365 days. 8,760 hours. 52 weeks. 12 months. All of these equal 1 year from today when Sunrise, a campus of Castleton United Methodist Church, launches as a new, stand-alone United Methodist church. July 1 of 2015. In this post I’ll be giving a recap of where Sunrise has been leading up to its eventual end and beginning as a new church.
In 1989 Sunrise at Geist United Methodist Church began as a new church start. Over the next 16yrs it had plenty of ups and downs but found itself settling on a downward trend. Around 2005 it merged with Castleton United Methodist Church (CUMC) to become its second campus. For the first couple of years after the merger, it was a struggle to determine exactly what the relationship between the two campuses looked like. In September 2010, as one of the Associate Pastors at CUMC, I was given the responsibility of overseeing the Sunrise Campus. We continued to struggle to figure out how the relationship between the campuses made the most sense.
At the beginning of 2012 we decided as a team of pastors to approach the Sunrise Campus with a slightly different approach. We decided to allow Sunrise the opportunity to develop its own unique identity in its own unique community. At the same time we had begun the Fruitful Congregations Journey (FCJ) through our Annual Conference’s Church Development office. God used this timing and process to bring us where we are today.
It was the result of growth at the Sunrise Campus, especially within the ‘young family’ demographic, and the discernment that came through the FCJ process that we decided to work toward spinning-off the Sunrise Campus from CUMC and launch it as a new, separate United Methodist church. This September will be 1 year since the proposal to relaunch a new church from the second campus was approved by the Church Council and what we’ve been working toward ever since.
In my next post I’ll be talking about the formation of my Transition Team and the things they focus on.