An Update from Pastor Ian

Our first monthly Formation Gathering started us off strong! We had a solid group of folks attend in order to discuss how the vision for our church is developing and to hear of some big and exciting upcoming changes.

The gathering also benefited from the fantastic leadership of our church’s Launch Team. The Launch Team is a group of leaders from the church, collaborating around the question, “Who is God calling us, as a Body of believers, to be?” In other words, “What is our church identity?” Our Launch team includes:

Bobby                                                              Ian Strickland
Cathleen Fagan                                             Ally Senefeld-Naber
Andrew Fitspatrick                                       Kevin Morrow
Joel Miller                                                      Jan Peck
John Moseley                                                 Mary Viato

Below is a snapshot of what we discussed in the gathering. Be on the lookout for information on September’s Formation Gathering. All are encouraged to participate!

House Keeping Items:

There are a variety of improvements headed our way in terms of our church building;
-A new paint job of the entire interior of the church
-New tables for the Gathering Place
-A projection system in the sanctuary to replace the TV’s
-New carpet or refinished hardwood on the chancel
-The removal of the center kneeling rail in front of the chancel
-Sound Panels throughout the sanctuary

Church Name Change:

In all we do, we seek to be a church for our community. While our current name, “Nast Community Church” has a rich and important history, it has, unfortunately, served as a road block to our ability to connect with many OTR residents. For those who have never heard of our church, the name “Nast” sounds like a confusing acronym. Though we have no intention of losing our heritage as the birth of German Methodism in the U.S., the reverence of history can become harmful when valued more than our current call to be a community church in Over the Rhine. Therefore, after weeks of collaboration among the Launch Team, we have decided to change our church name to “Over the Rhine Community Church.” This name allows us to communicate who we are clearly and quickly to our neighborhood and larger community. While not exclusive to OTR, this name shows where our primary investment lies.

With this said, the Launch Team decided we could only move forward with a name change if we remained committed to developing creative ways in which to preserve our historic heritage. So far, ideas in preserving our “Nast” roots have been:

-Renaming the sanctuary or Gathering Place to “William Nast Memorial
_______”
-A dedicated web page on our site with historic information
-Incorporating our historic identity into future membership classes for
anyone who wishes to join our church
-Creating a small group and/or sermon series on where we come from as
a church

This is an exciting new season for our church as a whole as we continue the hard work of discerning and living into who God is calling us to be. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact Ian Strickland at istrickland@hpcumc.org as well as any member of the Launch Team. Let us pray that we continually step closer in our dedication to serving the community around us in all that we do.

Pastor Ian

Posted in Community Highlight.