May 2023

Charting the Future: Our Congregational Profile Process at BMUCC

Our Congregational Profile process aims to guide us in understanding who we are now, who our neighbors are, and crucially, who God is calling us to become.

Greetings, BMUCC Beloved Community,

We want to take a moment to share with you an exciting journey we are embarking on as a congregation - our Congregational Profile process. This process, which we kicked off during a meeting on May 13th, 2023, aims to guide us in understanding who we are now, who our neighbors are, and crucially, who God is calling us to become.

As we are not currently in search of a settled pastor, we're taking a slightly different approach to our Profile. Instead of following the Workbook step-by-step, we are going to start with data gathering, setting a target completion date of July 31, 2023. We aim to proceed to the question of "Who is God Calling us to Become?" in the fall/winter, when our full-time residents and seasonal members/friends have returned to AZ.

This endeavor wouldn't be possible without the dedicated efforts of our congregation members who have volunteered to take on various aspects of our profile work:

  • Tim Wingate and Christopher Schouten will be working in tandem to collect data, review reports and develop a comprehensive survey for our members. This survey will provide essential insights into our congregation. To ensure everyone has a chance to voice their thoughts, we will be making hard copies available as well as online options. Stay tuned for more details!
  • Joyce Suggs is creating a visual representation of our community through a map, showing where our congregants live, and also preparing the mission plan that helps us understand our neighbors better.
  • Marilyn Riggs, Sondra Upham, and Ron Ireland will focus on gathering historical information and collecting member feedback on various aspects of our congregational life.
  • Carolyn Friese will be reaching out to other churches for inspirational "turn around" stories that can guide us as we plan for the revitalization of BMUCC.
  • Our pastor, Tina, will be available throughout this process to offer spiritual support, answers, and guidance.

We want to assure you that even after we answer the question of who God is calling us to become, the journey doesn't end there. We'll need to devise strategies to help us fulfill this calling, implement these strategies, and develop a compelling vision/mission statement that will drive everything we do.

We plan to leverage the strengths of our congregation and our community, continually assessing the opportunities and threats we face. Our goal is to present a comprehensive report to the Council and then to the Congregation for final approval at the Annual Meeting on January 28, 2024.

We want to ensure the planning process reflects our congregation's diversity of voices and experiences. This is why we are exploring various approaches to strategic planning, including SWOT analysis (Strengths, Weakness, Opportunities, and Threats) and Appreciative Inquiry, a post-modern method that emphasizes building on the strengths of the church.

We encourage everyone to participate fully in this journey of self-discovery and visioning for our future. Let's take this opportunity to reflect, engage, and envision the future of our beloved BMUCC together. We’ll continue to share updates on our progress and look forward to your invaluable contributions to this process.

If you have any questions or suggestions, please don't hesitate to reach out. We value your thoughts and insights as we continue this journey together.

With gratitude,

Lissi Weiss

BMUCC Profile Committee

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Hide yourself in God, so when a man wants to find you he will have to go there first.


June 2023

Celebrating a Decade of Inclusion

Black Mountain United Church of Christ's Journey as an Open & Affirming Congregation

Christopher Schouten


May 2023

Nurturing Our Faith Beyond Sunday: Growing Closer to God in Daily Life

There are a myriad ways in which our faith can be nurtured and deepened beyond the experience of Sunday worship. While gathering in the church is a vital part of our spiritual journey, we believe that the opportunity to grow closer to God is ever-present in our daily lives.

Christopher Schouten


May 2023

Personal Testimony: Why I As a Gay Man Chose BMUCC

It wasn't easy for my husband and I to find a church home in the North Scottsdale/Cave Creek area that would welcome us as a gay couple, but the second we stepped through the doors at BMUCC, we knew we were home.

Christopher Schouten