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Thriving Congregations Update

June 14, 2023

What Is "Thriving Congregations?"

The overall goal of Thriving Congregations to strengthen our relationship as a congregation and develop a better understanding of who we are as a church and thus our place in the Williamsburg community. During this season of our journey, we are identifying common passions and struggles within our congregation and community. This isn’t a process for a few people, but one that includes all parts of our church and all the people that make up our mission and ministries. No matter what you do, or where you are connected, you are already part of this work.

How you can be involved: 

  1. House Meetings: From June through October we will be having purposeful and directed meetings (a trained leader and scribe) of 8 – 12 people together (in homes, at church, or other common areas) to identify mutual commitments and concerns both for the larger community and for local neighborhoods. Through these we hope to begin building shared identities based on hopes, desires, and needs. To do this, we’ve worked on grouping members into geographical areas for ease of coming together for a meeting. We also are looking for more people willing to be trained as leaders and scribes, neither job is hard, but both necessary.

    As of early June, we are getting a couple recurring questions: "What are these house meeting things?" and "Are they important now that we are in a time of transition?" The simple answer to the second question is: “Yes, maybe more important now,” but why they are important requires understanding what they are and are not. We hope to address these questions in more detail below.

    What is a house meeting?

    A House Meeting is part of an intentional listing campaign for our team, church leaders, and church membership. We are listening for God in the stories of each other in order to identify mutual concerns, commitments, and passions. Through this we hope to gain a sense of where we are feeling called to act by better understanding where we feel God moving in our church and community. This intentional listening campaign begins with us listening to each other and the House Meeting small group sessions at the church and in our local communities are times for each of us to share our own experiences, needs, and resources as we continue to listen for God’s vision and our roles in it.

    What happens at a House Meeting?

    8-15 people will gather together to share and listen to one another and for God. A trained leader will ask questions and a scribe will record all the various answers. Each of these questions will ask those present to share stories of why they are part of our community, what they see needed in Williamsburg, and how they feel God is moving in their own areas of life. There will be 3-5 questions, and the total time for the meeting will be less than an hour and a half. It is important to note that these are NOT dinner clubs, gripe sessions, or planning meetings. Rather, they ARE focused on needs and opportunities that are before us and how they relate to our stories and passions. This means that not only are we not looking for actions or solutions from these meetings, but that it is perfectly okay if we disagree without resolutions, for we are listening for God in one another.

    How do I sign up?

    Your voice is important! We hope you will participate in a house meeting by signing up one of three ways:

    1. Click through to the online signup app: See Slots & Sign up Now

    2. Email  or

    3. Stop by the table in the back lobby following worship on Sundays!

  2. Theological/History Mapping: The history of our church and our neighborhood spans many years and documentation is plentiful and although we can research back to the 17th century, we want to concentrate on the early 20th century through today, looking not just at the church’s history from the inside, but also how changes to our neighborhood impacted different groups of people, businesses and neighborhoods and how we may best serve the area WPC is physically located in today.
  3. Relational Meetings: Also known as One to Ones, these dialogues help us to get to know you as an individual. We do these as a way to understand individual passions, stories, and connections that are already happening within our church. In doing these so far, we have found so many stories we never fully knew, including: how the church took a lead in holistic hospice care before such a term even existed, how the size of the church changed significantly 35-40 years ago, how certain things have made people feel more or less welcome in the building at times, and much more!

Join us by contacting us at or completing the form below.
Thriving Congregations Next Steps

A Williams

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