Vision Action Plan
VISION ACTION PLAN
In February, the Cathedral vestry adopted our new vision action plan unanimously and enthusiastically. Originally, the plan was to be presented to the Cathedral congregation in May, but that presentation was interrupted by COVID-19. Even so, Cathedral councils are already at work integrating “Rooted in Christ; Built on Christ” into their ministry. Dean Thompson presented “Rooted in Christ; Built on Christ” at the Dean’s Hour Matinee on September 20, 2020.
As we move through the next five years, our new vision action plan will inspire us and guide us, as we continue to proclaim God in the midst of the city. The Visioning Task Force plotted “Rooted in Christ; Built on Christ” on a fly wheel, to demonstrate that each component of our vision informs and generates all of the others.
“Rooted in Christ; Built on Christ” has seven components:
A Culture of Embrace
In Mark’s gospel we are exhorted to “go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation.” (Mark 16:15) The Cathedral will be an open, loving, and diverse parish that embraces all who wish to know God in this place.
- We will embrace and seek to understand those whose faith differs from our own.
- Through education, dialog, and engagement with the community around us, we will actively address the attitudes that divide the human family and seek to thwart God's love, including anti-Semitism, racism, and homophobia.
Communities Within Community
The Cathedral is a large faith community, drawing parishioners from many geographic areas, demographics, affinities, and mile markers on the faith journey.
- We will provide opportunities for parishioners to gather in intentional small groups to grow in relationship with one another and Christ, toward the goal of every Cathedral parishioner becoming involved in community at Christ Church.
- Program initiatives may include new activities to meet the needs of underserved groups and to reach out actively to welcome and embrace parishioners in existing groups.
Formation That Transforms
In addition to our vibrant adult education programs that offer many ways for us to engage our intellect, many of us also desire formation that transforms the heart. St. Paul says in Romans, "Be transformed by the renewing of your minds, so that you may discern what is the will of God." (Romans 12:2) The prophet Ezekiel promises, "A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you." (Ezekiel 36:26)
- We will provide formation that transforms both the mind and the heart, so that God's spirit can work within us and make us disciples.
- To do this, we will expand our educational programs to include spiritual practices and formation of the whole person. We will promote deep spiritual connection and engagement in existing ministries and small groups.
Sharing the Good News
Our own joyful response to the transforming influence of God in our lives is to share joy with others. We call this Evangelism, and it is a direct outgrowth of community, spiritual discipline, and formation.
- Building on our culture of welcome, we will empower our community to share the Good News of Jesus in all areas of our lives: our work, our play, and our homes.
- Evangelism is largely about storytelling: the story of God’s work in the world. We will create spaces in Cathedral programs for all to share their stories, share their joy, and share the story of God’s love.
Generous Living, Generous Giving
We believe a natural outcome of our faithful joy is not only sharing our stories and experiences but also sharing our resources—our time, energy, and money. Just as a sacrament is an outward and visible sign of an inward grace, generosity is an outward and visible sign of our deepening faith. Recognizing that the Cathedral’s mission requires substantial human and financial resources, we will encourage generosity in our parishioners.
- We will be proactive in addressing changes in Cathedral members’ generational giving patterns, seeking to educate all parishioners to be faithful and joyous givers.
- We will develop new opportunities and innovative methods for giving, enlarge the Cathedral endowment, and explore other revenue streams to support the Cathedral’s mission.
Serving the World in God's Name
The visioning process revealed a desire to focus both inside and outside the Cathedral, as our deepening faith and generous living impel us to extend God’s grace in the world. With servant hands and hearts of all ages, we will put faith into action, serving the world in God’s name.
- Within our community, we will address the pastoral needs of Cathedral parishioners, assuring that no one navigates life's journey alone.
- For many years the Beacon—first building it and then strengthening it financially and programmatically—has been a primary focus of our outreach efforts. In addition to that ongoing good work, we will focus outside our Cathedral campus to partner with other charitable organizations in the city to amplify and enhance our outreach to Houston's immigrant communities, the homeless, and others in need.
Caring for God’s Good Earth
In Form IV of the Prayers of the People, we ask God to “give us all a reverence for the earth as your own creation, that we may use its resources rightly in the service of others and to your honor and glory.” We recognize that stewardship and service must extend to the natural world over which God grants us dominion (Genesis 1:26-31) and which is our most precious and finite resource.
- As a cathedral church in a sprawling urban landscape of concrete and metal, we will work to green the world around us.
- We will minimize our carbon footprint, use green spaces as reminders of God's good creation, and educate our congregation on how best to steward the earth.