October 15, 2018

Commissions & Committees

OUR CHURCH AT WORK: Ministry Planning & Review Committee

OUR CHURCH AT WORK: Ministry Planning & Review Committee

Brad Lyons

The Ministry Planning and Review (MPR) Committee helps develop the faithful and effective shared ministry and common life of the congregation and the pastor. This panel is charged to

  • Create a climate of trust, openness, and honesty among everybody involved at Parkway UCC,
  • Help align and clarify congregational, staff, and leadership goals,
  • Provide counseling and consulting opportunities for the congregation and staff related to behavior, decisions, relationships, spiritual and emotional well-being, and
  • Advocate for professional growth of pastoral staff.
  • Confidentiality is the commission’s priority. To be able to provide honest, open useful feedback, discussions in MPR are off the record; no minutes are taken.

“Part of MPR’s job is to provide a focus group where Kevin can test ideas about potential approaches to ministry, identifying what’s working well in programs or how other programs can be improved,” says Ross Livengood, MPR’s current convener. “MPR also acts as a confidant to pastors, to give them a place to talk about the challenges of the job, the profession of ministry, and how that impacts their regular life.”
MPR and Council collaborated to plan January’s Town Hall meeting and are planning similar meetings later this year.
Each member of the committee serves a four-year term, with one member rotating off and replaced each year. Current members are Ross Livengood, Meera Williams, Leslie Tupper, and Brad Lyons. The Council President is MPR’s Council liaison but does not attend the meetings.

When Parkway UCC has two pastors on staff, separate MPR Commissions provide each pastor a confidential team for reflection and support. When multiple committees exist, they meet annually as a check-up on the shared staff ministry.

Christian Services Commission

Christian Services Commission


Sharing Our Faith Through Action is the focus of the Christian Services Commission.  The commission develops programs and events to educate the congregation on the needs of our church, our community, and the world.



Some of the church’s participation in giving is included in the general budget.  Other opportunities of giving are choices suggested throughout the year.  As our congregational vision statement says, “…we shall seek the way of God in today’s world through joyful worshiping, inclusive caring and compassionate serving.

The Christian Services Commission wants to express that the giving opportunities we suggest are by no means meant to be obligations. It is our desire that it be an individual choice as to which is supported and how. We recognize it is difficult to give to all those in need and that many of us also have favorite charities outside our church.

<><><><><>Please give as you are able, faithful to your own heart<><><><><>


We continue to support (but are not limited to):

Basic Support of the UCC-Missouri Mid-South Conference and St. Louis Association

The Christmas Fund (aid for retired pastors)

ECH (Every Child’s Hope–previously Evangelical Children’s Home)

Eden Seminary

Emmaus Homes

Give-A-Meal Sunday (a monthly collection of groceries for local food pantries)

Habitat for Humanity*

Heifer Project

Joint Neighborhood Ministry

Lydia’s House


Neighborhood Houses

Neighbors in Need

OCWM (Our Churches Wider Mission)

One Great Hour of Sharing

Strengthen the Church

*For many years the Christian Services Commission has been responsible for recruiting participation in a workday on the annual UCC St. Louis Habitat for Humanity house. The combined efforts of UCC congregations have built many Habitat Homes. The commission also has the responsibility for raising PUCC’s portion of the house’s building cost.



Our commission helps us to be good neighbors… to those who are near us… as well as to those in the greater St. Louis area… as well as the whole world.  Serving on Christian Services I realize that God is my Shepherd and he has given me the means to help tend his flock.

~Amy Shepherd



Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God’s grace in its various forms.

1 Peter 4:10

Leadership Commission

Leadership Commission


Helping Leaders Lead & Succeed is the goal of the Leadership Commission as members are recruited for the various commissions, boards, and committees of the church.

The Leadership Commission requests participation of active church members for the Council, the eight Commissions of the church and the PUNS Board.  This leadership slate of nominations is then presented to the Congregation for a formal vote of approval at the Annual Meeting.  If requested, the Leadership Commission also provides suggestions to church committees to meet their special needs for participants.


We Support:

Church Council

Christian Education Commission

Christian Services Commission

Evangelism Commission

Leadership Commission

Membership Care Commission

Property Commission

Stewardship Commission

Worship Commission

Parkway United Nursery School (PUNS) Board


Serving on the Leadership Team I have come to realize that everyone has a talent and a gift to share.  Often it is so second nature that we don’t realize that it can really make a difference.  Occasionally we resist the power and the grace and the gifts God gives us.  When I listened to how I might best serve, it became clear how I could help the church I love.

~Mo Tivation


In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.

Proverbs 3:5-6

Evangelism Commission

Evangelism Commission


Sharing Our Faith Outside the Walls of the Sanctuary is at the heart of the church’s life and mission. Evangelism is proclaiming the Good News of God’s gift of unending love in Jesus Christ:  demonstrating this Good News in acts of mercy, love and justice; and inviting others to live as Christ’s disciples in the world.


What We Do:

Plan and implement programs within Parkway UCC that provide the opportunity for its members to proclaim and demonstrate the Good News and invite others to live as Christ’s disciples in the world.

Seek ways to increase the visibility of the mission of Parkway UCC while maintaining and increasing the warmth and personal interaction that is so intrinsic to Christian fellowship.

Recruit Sunday morning Greeter and Welcomer volunteers.


There is nothing to sell… nothing to promote… no one to convince.  Just appreciation for having a church home that is loving, accepting, …a safe and welcoming place to worship, grow, celebrate, wonder, seek and discover.  What could be any easier than sharing all of that?

~Joy Toshare


And I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?”  Then I said, “Here am I!  Send me.”

Isaiah 6:8

Christian Education













Christian Education Commission


Exploring our Faith is a journey from birth through senior adulthood.  Facilitating this Christian, educational journey for our members is the #1 priority of the Christian Education Commission.  The caring environment of the church nursery and preschool class provides the youngest among us with their first experiences of God’s love as embodied by the church.  Youth groups help our maturing children seek answers to their faith questions.  Various classes provide opportunities for adults of all ages to continue their faith journey.

The Christian Education Commission needs much support from the congregation at large.  While the commission is comprised of five members, the work of this commission would be unattainable without the efforts of many.


Current Programs & Scope:

Oversight of the church nursery and new parent communications

Preschool Class (Sunday, 9:30 am)

K-5 “Pathways of Faith” (Sunday, 9:30 am)

Using the rotation model, children learn biblical stories through:

Storytelling – first person Biblical character visits

Oasis – food preparation and tasting

Creation Station – arts & crafts

Music & Movement – games & singing

Parkway Theatre – drama, puppets, videos

Multi-Age Children Program “Stories & Songs” (Sunday, 11:00 am – Christian Education with an emphasis on mission)

Middle School & High School Classes (Sunday, 9:30 am)

Confirmation Program (led by Pastors)

Adult Classes (Sunday morning classes and weekday topical series)

Middle & High School Youth Groups

Wednesday evening Youth Gathering

Seasonal programs such as Advent Workshop and Children’s Christmas program

Vacation Bible School (a one-week summer evening program)


It’s easy to say what we don’t want Christian Education to be:  dogma, indoctrination, righteous and pious.  We strive to have the love and teachings of Christ become second nature to our members.  We are always in the inquiry of:  What does God want me to be doing now?  What can I do?  How can I serve? ~Peter Apostle


Then they would put their trust in God and would not forget his deeds but would keep his commands.  Psalm 78: 7

Church Council

Representing The Membership is the charge given to the nine members of the church Council.  The Council is responsible for consideration of policy, coordination of our total life, and development of future visions for our church’s ministry.


Responsibilities & Scope:

Elected by Congregational vote

Serves as the agent for the Congregation, partners with the Pastors to promote the life of the church, and represents the church in the community

Coordinates the work of church Commissions and Committees in the planning and execution of their missions (Each Council member is a liaison to a Commission and thus represents that Commission’s concerns and plans at Council meetings)

Ensures church expenditures and income align with the budget passed by the congregation

Membership on the Council is for three years (Three of the nine members begin office each year – Three of the nine members retire each year)

Minimum one-year church membership required

Meets monthly and in special session as required

Convenes special congregational meetings such as the annual January Budget Meeting

Organizes the annual June Congregational Meeting to review the past year and to elect new leadership for the coming year


I never really thought of myself as someone who might serve on the Church Council.  I had volunteered for committees before and I had been asked to serve.  I always enjoyed serving, but I have never felt as much a part of the church as I have while serving on Council.  It pleases me to know that I help provide a place where members can serve and belong.

~Rose E. Attitude


Now you are the body of Christ and individually members of it.

1 Corinthians 12:27