Focus First Steering Committee Member Patricia Healy shares her own reflections on the Focus First process, along with her hopes and dreams as a volunteer dedicated to its success. Patricia has been a church member since 2015 and is active in eleven:eleven celebration and Veriditas Sunday School class.
What excites you most about the Focus First process?
The energy behind the committee, having an opportunity to hear the different voices of the congregation, and the possibilities for where our future may lead.
How do you think Focus First is different from what we’ve done before in the area of planning? How is it similar?
In all honesty, I am new to this process. From what I understand, Susan Beaumont’s approach to discovering the future direction of the church is more “organic” than previous approaches, de-emphasizing planning and directing the process, and emphasizing the importance of listening for and being present to God’s voice, which may manifest itself in unexpected ways.
What do you see as the biggest challenge to this process? Biggest opportunity?
I think the biggest challenge is ensuring that everyone is heard. The biggest opportunity is in discovering together who we are called to be.
What do you most want people to know about the Focus First process?
One of the ways that leadership listens for the voice of God is through the congregation. Therefore, everyone’s commitment to and participation in this process is essential.
What personal and professional experiences do you have that will help you serve this steering committee?
In my professional life, I work in a leadership role where I serve the community directly. Much of what I do on a day-to-day basis involves clearly understanding the circumstances that underlie any given situation and making decisions based on intuition and on weighing all of the factors involved. In my professional career, I have served on multiple committees.
How long have you been a member of First Church?
I’ve been a member here since 2015.
What church activities have you and your family been part of?
I have been involved in Kids Hope USA Mentoring, Room in the Inn, and UMW. I regularly attend the eleven:eleven celebration service and the Veriditas Sunday School class.
What are you most proud of about our church?
Where do I start? We seem to have some truly forward thinkers among our leadership and congregation, and I believe that our church is not only committed to making a transformative impact on the world but that it has a good grasp of how to go about it. My own experiences with First Church have been eye-opening in ways that are difficult to articulate.
What is your highest hope for our church’s future?
My highest hope is that we discover together a higher understanding of who God is calling us to be and that we successfully carry out that vision.