The Woods Memorial Presbyterian Church
Severna Park, Maryland
Welcoming all to grow and serve in Christ
Our Ministry Vision
Honor and connect with God (Worship)
Care for each other (Belonging)
Participate in God’s ministry (Service)
Become more like Jesus (Spiritual Growth)
Bless the world as ambassadors of God (Mission)
(Adopted in 2007)
Our Unique Mission Gifts and Opportunities: Themes and Visions
Developed through the Appreciative Inquiry Envisioning Process,
October, 2009 – April, 2010
Woods Church is a faith community of believers in Jesus Christ who are spiritually engaged in a variety of ways at all times:
Worship and Theology
Worship that realizes strength of preaching, variety of worship styles, inspiring music,
weekly offering of communion, and extension beyond our sanctuary.
We are engaged by the Word of God proclaimed in worship through thought-provoking and illuminating sermons which address discipleship in the context of Scripture and the modern world, as well as by inspiring music, communal celebration of the sacraments, and creative use of liturgy. Our three distinct weekly worship services (Communion, Traditional, and Contemporary) recognize that we can worship the same God in a variety of meaningful ways, while our Home Communion ministry and Retirement Community Communion services proclaim that neither our worship nor our community is bound within the walls of our sanctuary.
Vision of Woods’ Ideal Future: Members of the community are drawn to Woods because of their desire to experience meaningful worship and true fellowship. Worship is Christ-focused, from the music to the sermons to the sacraments. Members experience sermons that are powerful, inspirational, compelling, encouraging, and relevant. Members grow in their faith and deepen their personal relationship with Jesus Christ and are better prepared to serve as his disciples in their local communities and the world at large. Members understand the value of a collective Christian worship experience and say that there is no substitute for regular worship experiences in their lives.
A welcoming spirit that affirms diversity of perspective and religious backgrounds
in a “big tent” of engaged disciples.
We are engaged by people from different backgrounds and with different perspectives. Woods has consistently affirmed the value of being a “Big Tent”, that is a welcoming community inclusive of people from a variety of faith traditions and experiences. We are a Presbyterian Church (USA) church, and recognize that even within that denominational affiliation the theological spectrum is broad, and that embracing that breadth benefits the Body of Christ which is the Church. Participants in the life of the church are committed to showing respect for their brothers and sisters in Christ, regardless of differing theological points of view. We know we can and need to learn from one another.
Vision of Woods’ Ideal Future: Woods is led by the Holy Spirit and each believer is indwelled by the Holy Spirit and grounded in Scripture. At Woods, people experience the joy and peace of the kingdom of God now. Woods is a community of diverse believers in Jesus Christ that values the variety of gifts given to different parts of the body in equipping members to contend for the faith and the works of God’s kingdom. The faith community at Woods attracts and welcomes both experienced seekers and the unchurched, wherever they are on their faith journey.
A substantial participation by a large percentage of our members in pastoral care and nurturing
of one another through many caring ministries.
We are engaged as a pastoral and nurturing community of faith. A substantial number of our members contribute to the pastoral ministries of the church (through deacons, Stephen ministers, professional counselors, and lay caregivers) to ensure that people of all ages are supported in times of joy and challenge. We are committed to ensuring that people do not walk alone, but walk with Christ through the witness of our caring ministries.
Vision of Woods’ Ideal Future: Woods is known throughout its local community and county as a premier hub for the provision of life-span ministry, incorporating a variety of services for its members and the community at large, with a strong emphasis on mutual care and nurture. This ministry is accomplished by supporting one another through the challenges and joys of life, and providing support throughout all of the stages of life. Woods is seen as a home-base to a broad group of individuals and families, including:
+ Those seeking Christian educational resources and offerings targeted to a variety of age groups;
+ Those interested in participating in community and missional focused programs;
+ Those with health concerns or counseling needs; as well as
+ Those seeking simply fun, family-oriented support.
A notably strong education and small group ministry that nurtures our understanding of our faith, the scriptures, and the meaning of discipleship.
We are continually engaged by the Holy Spirit through education and small group ministry. No one at Woods is perfect in their discipleship or understanding. We are all students of the gospel, striving to learn how to love and serve Christ faithfully. Accordingly, education is a high priority for all age groups in the church, through Sunday school, ChristCare small groups, Presbyterian Women, Men’s Fraternity, Disciple study groups and more. As individuals and as a community, we are reformed and ever reforming in our understanding of the Bible and in living the gospel of our Lord.
Vision of Woods’ Ideal Future: Woods serves as a magnet for individuals throughout the community desiring to discover and develop their faith through strong educational programs and intimate small group discussions. People are drawn to Woods because these offerings are:
+ Accessible to everyone within and beyond the Woods congregation;
+ Clearly articulated so that their scope and focus are evident;
+ Offered in formats that communicate with the full range of age groups; and
+ Offered at flexible times and locations.
The commitment of a majority of our members to involvement in mission and service in the local and world community as builders, partners, advocates, and servants.
We are engaged in the world as a manifestation of our discipleship. A majority of Woods members are actively involved in mission and service in the local and world community. We work to offer immediate assistance, long-term development, love and encouragement to all, as well as to advocate for justice and speak out against the exploitation of “the least of these.” We are a missional, servant church committed to being the mouth, the hands, and the heart of Christ in the world.
Vision of Woods’ Ideal Future: Woods is a recognized leader in encouraging responsible discipleship among its members, empowering them to be bold leaders in furthering the church’s widespread mission outreach. Woods is known for its training and development of all age groups, equipping them with the skills needed for a wide diversity of outreach projects, including:
+ Affordable housing;
+ Elderly and disabled support;
+ Health screening and assistance;
+ Educational opportunities;
+ Ministries nurturing children and families;
+ Support and hospitality for the homeless;
+ Disaster relief; and
+ Feeding the hungry.
A multi-faceted youth ministry that both addresses the spiritual needs of our youth and
reaches into the schools and local community to provide programs and resources for
youth beyond our walls.
We are engaged in nurturing the next generation of Christ’s disciples through an extensive series of ministries to youth, which address the needs, urgent concerns and spiritual development of youth at every level of their faith journeys. The involvement of our youth in serving others in mission and outreach partnerships builds their relationships with other youth and adults locally and globally. By working together with local schools and community leaders, we are also able to provide relevant programs and seminars not just for our own youth, but also for youth within the larger community, thereby sharing Christ’s love in the real world of adolescents.
Vision of Woods’ Ideal Future: Woods recognizes that the youth are not just the church of tomorrow, but the church of today. At Woods the youth are heard and seen. The participation of our youth in the various ministries inspires in them a desire to know Christ personally and passionately. They go out into their community with a strong desire to share the good news of the gospel vividly, to address concerns of youth in the community, and to impact the lives of everyone they meet.