Hats off to the Future (under construction)

On April 28/13 we held a 'hats off to the future' visioning event with the help of our facilitator, Rev. Sharon Moon.  Here we sought to examine the future prospects and missional alternatives available to KUC in light of who we are as a church community and where we want to go.  We borrowed the group facilitation and thinking technique embodied in Edward de Bono's 'Six Thinking Hats' to spark our own thinking and to ensure that we covered the various thinking styles to elicit as many and varied ideas as possible.  Please see the results of these discussions below.

The Realist - the Black Hat

Changing traditions will alienate some members.  We could face declining membership - it is a national trend for our church and many others - even the evangelical and fundamentalist.  We may not have the funds required to operate or follow through on new commitments.  We could suffer from a lack of leadership to achieve our goals. We are part of a risk adverse culture.  We need new music to complement what we have but as we change we could upset or ignore the wishes of some congregants.  Pace of getting stuff done is glacial at times and there is no sense of urgency.  People are too busy to invest in long term commitments at church e.g. 3 years on a committee.  We could make mistakes if we don't really understand what the community needs - internal and external.  We feel apprehensive because of external and internal realities.  We need compromise regarding changing our style of worship.  We face storage wars - not enought room for all our 'important things'.  Space issues - sharing the limited space we have leads to some tension.  Lack of communication - internal and external - we do great things but the community doesn't know.  Need ot overcome our natural reserve - do not hestiate to describe what our faith offers and could offer others.  Should consider studying 'unbinding the Gospel' - see Parkdale United Church who have started this process

Creative - The Green hat

solar panels / new chairs / air conditioning / more technology / use in Sunday school / use in worship service / use smart phones during service - use cells for bible verses / use Skype for worship services, funerals, conducting meetings - do things virtually / cut through the admistrivia and protocols - be agile
broadcast services - M & O conference web tool license
community garden with linkage to the fool bank / community kitchen
ipods for all kids in the senior class
more creative communication - internal and external - need to tell the story
Facebook page - wider use of social media
‘wienies for Jesus’
re-think timing of church service - not just Sunday morning
different services for different constituencies
solve WiFi problem in basement
change floor in sanctuary - expand types of use
outside music
technology advisory task force or team - all ages
book club - read books about faith
- with food & ?
phone tree for the elderly to see how they are getting on
meditation sessions
yoga classes
guest speakers - supportive services
good values
get youth to join youth group - boys under represented 
‘Kids Can’ group - rally youth around a cause that they are passionate about - membership within and without the church
generations to share stores
music - intergenerational - cantata, play help elderly and handicapped come to church
God - Blue Hat
tread gently, speak humbly and be accepting
keep it simple - speak of God
to be the best that you can be
approach people and situations from a place of love 
know that I am God
don't forget the spiritual base 
buck the trend
listen for what’s missing
don't be afraid to stand up and and speak to the culture
be joyful
be respectful
be environment stewards
love one another
love the world
walk with one another - be active out in the community
take a risk - don’t be afraid to take a plunge
stay grounded / keep it simple
you don’t have to be dour - have fun
strive for harmony
demonstrate real caring and concern for one another and for the larger community
read the bible - it’s as relevant today as it was yesterday
reach out and touch someone honestly and honorably
just don't go by the numbers, change lives
White Hat

Financial facts – 2 slides

  • Need profile of people on committees
  • Are we bringing in new people?
  • Maybe we need to look at how we do our organizing
  • How do we get more people into churches
  • More direct contact with those in need
  • Middle class
  • Large property
  • Little cooperation between churches in area
  • Want to pursue interfaith opportunities
  • Pastoral Care4 – team needs renewal
  • Superdome – across the street
  • Green space
  • UTube – all the technological changes
  • Huge implicationsNeed conversations with young families
    • Keep up
    • Provide spiritual rooting in a  changing world
  • Sense of community NB
  • Welcome to newcomers – explaining things in worship makes them feel at ease
  • Modern view
    Warmth & informality in worship
  • Welcome to every one
  • We are dominantly white How do we let people who move here know about us?
    • Don’t reflect demographic of culture
  • How do we get to know people of other cultures?
  • World changing – many faiths
  • Don’t have couples clubIn shadow of big Pentecostal church on Greenbank
    • Need to check what people want and need
  • How do we find our niche?
  • More events for Knox & the community with food
  • “Don’t cost money” events
  • More Kermit

Senior Sunday School – Ten years from now 

  • What we have now i.e. 125 in church on Sunday
  • More “old” people
  • Less “old” hymns
  • Teenagers moving away to school
  • Less kids (little)
  • New chairs …
  • New lights – solar
  • New minister – due to retirement
  • Better WiFi – new sound system
  • New floors
  • Youth choir/music program
  • More food events
  • Gardening

Feelings – Red Hat

  • Anxious
  • Will be lots of change
  • Concerns for elders
  • HopefulLots of things we could be doing
    • Concern UCC too involved in social justice and sexuality
    • But that is not us
  • Enthusiastic
  • Renewal
  • There are lots of opportunities  if we look at things from a different perspective
  • Concern too much doing not ??????????????? (not sure what was written or said here)
  • Bible – central – spirituality
  • Celebration – retired stay ????????
    • Inertia and bureaucracy

Optimist - Yellow Hat

  • Air conditioning in the building
  • Youth NB valuesMake possibilities for and then ways of connecting????????????
    • Give alternative opportunities e.g. youth group
  • Find way to connect with Algonquin College kids
  • We are reaching out through Knox Cares
  • Are community resources are can tap into that we don’t have and plug into
  • Many community organizations strapped – need space 
  • We are well received in the community (the church is)
  • Underneath many still respect church
  • People ready to receive
    • Need to adapt how we say it.
    • We can be in charge of ourselves:we don't have to accept fate
    • We can be proactive
      Could partner with the Ben Franklin Superdome or other community institutions to provide activities/hold events
      We could tackle our debt
      We don't have huge building costs
      We have property we can use-e.g. Community gardens
      Congregation is very open and liberal theologically
      Knox becomes known for our action where we live our faith
      Youth care...young people want to be involved when they can make a difference 
      We'll continue to do what we do well...be a welcoming community
      We are aware that different age groups need different things
      A spirit of inquiry is happening...we are braking down walls
      There have been changes and we have adapted
      There is no gossip or back-biting
      We have wonderful staff who have been and will who will help lead us forward
      We are prepared to use alternate ways to be a church
    • Sunday School primary-intermediate
    • Children would like to see more of the following:

      More chairs - because we'll have a larger congregation 
      Music-the little people love to sing
      More decoration- they would like the Sunday School environment to be more lively
      Increase praying
      Games-to make learning more fun
      Stories-they would like to understand the Bible more deeply
      Electronics...they are used to having devices to learn
      Costumes and props- this from the youngest members of Sunday School
      Board games
      Outdoor activities
      Easter egg hunt
      Bean bag chairs...more comfortable learning environment
      Modern music
      A choir for young members
      More picnics
      More active learning opportunities