caregiver’s Support GroupApple Picking United Religions Initiative Cooking/Wreath Making Class for the Homeless
Angel Tree Gifts for New Foundations
Anderson Interfaith Ministries for Food Bank Donations
Blessing of the Animals (Donations for PAW’s animal shelter) Labyrinth Programs Dance Group
Volleyball Ministry
Nicaraguan Mission  Trips
Adopt-a-Highway
Recycling
Safe Harbor Women’s Shelter
Child Fund International Sponsor
Book studies Upstate Homeless Coalition Work Team for Katrina Thornwell Home for Children
Play Days World Labyrinth Day Caroling at the Nursing Homes Mother’s Day offering for Presbyterian Homes
Game Night
First Sunday Meal
Anderson Lay School of Theology
Volleyball Ministry
Community Garden to Donate Fresh Produce to Anderson Interfaith Ministries
Adult Day Care
One Great Hour of Sharing
First Sunday Meal Crock Pot Cook-offs supporting food charity

 

2. How do you feel called to reach out to address the emerging needs of your community or constituency?

We would like to eventually be a “full service “church, not only providing spiritual guidance but also tackling other life issues that our community is dealing with.
Spiritually, we are a (nationally) progressive church, functioning in a very conservative region and state. We are still the sole More Light congregation (for ~ 9 years) in South Carolina, and now that the national church is moving in that direction, we hope to be an example of how a welcoming church should function.

Theologically, we are more of an intellectual church than an emotional one. We believe that one should “bring their brain to church” instead of leaving it at home. We would like to try to reach out to those who have given up on the church because they find it incompatible with a modern lifestyle. Our worship time is organized with the service coming first, then after a short break we reconvene for an open, church-wide discussion. This allows members to give feedback on the sermon and discuss current events and concerns. Often times, this discussion period is as worshipful, spiritual, and community building as the actual worship service.

We are an aging congregation and dealing with all of the issues that come with that. We feel that we have a unique approach to Christianity that is very much needed by our greater community. We would like to attract the younger generations, as we feel that our brand of progressive Christianity is more in line with modern beliefs, but we need marketing leadership to help in reaching out to them.

On a physical level, we are involved in several outreaches. We support the community food bank by contributing canned goods and fresh produce from our garden. We host an annual fishing derby for adults with special needs and provide Christmas gifts for young people that live in a group home. We have a bi-annual blood drive for our local hospital as well as supporting our Nicaraguan mission.

There are continuing signs of economic stress in our area. Poverty and lack of employment is an issue for many in the greater community, and diabetes and heart disease are major health issues. Exercise programs and courses in healthy cooking have been tried in the past. It’s a challenge to take on new issues when our active congregants are already doing so much.

We do give free office space to the Upstate Homeless Coalition, offer meeting rooms for several 12 step groups and provide space for community dance groups.

We have developed an outdoor worship/activity area (a roofed shelter and fire pit) that is situated in the woods adjacent to our “Labyrinth Under the Trees”. Our labyrinth (80 ft. in diameter) is a quiet, peaceful, contemplative space that was built to commemorate our church’s 40th anniversary. It was designed and created as a gift to the greater community and is open to the public.

3. How will this position help you to reach your vision and mission goals?

NACCP (North Anderson Community Church Presbyterian) was intentionally created to be an alternative to the traditional Presbyterian worship format. Our congregation possesses exceptional talents and gifts that have contributed to our uniqueness and success through the years. Our members represent a wide variety of vocations and expertise, enabling us to meet our goals. Even though we come from a variety of backgrounds, there continues to be an inclusive family atmosphere as we welcome all who enter the doors of the church. We emphasize intergenerational activities so that our children have grown up with adult and senior adult mentors. Each member gives of his/her time and talents to spearhead tasks at church and in the community.

As we embark on this important mission of finding our new teaching elder, we hope for a person that not only helps to sustain our current missions/goals, but will help us to move forward in directions which will again grow our community. Many of our young people have completed their journey with us and moved on to other parts of the country, which leaves us with a dedicated but aging community. We would like her/him to bring spiritual and practical gifts to supplement our programs that would underscore our support for social justice and interfaith traditions.

4. Provide a description of the characteristics needed by the person who is open to being called to this congregation and/or organization.

Our pastor is an excellent preacher, growing and enabling the congregation to grow. Leading by example, our pastor inspires respect and appreciation for different viewpoints and faith traditions. The Teaching Elder is well-versed in progressive theology being able to understand and communicate the relevance of that teaching to real-life experience. A caring person sensitive to the needs of individuals and groups, (s)he is able to provide counseling where needed. Our pastor has the ability to make decisions after weighing the relevant factors. We welcome an articulate representative of our congregation in the community.

5. For what specific tasks, assignments, and programs areas will this person have responsibility?

The solo pastor will need to provide spiritual leadership with a vision for the future. Responsibilities will include leading worship service and adult discussion following worship; providing pastoral care including hospital/home visitation and counseling; working with committees and programs; actively representing the church in the Presbytery and community; planning and moderating Session; leading congregational meetings. The pastor will be supported by an active congregation and Session that is willing to take initiative.