May 3, 2022
As members of the Planning Council we’ve been working on an updated mission statement to renew our collective sense of BRPC’s identity and purpose, a renewed sense of who God is calling us to be and what God is calling us to do. We seek your involvement in the process as we prayerfully listen for God’s voice.
The pages that follow contain our draft of “Vision 2030.” It is aspirational, describing the congregation we believe God is calling us to become. It is written in the voice of the present tense, in the year 2030, describing our church and our ministry.
During the month of May we are hosting listening sessions and gathering feedback. We will prayerfully digest and reﬂect on that feedback, and then present our ﬁnal recommendation to Session.
We seek your feedback on Vision 2030 by responding to the following questions:
1. What is your impression? Does this describe the church you want to belong to, the one you would invite a friend to?
2. Is there anything you believe God is calling us to that we have missed?
3. What are your suggestions for how we can creatively and faithfully live this out?
4. What are your suggestions for “major initiatives” that we commit to, a special area of focus for each program year?
We invite you to complete the online survey at the bottom of this post, or email your responses to firstname.lastname@example.org. Printed copies are also available in the Church House and Narthex and you are welcome to mail your responses to us at 1 East Oak Street, Basking Ridge, NJ 07920. Please respond as soon as you are able, and no later than May 25.
Thank you for your prayers and participation!
On behalf of the Planning Council
Bill Adams, Peggy Eicher, Allison Fahey, Lee Horner, Rev. Dennis Jones, Barbara Knudson, Matthew Palmer, David Pasnik, and Peter Ward
A Vision for Basking Ridge Presbyterian Church In 2030 and Beyond
“Loving God and Loving Neighbor”
We are a vibrant, warm, and welcoming community of faith. Those who worship here come from a diverse range of backgrounds, and would describe themselves in a rich variety of ways. We acknowledge our doubt and our struggles. We are all quite human and imperfect and we are each at a unique place on our faith journey. We find our unity, our common identity, in Jesus Christ, and together seek to joyfully worship God and energetically minister to the needs of the world on God’s behalf. We gather in anticipation of being transformed by the power, purpose, and presence of God among us, and go forth equipped to love God and neighbor more deeply and more wholeheartedly. We believe that faithful leadership of a church requires being open to new possibilities, taking risks, and learning from mistakes as we try again. Honoring the past, we are convinced that God calls us to a new future.
Worship & Music
Joyful and Spirit-ﬁlled worship of our Almighty God is the center of our life together. “Make a joyful noise to the Lord, all the earth! Worship the Lord with gladness . . .” (Psalm 100:1-2) The heritage of a deeply Christ-centered worship and music program continues to serve as a focal point of our congregation’s weekly activities. In order to expand on our love for one another and our experience of community we have chosen a single service of worship bringing us together at the same time each week, with worshippers engaging both in person and online. This format also ensures that the gifts and energy of our church leadership, both staﬀ and volunteers, are faithfully deployed. We are deliberate about embracing new technology – including possibilities we have not yet contemplated – that enhances meaningful worship, while still honoring the traditions of the church. Video recording of weekly worship services and podcasts enable individuals who prefer to worship on other days or diﬀerent times. Music is energizing and inspiring, and includes a rich variety of styles and traditions. Inspiring preaching helps connect the good news of Christ with the hunger and hope that is deep within us.
Christian Education & Spiritual Formation
We emphasize the importance of not only gaining knowledge of God, but also nurturing faith and a relationship with God. Christian education serves as a vital aspect of church programming. The primary focus of adult education is Christian spiritual formation. A high percentage of our congregants are engaged in Christian educational oﬀerings, many in the form of small groups. Small groups continue to take on new and varied forms to meet the needs of spiritual growth as well as fellowship. Youth ministry for middle school and high school youth is vibrant and growing, with many participants coming from other faith traditions or no prior faith tradition at all. The summer work camps continue to be a life-defining event for many of our young people. Membership at our church means something. It is a significant and intentional commitment to Christ and to one another. Through weekly worship, involvement in small groups or classes that nurture spiritual growth, serving others, and generous giving, members are drawn closer to God and one another through their engagement in the life of this faith community. At the same time, we offer a warm welcome and a safe harbor to all those who are searching for God, or an experience of community, whatever their story, situation, or creed.
Mutual Love for One Another
A strong value of our church membership is our mutual caring for the well-being of one another, the extended church family, and our neighbors. This is provided through pastoral attention, a Deacon Ministry, Stephen Ministry, joyful fellowship gatherings, and a culture of concern and action throughout the congregation. A sense of knowing and caring for one another, and being in community together, profoundly blesses us.
Mission Outreach – Loving our Neighbor in Need
Our mission activities involve people supporting people in need. We have a strong local mission emphasis and also meaningfully support national and international eﬀorts. Our local mission work includes hands-on engagement, such as God’s Co-op Pantry and the Elizabethport Center. We have also strengthened partnerships and bonds of friendship with other churches and community groups. Our Christian values guide us in matters of social justice and the stewardship of our planet. Jesus taught, “Whenever you did one of these things to someone overlooked or ignored, that was me – you did it to me.” (Matthew 25:40, MSG) And so we seek to reach out to our neighbors in need, no matter the circumstance.
The pastoral staﬀ devotes substantial time to considering new possibilities that God has placed before us. This includes equipping and empowering church members for ministry, aiding them in discovering their spiritual gifts and hearing God’s call. We have continued to embrace and celebrate our hybrid ministry as a way of accommodating and connecting with our congregation wherever they are. Members and visitors from across the nation and beyond have been able to engage in person, online, or in a mixture of both. Online participation — whether in worship, fellowship, small groups, or service — has broadened our reach and is viewed with equal value and importance as in person participation.
Closing and Mission Statement
Our church is blessed to have been able to move forward in response to God’s call in these years of challenge and possibility. We have reaffirmed our core identity of being a disciple-making community of faith, guiding all who seek him toward a deeper commitment and love for Christ. The foundation of our lives and our ministry is the Great Commandment of Jesus: Love God with all your heart and soul and mind and strength, and love your neighbor as you love yourself.
in the Journey toward our 2030 Vision:
1. Celebrate and more fully engage our online community
2. Children and youth ministries and their families emphasis
3. Worship related emphasis
4. Mission emphasis
5. Small group emphasis
6. Other suggestions . . . .