Making a Difference for Christ.
2020 Visioning Summary
In the year 2026, Manchester United Methodist Church will begin “Century 3” as a congregation. After 200 years of faithful ministry, Manchester UMC is poised to launch into our third century with renewed energy and purpose.
To embrace this historic moment, in October of 2020 Manchester United Methodist Church undertook a church-wide visioning process themed “Turning the World Upside Down”. This phrase from Acts 17 describes followers of Jesus as “these people who have been turning the world upside down” in the community of Thessalonica with a spiritual energy that created deep bonds within the church.
During the series we broke into small groups composed of those who were connected with the congregation and asked questions like: “Can the church ‘turn the world upside down’ again?” “What would it look like to ‘turn the world upside down’ here and now?” and “What can Manchester UMC learn about energy, community, and vision from the story of Paul and the Thessalonians?”
Four Areas of Ministry Focus
After reviewing the raw data from the congregation’s responses to the visioning questions, the appointed clergy of Manchester UMC offer the following summary based on the common themes that we saw emerge from the answers offered. The hope is that this will move the congregation toward a vision for the next four years of our work together.
Over the next season, Manchester UMC should focus energy and resources in these four areas of ministry:
Evangelism / Engagement
Sharing the Good News with the community,
and inviting people into relationships.
Many of the responses we read affirmed that the congregation is diverse in political perspectives, despite the demographic make-up of the congregation being less diverse than the surrounding community. In order to truly be an “inclusive community of people” and embrace the welcome statement that so many are drawn to, all people, and in particular those who have been excluded from or marginalized by other communities, need to find authentic affirmation and welcome when participating in the ministries of Manchester UMC.
Evangelism / Engagement Strategists Team
The following individuals are the Evangelism / Engagement Strategists:
- Rev. Jim Peich – Staff Leader
- Tina Sayers – Lay Leader
- Doug Christopher
- Tiffany Conway
- Jeff Haupt
- Chris Kennedy
- Kenna Marcus
- Isabelle Massey
- Denise McCartney
Giving as an integral part of discipleship, as an act of gratitude and praise.
Participants of this study observed that the congregation is quite generous when specific fundraisers are announced, but regular, undesignated tithing has not been prioritized and can be an opportunity for growth at Manchester UMC.
There is a need to deepen the congregation’s understanding of “healthy” financial discipleship, as many members see their offerings as a charitable donation rather than an act that emerges out of the baptismal vows. In order to create a cultural shift in the way its members view generosity, the congregation needs to view giving as a joyful and on-going way to participate in all ministries of the church instead of just an emphasis during one season of the year.
The following individuals are the Generosity Strategist Team:
- Rev. Phil Estes – Staff Leader
- Tara Sintek – Lay Leader
Generosity Strategists Meeting Minutes
Below are the meeting minutes from the Generosity Strategists:
Service / Social Justice
Transforming the world for God’s sake.
Manchester UMC is active in the community by the many opportunities available to serve through the congregation. Because of this broad focus on service, it may impact certain ministries more than others and spread their resources thin.
It is important to emphasize the idea of serving in the name of Christ rather than for one’s own interests. Manchester’s emphasis on social justice ministry was noted in multiple conversations where views differed on how involved the church should be in related issues. By providing a more hyper-focused description of this ministry, Manchester UMC can be more intentional with service opportunities.
Missions / Social Justice Strategists Team
The following individuals are the Missions / Social Justice Strategist Team:
- Nick Reinhardt – Staff Leader
- Heather Kellenberger – Lay Leader
Missions / Social Justice Strategists Meeting Minutes
Below are the meeting minutes from the Missions / Social Justice Strategists:
Embracing the role as a lead congregation
in the area, conference, and denomination.
In our community, in the Gateway Central District, the Missouri Annual Conference, and across the denomination, Manchester UMC has consistently led the way. With a formidable staff, ample resources, a rich tradition, and a spirit of innovation and creativity, this congregation has much to offer in the district, the annual conference, and across the entire denomination. As denominational controversy about marriage and ordination of people in the LGBT+ community looms, Manchester UMC should seize this opportunity, claiming our identity as a “flagship” congregation in the United Methodist Church. Leadership opportunities that provide coaching and training to other congregations while collaborating with ministries will set the tone for the future.
Connectionalism Strategists Team
The following individuals are the Connectionalism Strategist Team:
- Rev. Andy Bryan – Staff Leader
- Mary Beth Harper – Lay Leader
- Chessey Brenton
- Linda Horodenski
- Will Koehl
- Jim Lange
- Ethan Massey
- Roxanne Miller
- Barb Stevens
- Becky Strickland
- Liz Shuburte
- Dick Vreeland
Opportunities to be Involved
Four teams have been formed to work on each area of ministry. These four teams will meet over the next several months to discern specific ways that Manchester might be able to flourish in each particular area. The goal is for each team to establish strategic goals by the end of this calendar year, and begin implementing the strategies in January of 2022.
- Evangelism – Rev. Jim Peich and Tina Sayers
- Generosity – Rev. Phil Estes and Tara Sintek
- Mission/Social Justice – Nick Reinhardt and Heather Kellenberger
- Connectionalism – Rev. Andy Bryan and Mary Beth Harper
It is not too late to be involved! Each team may need to reach out to others in the congregation to be a part of specific aspects of this important work. It might mean helping plan an event or sharing knowledge of a specific topic, or any number of things that haven’t been thought of yet. We are calling this group “Advocates.”
If you would like to be considered an “Advocate,” please sign up below.
Manchester UMC’s Advocates will support each area of focus by periodically being called on to share ideas, experiences, or advice in Evangelism/Engagement, Generosity, Service/Social Justice, or Connectionalism. Advocates will have the opportunity to participate in events and programs related to their focus area, and can commit as much time as desired.
Please complete one form per person:
If you have any questions about Century 3, please email Pastor Andy Bryan.
Learn more about Manchester UMC: