Late last month, Christ Church parishioners 16 and older received an invitation to participate in an all-parish survey, either by email for the online version or in the mail for the paper version. Good results are coming in already.

We need to hear from YOU to get the best possible insight into our faith community, so we can incorporate your ideas into our strategic plan. If you haven’t completed the survey yet, the members of the Strategic Planning Committee (SPC) encourage you to set aside 30 minutes or so to complete the survey before April 16.

In mid-March, the SPC reached out to leaders of other local churches and nonprofits such as Carpenter’s Shelter, The Campagna Center, and the Alexandria Gay and Lesbian Community Association. This effort gathered opinions on Christ Church’s role in the community, our strengths, and in some cases, ideas about where we could expand our influence.

We also reached out to the unchurched and disaffected in the area to gain insight on what roles Christian churches might take on in the community from people who aren’t part of a faith community. And we’ve studied trends in, and traits of, other vibrant, successful Episcopal churches.

All these ideas will be considered as we design our path into the future, but it’s your survey answers that will best guide the vision for where Christ Church needs to be in the next five years.

The Committee’s next step will be to work with vestry, program staff and clergy to begin drafting a strategic plan, informed by all the information gathered. The Vestry will work to further develop this plan at the annual vestry retreat in late June.

Once completed later this year, the strategic plan will guide funding and program decisions and set benchmarks and goals in key areas for the next three to four years, and provide a means to focus our efforts on the most important and meaningful programs. The goal is to create a plan that will exploit to their fullest potential the myriad gifts this parish has to offer our parish, the community, and the world.

If you haven’t already completed your survey, please do it as soon as possible, but no later than April 16. We need to hear from YOU.

By Anita Arms, Strategic Planning Committee Chair