UUMC embarked on the first phase of the Vital Church Initiative (VCI) process in early 2015. Phase I wrapped up last fall. After the leadership team (aka Travel Team) held open congregation meetings (aka Home Team) multiple times over many months, the VCI Team voted to recommend to the UUMC Administrative Board on March 21 that we move forward with Phase II of the process. If approved, Phase II will begin at that time.
Phase II consists of a congregational self-study, including data gathering, a sermon series, prayer team meetings and a number of input sessions. The culmination of this phase is a Consultation Event where a trained consultation team from the Michigan Area of the United Methodist Church interviews congregation members, the staff and the VCI Travel Team. The product of Phase II is a list of three to five "prescriptions" developed by the consultation team to help University UMC become an even more vital congregation. The consultation event, as yet unscheduled, will be scheduled to factor in our pastoral change in July.
Fortunately, Rev. William Bills, whom we will welcome as our pastor in July, has experience with VCI at his current church, Georgetown UMC. Having been through the process, he is aware of the level of commitment and effort it takes as well as the fruit it can bear. Rev. Bills has expressed support for the decisions of both the UUMC's VCI team and UUMC's Administrative Board.
Questions and expressions of concern or support may be personally given to VCI Team members: Dan Cummings, Susan Curtis, Karin Dillon, Galen Goodwin, Rebecca Berry Jost, Andy Kilpatrick, Pete Marvin, Marilyn Rothert, and Betsy Rueckert. You may also talk with Pastors Jennie Browne or Leslee Fritz. Messages may be left at 351-7030.