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Our Vibrancy Is Showing Through…

As most everyone is aware I am the Project Leader for The Sharing Table Project, and I accepted that role, in part, because of the very positive experience I had working, over an 18-month period ending in March 2022, with a small group from our congregation. The process was supported by our Presbytery’s leadership and participating congregations (FPCV was one of several) were to explore what a ‘vibrant congregation’ in the PCUSA might look like.

Our group set as its goal: To define, realistically, who we are, our authentic identity, not what we aspire to be, celebrating our joys, gifts and mission.

FPCV, like so many others, has gone through a few storms. Not just weather-wise but storms of change, uncertainty about what may or may not be coming next… and yet, through it all, we as a church family have stayed together, meeting faithfully and carrying on. With God’s steadfastness we have shown strength and resilience as we traveled the journey together.

The final activity of this small group was to state what we appreciated about our time together, our congregation and our community. Here’s what we said:

  • About working together: we appreciated the diversity of thought, persistence, faithfulness, participation, hope, contributions, connectionism, clarity, relevance, adaptability and discussion.

  • About our congregation: we appreciate its openness to experimentation, acceptance, technology, capability, leadership, volunteers, commitment, responsiveness, patience, support and mission.

  • About our community: we appreciate that it is growing and trending towards open-mindedness, progress and change.

Almost a year later came what we now call The Sharing Table Project. We started with an all-church gathering on March 11th where, as a congregation, we assessed our strengths, looked to the future and set forth some possible actions that we can take over the next few years towards being a vibrant church into the future.

Personally, I feel a new energy and vibrancy within our church family that began many months ago and that seems to be building. To me we are a vibrant Christian faith community that appreciates diversity in thought, in spiritual practices, in cultures, in ages, in personal histories, in politics and in mission investments. We seek to work with the Session to share our vitality more broadly in our community …by telling more stories of our church life, the gifts of our people, and our outreach in mission ... by expanding our reach and relationships beyond our building…and by continually listening and learning how to serve more effectively and faithfully.

The Sharing Table Project is all about fostering and supporting this vibrancy & vitality. Thanks be to God.

Jim Hubbard


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