Heart Healthy: Congregational Questionnaire answers

What do you love about our church?
     “The emphasis on prayer and trusting God.”
     “The people.”
     “The many opportunities for church fellowship and our music ministry is awesome!” By the way, several people commented on how much they love our music ministry.
     “Inclusive hospitality.”
     “The worship services and our beautifully remodeled sanctuary.”
     “Members are accepting of other people.”
     “The church is my family.”
     “It is so welcoming and inclusive.”
     “I enjoy and applaud our church’s participation in the community.”
     “All that we do for others. God is here.”
     “Our Growing Tree preschool. The location. Monday Lunch.”
     “Our church’s mascots, Lulu and Blu.” 
     Monday Lunch was mentioned several times.
     “We are made up of very kind, giving folks who truly feel like family.”
     “The first thought popped into my head when I read that question was Elizabeth Barrett Browning’s poem, ‘How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.’” 
     “The joyfulness of gatherings on Sunday mornings. Our Leadership Board. Friday Email Communications.”
     “I feel at home here. We are a haven of blessing and peace for college students. I love that we can write down prayer requests and know that our Tuesday prayer team will pray over these. I receive so much encouragement here.”
     “I love the people, the staff, and yes, even the pastor.”
     “Our new elevator!”
     “The friendly community, love and support”
     “The refreshments before church! The music ministry!”
     “I love how the church is so open to everyone and so welcome.”
     “Enthusiasm to find ways to display God’s love through engaging the community.”
Who in the church has helped you grow in your faith?
     “Our Trinity Sunday School class and my United Methodist Women’s Circle group.”
     “My small group where we regularly meet to share our faith and discuss the past Sunday’s sermon and how it connects with our daily lives.”
     “My mom – She did the most good she could while living a very ordinary life.”
     “My family, ministers of the church, and the church staff.”
     “Someone wrote this about another church member. This person is always ready to offer support and prayers for us who need them.”
     “I love how this person responded. She mentioned several Christian authors who have had a positive influence and her husband.”
     “Parents & church community”
     “My Sunday School teachers and the youth group have helped me to have lots of faith.”
     “My confirmation mentor and my fellow youth.”
     This church member had a really long list that included thirty-two of your names! He also mentioned several ministry teams that have been a blessing in his life like Telecare callers, choir members, bell choir members, Athens First Saturday volunteers, people on the Missions Team. 
     Someone else mentioned how our prayer team and the small group this person attends has been a positive influence.
     Someone else shared about his father who would read from the Bible every Sunday evening and then they would pray and sing hymns while his mom played an old pump organ.
What are your hopes for the church?
     “That our church continues to be welcoming to all, and to reach out to invite others in the Christian faith.”
     “That is will be the Light of Christ and bring the Light of Christ into the darkness, sharing the love of Christ and his salvation and grow, bringing life, hope, healing, peace, purpose to the broken and lost.”
     “I hope we continue to find ways to reach out to the homeless, mentally ill, and those we see different than ourselves.”
     “Ministries where we can get to know other members more intimately.”
     “That we would proclaim God’s Word and that it would be transformed and renewed into His image.”
     “I hope that we can continue to make students and other newcomers feel at home. I hope our church, and the rest of the denomination can welcome all people regardless of their sexual orientation.”
     “That we remain a loving place. That people feel welcome. That it continues to be a place for community events. And that we continue to have the best potlucks.”
     “A stronger, more interactive youth group.”
     “Have more youth participation in church.”
     “I have hopes that lots of college students notice how nice and welcome our church is.”
     “Continue to be a welcoming and inclusive space.”
     “That we seek to be the church outside of these four walls.”
     Some other more specific ideas included to continue to offer more service projects, ministries with the college students, continue to grow in our emphasis on prayer, add more small groups, focus more on our children’s and youth ministries, continue to reach out to our community, encourage more people in our church to be involved in ministry, share in ministry with the other churches, and continued support of our Honduras mission trips.
     One of you offered this comment which I think sums up what this whole “Heart-Healthy” series is about when you offered this hope for our church…“That our hearts grow bigger.”