In February 2013, the Resource Alignment Study Group (RASG) Final Report: Discerning God’s Future Promise was released. The report culminated a 10-month study of Bethany Lutheran Church in five (5) specific areas:
- Mission / Vision / Goals
- Polity (Governance)
The document (downloadable HERE) serves as both an expression of what God is calling Bethany to be as a faith community, as well a blueprint for accepting and responding to God’s call. As such, the report reaffirms the church’s role in supporting the people of Bethany as they strive to live out their baptismal covenant with God.
During the remainder of 2013 and continuing to this day, the congregation and church Council have been discerning each of the report’s 79 recommendations (downloadable HERE). What follows is a status update on the implementation progress on the more significant of the report’s recommendations. Please revisit this site frequently as additional updates are added.
Mission / Vision / Goals
The RASG offered six (6) recommendations to strengthen Bethany’s Statements of Mission, Vision, and Goals and all were approved by Council in March 2013. The existing Mission and Vision Statements are now revised to align better with a missional and discipleship theme of the congregation as being claimed, gathered, and sent. As well, the present Goals Statement has been redrafted to add two additional elements to the five existing and rebranded as Bethany’s set of Core Values. You can read the revised statements by clicking on the word “Mission” under the “Welcome” banner on Bethany’s home page (www.bethany-denver.org).
With the 11 recommendations pertaining to the area of polity, meaning governance, Bethany embarks on a new chapter in her 106-year existence as a congregation. This set of recommendations is designed to create a smaller, more strategically focused Congregation Council of six (6) elected lay members and the Senior Pastor and, as well, to create a nine (9) member Ministry Council to strengthen Bethany’s missional approach to internal and external ministry. The Polity recommendations are all now in place effective January 2014, having received both Council and congregational approval during 2013.
In the area of Program, 28 recommendations were put forth. Eleven (11) recommendations have since either been enacted or are in the process of being actualized:
- Recommendations Nos. 1 & 2: Organize Bethany’s ministries around the four (4) fundamental functions of the church (kerygma, didache, koinonia, and diakonia), and create charters for each
- Recommendation No. 3: Recast all Bethany’s ministries, programs, and activities as ministries.
- Recommendations Nos. 7 & 15: Institute a monthly Family Worship Day at Bethany to promote intergenerational faith formation opportunities.
- Recommendation No. 8: Create opportunities for alternative vocal and bell choir rehearsal days and times
- Recommendation No. 10: Create an increased focus on faith formation.
- Recommendation No. 19: Revamp Vacation Bible School through engagements with the two area Lutheran camps.
- Recommendation No. 20: Create a Youth Faith Formation Strategic Plan (Vibrant Faith Contract)
- Recommendation No. 22: Create intergenerational ministry opportunities
- Recommendation No. 27: Increase benevolence to the Rocky Mountain Synod
An additional eleven (11) recommendations have been adopted and are in the planning stages for implementation during 2014 and 2015:
- Recommendation No. 5: Establish an active Evangelism Ministry Team
- Recommendation No. 9: Post a monthly calendar of worship plans
- Recommendation No. 11: Create a Faith Formation – Christian Education Advisory Board
- Recommendation No. 12: Create an assessment component of the Sunday school program
- Recommendation No. 13: Sponsor volunteer Sunday school teacher workshops
- Recommendation No. 14: Create a separate Sunday school program for fifth and sixth grade students
- Recommendation Nos. 16 & 17: Revamp the Connect Sunday school program for middle and senior high school students
- Recommendation No. 18: Expand adult Sunday school educational programming
- Recommendation No. 21: Identify areas of unmet needs within segments of the Bethany community and implement ministries in response
- Recommendation No. 23: Greatly enhance missional opportunities for Bethany members
A total of 18 recommendations in the RASG report were devoted to the area of Personnel. Most significant among them is the call of a third pastor to Bethany. With the approval of the Bishop James Gonia of the Rocky Mountain Synod, Congregation Council sought to extend a call to pastoral ministry to Russ Britton, former Pastoral Intern and presently Director of Faith Formation. The congregation, at a specially called Congregation Meeting on March 23, 2014, approved the call in accordance with Bethany’s constitutional requirements. Pastor Russ was ordained and installed at Bethany on June 15.
A number of other Personnel recommendations designed to primarily strengthen Bethany’s human resource management have been adopted. Remaining recommendations now fall under the purview of the Vice President for Personnel, a new position added to Congregation Council as part of the Polity restructuring noted above.
The area of Property represented 16 recommendations of the report. The first three recommendations pertain to capital planning and have all been adopted as no-cost implementations. As well, a hearing-loop system has been installed in the Sanctuary to improve the worship experience of our hearing-challenged members and visitors. The remaining cost items generally fall into five (5) distinct categories, which have been prioritized by the Facilities Ministry Team as follows:
- Category 1: Emergent Needs. This category includes infrastructure maintenance, repair, and replacement. A number of items have been identified and are scheduled as the need becomes critical. A few good examples are (1) the replacement of the front entryway steps, (2) the cleaning and restoration of the stained glass windows on the east wall of the Sanctuary, and (3) necessary roof repairs over several areas of the building.
- Category 2: Bethany Chapel. At its meeting of March 11, Congregation Council unanimously approved the recommendations of the Facilities Ministry Team to: (a) approve the construction of a Bethany Chapel by combining and repurposing adjoining interior space presently occupied by the Computer Lab (room 300) and the Map Room (room 207), (b) retain the firm of Eidos Architects to design and oversee the build process, and (c) provide direction to the Development Team regarding fundraising in the estimated amount of $200,000. The plan anticipates completing construction before the end of 2014.
- Category 3: Fellowship Hall. A project to refurbish Fellowship Hall is slated for 2015.
- Category 4: Sanctuary Refurbishment. Sanctuary refurbishment, including modernizing and cleaning the organ, is being planned as part of a 2016 investment.
- Category 5: Other. This catch-all category includes the remaining RASG property investments.
What is the RASG?
The RASG was created in response to Missional Objective H, which calls for a group of lay leaders energized, equipped and empowered to conduct a study of Bethany Lutheran Church to determine whether, and the extent to which its programs, property, personnel and polity (governance) are in alignment with its statements for mission/vision/goals.
The Resource Alignment Study Group (RASG) reports directly to the Executive Committee of Congregation Council of Bethany Lutheran Church, which retains the authority to receive, consider and take action on RASG deliverables and recommendations.
Agendas and Minutes
2012 05 02 RASG Minutes: PDF
2012 05 12 RASG Agenda: PDF
2012 05 12 RASG Minutes: PDF
2012 07 10 RASG Agenda: PDF
2012 07 10 RASG Minutes: PDF
2012 08 21 RASG Agenda: PDF
2012 08 21 RASG Minutes: PDF
2012 10 02 RASG Agenda: PDF
2012 10 02 RASG Minutes: PDF
Focus Group and Interview Results
- 2012 06 13 RASG Pastoral Focus Group of 12 05 30 Interview Responses: PDF
- 2012 06 24 RASG Rick Rouse Interview of 2012 06 22 Responses: PDF
- 2012 06 23, 30 RASG Church Council Interview Responses: PDF
- 2012 07 09 RASG Council President Ron Guse Interview of 2012 07 09 Responses: PDF
- 2012 07 08 RASG Bishop Bjornberg Interview of 2012 07 03 Responses: PDF
- 2012 07 10 Centura Health at Home Foundation Interview of 2012 07 10 Responses: PDF
- 2012 07 12 Habitat for Humanity Interview of 2012 07 11 Responses: PDF
- 2012 07 12 Metro CareRing Interview of 2012 07 12 Responses: PDF
- 2012 07 27 All Staff Interview Write Up: PDF
- 2012 08 11 RASG Former Council Members Focus Group of 2012 07 28 Responses: PDF
- 2012 07 11 RASG Staff Interview Questionnaire: PDF
- 2012 09 11 RASG FOFA Focus Group of 2012 08 27: PDF
- 2012 09 08 and 22 RASG Congregation Focus Group: PDF
- 2012 11 29 RASG Senior High Youth Focus Group of 2012 11 4 Responses: PDF
- 2012 11 29 RASG Parents of Sunday School Youth Focus Group of 2012 11 18 Responses: PDF
- 2012 11 29 RASG Middle School Youth Focus Group of 2012 11 4 Responses: PDF
- 2013 01 Visioning Team Focus Group Response: PDF
Organization and Schedule
Project Status Reports
- 2012 05 15 Project Status Report as of 2012 05 01: PDF
2012 05 31 Project Status Report as of 2012 05 02: PDF
2012 06 15 Project Status Report as of 2012 06 01: PDF
2012 06 30 Project Status Report as of 2012 06 02: PDF
2012 07 15 Project Status Report as of 2012 07 01: PDF
2012 07 31 Project Status Report as of 2012 07 02: PDF
2012 08 16 Project Status Report as of 2012 08 01: PDF
2012 08 31 Project Status Report as of 2012 08 02: PDF
2012 09 15 Project Status Report as of 2012 09 01: PDF
2012 09 30 Project Status Report as of 2012 09 02: PDF
2012 10 15 Project Status Report as of 2012 10 01: PDF
2012 10 31 Project Status Report as of 2012 10 02: PDF
- 2012 11 15 Project Status Report as of 2012 11 01: PDF
- 2012 11 30 Project Status Report as of 2012 11 02: PDF
- 2012 12 15 Project Status Report as of 2012 12 01: PDF
- 2012 12 31 Project Status Report as of 2012 12 02: PDF
- 2013 01 15 Project Status Report as of 2013 01 01: PDF
- 2013 01 31 Project Status Report as of 2013 01 02: PDF
- 2013 02 15 Project Status Report as of 2013 02 01: PDF
- 2013 02 28 Project Status Report as of 2013 02 02: PDF
A summary of the survey results can be viewed at this link: RASG Survey results