Draft Summary Recommendations And Key Points From Consultant
Mount Olivet Strategic Planning Process
December, 2017


1. Inclusivity. Convene a group to pick up where we left off when considering becoming a Reconciling Congregation in 2014.

  • This group would lead in calling the question on affiliation with Reconciling Ministries or on another public identification that would signal to Arlington where we stand as a congregation.
  • We will never achieve unanimity internally on issues of human sexuality, but we can position the church to lean toward the social and ethical convictions present within our congregation.
  • This should be done with a spirit of humility that continues to welcome those who may dissent to the church’s evolving policies around issues of marriage equality and so forth.

2. Families with children. Choose anew to offer a pace-setting ministry to families with children at home.

  • This was Ken Callahan’s word to us a generation ago, and we now want to renew his call for a new generation.
  • Excellence in the future will look different in certain respects and will require some changes and upgrades, and certainly expanded facilities in the next decade.

3. Welcoming and discipleship systems. Strengthen our systems for the assimilation of new people into church life and growth of all in discipleship.

  • Greater intentionality to raise the percentage of first-time participants who elect to become regulars.
  • One staff member must be the clear point person on this.
  • Small groups will be critical to this
  • Continue the work begun previously in creating a discipleship system

4. Worship. Stay on the creative edge with each of our worship communities, with attention to excellence and diversity of design.

  • Increase the interactivity in “The Way” service. As “The Way” service grows to fill its gathering space, give consideration to a fourth service within a couple years – possibly borrowing some of the elements from the Way.
  • Additional smaller worship communities are also a means to growing the total community and the base of support for our ministry. Think Dinner Church or Contemplative/Taize, possibly even mixed with light Yoga.

5. Orange/Silver Line people. Diversify our demographic focus for ministry design to include persons living in the Orange/Silver Line condo/apartment corridor.

  • Recognizes the fact that almost all the net increase in Arlington population in years ahead will be persons living in multi-family housing.
  • Along with this, it makes sense to begin partnering with the Rev. Kate Floyd and the Arlington Commons new faith community initiative. Let it become a co-initiative of Mount Olivet.

6. Mount Olivet Community Life Center. Identify working group to research ideas for the eventual planning and construction of a large facility beyond the Green, to replace the current parking lot.

  • This facility could include two decks of underground parking, plus a mixture of church, community and non-church development (either residential or office space). The church and community space would face into the Green, looking back toward the historic buildings. It could also include additional preschool classrooms, a coffee house/restaurant (Busboys-like), flexible and multi-purpose meeting space and possibly some recreational space – even a gymnasium/worship space if we felt the needs justified such.
  • This Mount Olivet Community Life Center would serve to increase our current square footage and our off-street parking by at least fifty percent.
  • The cost of this development could be largely covered by the mixed-use nature of the total development. By this plan, we could add very modern space to complement our historic facilities, space designed for a high interface with our neighbors.
  • We would work with a developer who sees the possibilities of a win for the church, a win for the neighborhood (with better public services) and a win for the developer in making a profit. By giving the land for this development, such a win-win-win