Learning Together: Session Four

Over the past year, the Future of Our Block Steering Committee has engaged in discussions with our neighbors to learn from and about community partners like Midtown Alliance and MARTA, large institutions like Georgia Tech University and Emory Hospital, as well as over 40 service agencies and our own core ministries that serve the community in Midtown and beyond.

Throughout this year of Learning Together, we knew it would be important to learn from the experiences of churches around the country that have also sought to enhance their missions by thinking creatively about their campuses’ buildings and grounds. 

What We Learned

During our information gathering, we spoke with a wide variety of churches, ranging from the bucolic countryside of North Carolina to the bustling streets of Manhattan to our neighbors right down the road in Atlanta. These churches are all at various points in the process, from visioning to completion, and hearing their stories was enlightening as we begin next year to discern our vision for the future of our block together:

Philadelphia Episcopal Cathedral
Church of the Heavenly Rest, NYC
Bluestone Lane Upper East Side Cafe in Church of the Heavenly Rest

From these conversations, we learned about all of the exciting work these churches are doing, as well as practices to incorporate into our own future of our block work and potential pitfalls to avoid:

Trinity Church Wall Street
Christ Church Cathedral, Vancouver, British Columbia

Next Steps

With these five guidelines in mind, we’re excited to move into the next phase of this work in which we will dream together and envision the future of our block.

Part 1: Our History and Our Guiding Principles

In the first month of the year, we will take a look at our past, during a series of four All Parish Forums to celebrate our history and the values that drive our mission. Please save the following dates:

  • Sunday, January 5: All Saints’ History, Part 1 (1903-1963)
  • Sunday, January 12: All Saints’ History, Part 2 (1963-today)
  • Sunday, January 19: MLK Day: The church in the city
  • Sunday, January 26: What are our guiding principles?

Between these forums, we invite all ages to go deeper by learning our story and naming what is most important to us about All Saints’. Watch for details on this website, in the Friday E-News, and in the Sunday bulletin.

Part 2: Local Community Engagement

Then, we’ll engage the local community in identifying potential opportunities for collaboration and mutual benefit to ground ourselves in the needs of our neighbors and the city we serve. To do so, we’ll host an event on Saturday, February 1 as well as a series of focus groups throughout February and March, culminating in this All Parish Forum:

  • Sunday, March 22: Community Engagement Findings & Next Steps

Part 3: Listening for Our Visions for the Block

Next, we’ll shift to listening and imagining potential visions for the block, based on our shared history, values, and the needs of the city. We’ll host focus groups and neighborhood gatherings, conduct interviews and a parish-wide survey to seek input from all of the saints. During this phase, we’ll also host two All Parish Forums to provide updates on what we hear:

  • Sunday, May 3: Initial Update
  • Sunday, June 7: Final Update & Next Steps

Part 4: Honing Our Visions for the Block

After that, we’ll identify potential visions for the block and hone them into a single, shared vision. Following each of three All Parish Forums, we will continue to seek feedback from focus groups as we get closer to discerning our single, shared vision.

  • Sunday, August 23: Initial Presentation of the Visions
  • Sunday, September 13: Update on Vision Honing
  • Sunday, October 25: Presentation of the Refined Vision 

Part 5: Celebrating Our Vision for the Block

Finally, we’ll celebrate our vision for the block, as well as outline a way forward for achieving that vision.

  • Sunday, January 24, 2021: Presentation & Celebration of the Vision

Forum dates are subject to change as we progress through each phase of the work. We will continue to provide updates on this website, as well as in the Sunday bulletin and the Friday E-News.

Join the Future of Our Block Work

In preparation for our discernment as a parish over the future of our block, as we seek to leave a legacy for mission for generations to come, two new teams are being formed: the Parish History Committee and the Parish Engagement Committee. Most of the Parish History Committee’s work will be focused on January 2020. The work of the Parish Engagement Committee will focus on activity in March to June 2020 and then again from August to October 2020. 

If you are interested in serving on either committee, please contact The Rev. Dr. Simon Mainwaring at smainwaring@allsaintsatlanta.org.

Did you miss the fourth session?

  • Download the presentation slides here
  • Listen to the audio recording of the presentation here
  • Download the handout here