First United Methodist Church of San Diego has always sought to respond to need in the community and the call of God to love others. Here’s our vision for the future:
Dream School of the Arts
The combination of the talent and experience of Kenton Reaves Hundley with the values and passion of First Church created an opportunity to envision The Dream School of the Arts, a welcoming and safe place for young people to gather to play, study, sing, act, draw and feel support, encouragement, and a sense of worth and belonging. Watch this progress report on this goal:
Located on the Ocean Beach campus of First Church are two affordable housing cottages requiring significant repair. This became an opportunity to dream of providing more affordable housing on the same footprint. See where we are on this goal:
Rev. Dr. Hannah Ka has been inviting members and friends to make connections, meet neighbors, and find a place to belong. Opportunities are based on geographical locations, interests, age groups, and one to welcome our online community. Some groups gather at local restaurants, share a hike, or take a bike ride. All engage in interesting conversations! Take a look at what a difference it makes.
The pandemic opened up the opportunity to send our church’s message of radically inclusive love all across the internet. We’ve shifted the goal of what we do in terms of content, to finding out more about the digital environment. We’ve hired Puzzle Pieces Marketing to guide us through this new landscape and to help us shape a contemporary and relevant message so that people seeking might find us. Take a look at our new partner in ministry: PuzzlePiecesMarketing
We offer Racial Justice grants to organizations whose work directly benefits any or all Black, Indigenous and other People of Color in San Diego County. This goal has a webpage all its own here. Find out more details on that page and watch here for the most recent update:
2023: A year of Discernment, March Report
Last September, as the church was preparing the 2023 operating budget, it became clear that while FUMCSD is blessed with many resources held in our Foundation and with many faithful givers, we do not have the means to sustain the operating budget, and haven’t for years, without significant transfers from the undesignated funds in the Board of Trustees’ purview. To be sure that we are using all of our resources in the most fruitful and faithful way, I’ve proposed that the church take 2023 to assess our ministries, to understand the cultural changes that have occurred over time, to discern where God is moving, and to determine how we can become the church for this time and place.
- The first step in our year of discernment was the January Leadership Training, where we looked over the history of the church in numbers, recognizing a gradual decline over decades in membership, attendance and giving, especially when considering cost of living increases.
- The second step was a book study about Christian life and connection in digital culture, (“Church As Network” by Jeffrey H. Mahan).
- The third step is the “Re-WILDING the Church Conference” (April 28-30 @ FUMCSD, deadline for registration is April 15) where we hear from and speak with scholars and authors about Christian history, cultural change, and our present world. This is where our learnings will be reinforced, and conversations will begin about the implications of our study.
- The fourth step will occur Thursday, May 11, where we will look at assessments of particular ministries and ministry areas in terms of number of participants, staff hours involved, financial impact, etc. (We’ll also have a potluck to remind ourselves we do this together!)
- The fifth step occurs from May through August when several task forces will convene for conversation about how FUMCSD’s ministries need to continue, shift, change, or be abandoned to serve effectively.
- The sixth step is to present the work of this year’s discernment to the Church Council for their consideration.
- Finally, the Church Council will determine a path forward, which could be anywhere along the spectrum of doing nothing different from what we are already doing to changing everything.
I’ve spoken about the work of this year of discernment from the pulpit, discussed in committee meetings and open forums, encouraged participation by direct emails and congregational meetings. Still, I know that not everyone is aware, or perhaps not everyone understands that this work may ask that we change some things, in some ways, in order to become the church of Christ for the world today.