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Faith Community Church began as Woodway Community Reformed Church with its first service for about 100 attendees on Palm Sunday, April 14, 1957. The name was changed to Faith in 1994 and by then had been led by six full-time and two interim pastors. Additionally, 1994 brought the arrival of Pastor Phil Assink and his wife, Melissa, called from Southern California to serve with their two young sons.
Faith Community’s Congregational Vitality Pathway Journey
Since 2012 Faith Community Church has been following a process, really more of a journey, called the Congregational Vitality Pathway (CVP). It utilizes resources (materials and instruction) from Classis Cascades, and our Regional Synod of the Far West. It is a standard used in our denomination.
- The purpose behind the Pathway: The purpose of the CVP is to continually improve ministry, guided by the Holy Spirit. Good ministry simultaneously pursues Christ and pursues Christ’s priorities (See healthy missional goal on the prior page). Since we can never be perfectly healthy and missional, CVP is a journey, not a program, and it does not have an end point. Following this pathway positions us to listen to God and to hear what the Spirit is saying. Also, prayer pervades the entire journey.
- CVP includes facilitated workshops. The first workshop was Veritas: Telling the Truth about Vitality. Everyone at Faith over the age of 12 was invited to attend. It included training and discussion developing a language including the 10 Healthy Missional markers (see values on the prior page), the four types of established churches (healthy missional, stable, critical moment, and at risk) and VIM (Vision-Intention-Means). Using this common language, we made an initial assessment of our current reality and strategies for moving forward. For more details see our Healthy Missional Markers.
- After Veritas, Faith created our Relational Behavioral Covenant, another part of the pathway. This covenant helps us “walk hand in hand when we cannot see eye to eye”. It sets the rules for conversations that are civil, compassionate and Christ-honoring. It helps us be accountable to each other. See our relational covenant.
The second workshop in CVP is EPIC: Empowering People, Inspiring Change. It was a follow up workshop to Veritas that provided tools for our understanding and for implementing the necessary healthy missional changes.
- Once that preparation was done, Faith hosted a Service of Consecration, another part of the CVP. This service was a time of confession, prayer, repentance, congregational healing and commitment to keep moving forward in the pathway. This was crucial for creating commitment from the whole church body.
- Next, Faith performed the CVP assessment tool, Pulse. It is a deep diagnostic survey for assessing the current reality and trajectory of a church. It uses questions relating to the Ten Healthy Missional Markers as well as open-ended questions, providing valuable feedback. Survey interpretation was also provided by the regional denomination. Pulse is repeated as the consistory deems necessary. Faith recently completed its third Pulse. See our Pulse summary.
- The last facilitated workshop in the CVP is One: A Unifying Approach to Strategic Ministry Planning. It provided training in the skills necessary to create and implement a strategic ministry for Faith.
- Faith continues to use the CVP language, tools, and Pulse information to move forward and improve in our Healthy Missional journey. For example, our latest Pulse, completed in the fall of 2018, provided valuable information and insight for use in our pastoral search process.
In June 2018, after 25 years of service to Faith, our current pastor, Phil Assink, announced his intention to retire in June 2019. Pastor Phil has written a personal letter about his years of experience with Faith and his hope for Faith’s future.