Planning Process

Discerning Our Call in Community:  Planning Process 2017-2018

St. Mark’s Episcopal Church is on the cusp of something big.  Having successfully marked our 150th birthday we are actively looking toward what years 151 + calls.  We have come a long way in five years and have all the signs of many good years ahead.  St. Mark’s is a strong and healthy community.

Building on our long history of looking outside our walls:  integration in the 1960/70’s, AIDS  Ministry in the 1980/90’s, full inclusion in the 1990/2000’s, race and racial healing in 2010’s - we know need remains high in our neighborhood and metropolitan region.  St. Mark’s is ready for an active and engaged future.  This community is ready to serve the community.  

To do this well, we engaged the services of an experienced and highly regarded local planning consultant, Kathryn Whitney of Warren Whitney.  We see the planning process as critical to   sustaining our growth and securing our future.  We cannot risk our future as a cornerstone in the community to anyone less than the best in planning facilitation and direction.  

The St. Mark’s Planning Team created for the planning process communicate with the Vestry and parish at large.  Ms. Whitney will work with the planning team and groups from the parish in a three-part process to include: 

  • Engagement Planning to collect relevant background information and identify who should be involved and at what level (Parish focus groups will be held in October and November).
  • Environmental Scan to analyze the current position of St. Mark’s and review mission and core values .
  • A two-part Planning Session Process:
  • First step - to review collected data and evaluate it asking ourselves, “Is what we have found at this step consistent with the previous processes?” If so we proceed, if not we pause and reevaluate to determine any needed updates and restatement of mission and values.  After this first step is successfully completed we move to
  • Second step – an outgrowth of the healthy completion of all steps - to create the plan and goals. 

The plan we develop is not going to end up like so many other planning projects, as “just another binder on the shelf.”  The plan we create is a living document designed to help keep us on course through regular review and evaluation to both center ministry in mission and values, and to measure progress. St. Mark’s leadership will continue to engage with this plan on a regular basis to both measure our progress and help us discern new goals.  

Planning Team: (as of printing)

Jo Tyler, Joe Kelly, Phoebe Davis, Wes Kaufman, Dan Hartman, Andrea Lofton, Shannon Heady, Linda Strickland, Mickie Jones, Karen Franklin, Suzanne Long, Isabel Wescoat, Tamara Orr, Denis Riva. 

Focus Group dates & Times:

Register on-line


October 26 6pm

November 4 9am

November 5 noon

November 14 6pm