It has been more than 2 months since I started my new position as community organizer for the Open Door Churches. During these 6 months I am exploring the many ways that our Open Door churches reach out in mission to our community, exploring connections with community partners who are engaged with folks in need, and I will help our Open Door Churches plan a way forward to make an even bigger impact in this community. So far I have had the opportunity to visit all three of our Open Door affiliated food banks. I’ve met with folks to hear the stories of how ministries began or how folks got involved in serving others. I’ve had a chance to connect with the City of Salem to talk about the local unsheltered population and I had a chance to connect to learn more about the great work going on at Habitat for Humanity.
One of the best parts of the job so far it to get the opportunity to work with the Open Door board vision team. We are gathering information about our community using census information from the City of Salem, preparing reports from MissionInsite a ministry focused demographic research company, and inviting input from participants of our Open Door Churches. (which reminds me, if you haven’t filled out our vision survey, please follow the link and do so. https://s.surveyplanet.com/7JZooFTKa
Finally I am enjoying getting the opportunity to explore some of our ministry assets, our buildings, and begin to help dream how we might use these to further expand ministry and connect to our local communities. My hope is that we become more neighborhood focused, more relationship focused, and not afraid to dream big. So far I have learned so much about the many ways our churches are engaged in mission. I look forward to seeing where God leads us next.
Rev. Jeff Lowery