APPRECIATIVE INQUIRY is a process for self-assessment and goal setting. Through the Fall and Winter of 2011-2012 many members of the congregation enthusiastically worked together using this process to develop a vision for First United’s future.

We identified five strengths in our present ministry and stated what we would like to strengthen and what new initiatives we might undertake. Each of the following statements expresses where we see ourselves in five years and also provides a springboard to concrete goals:

  • CELEBRATE WHO WE ARE

First United is a safe place to share our authentic selves. We celebrate who we are through worship, education and fellowship. We express ourselves through music, social and environmental justice. We welcome all with love, compassion and acceptance.

  • CONNECT TO THE COMMUNITY

Sharing the gift that is our facility and highlighting our congregation’s commitment to social justice, we are seen as a fully-used community resource where the needs of seniors, students, women in crisis, and the underserved are addressed. We have tapped the expertise of area colleges, universities, and businesses and offered our building as a “laboratory” for them to apply their knowledge to address social and environmental innovation.

  • ENHANCE WORSHIP AND SPIRITUAL DEVELOPMENT

Reformed worship itself is a means of enhancing spiritual development through participation in worship planning by intergenerational groups within the congregation. This approach offers opportunities to study scripture, share faith journeys, and incorporate a variety of creative expressions, styles, and media, in order to engage all ages. We seek to create worship experiences that integrate both traditional and contemporary styles.

  • STRENGTHEN OUR SOCIAL INTERACTIONS

At First United we collaborate to share the Earth's bounty in fellowship, love, and unity on an ongoing basis. We promote fellowship to meet the spiritual and social needs of the community and congregation through a wealth of activities that enhance our worship, our relationships, our mission and ourselves. We invite all in the greater community to fully participate with us.

  • RE-ENERGIZE OUR MISSION SPIRIT

With our unique connections and organizing capacity we have developed strong, more comprehensive networks in the city and beyond. We share the resources of the presbytery and other agencies (local, national and international) to further enhance and develop our mission goals. We use technology and face–to–face communication/connections as our outreach tools to connect to mission opportunities.