As churches get bigger, they must “get smaller” if they hope to thrive. In other words, people need opportunities outside of large worship services to meet new people, develop friendships, and grow in faith. Our response to that need is our Growth Groups. Growth Groups are groups of 10-15 people who get together each week in a convenient Austin location.
Growth Groups happen twice each year. During the Spring session, each Group has its own topic ranging from tennis to piano to a study on forgiveness and just about everything in between. During the Fall session, all Growth Groups participate in a church-wide study. Those have included a book study of Adam Hamilton’s Enough, a book on stewardship and generosity, and a discussion of the 8 Points of Progressive Christianity.
Our Deacons work in teams, and each team fills a specific role.
In smaller churches, a single Pastor often responds to all of the emotional and spiritual needs of the individuals in the congregation. When our congregation outgrew the ability of our Sr. Pastor to respond to all the requests for Pastoral Care, we committed to training and supporting Deacons who could help meet the needs. Our Pastor is always available to you when you are struggling with your faith, experiencing challenging life events, or just want to talk to your Pastor. In all other circumstances, our Deacons stand ready to offer compassionate care and prayer.
Visit and pray with members and friends who are in the hospital or other acute care facilities or who are recovering at home
CARE LINE TEAM
Monitor the Deacon Care Line, respond when people request follow-up on their Connection Card prayer requests, and refer people to other Deacon teams as appropriate
NEW MEMBER TEAM
Serve as introductory point of contact for new members, answering questions concerning church traditions, activities, and spirituality
Provide prayer, spiritual care, and support to active members and regular attendees with potential repeat or ongoing needs
You can reach our Deacons anytime by calling the Deacon Care Line at512-291-8819. Someone will return your call as soon as possible.
The Board is primarily responsible for making sure that financial and other resources are available to do the ministry of MCC Austin. For the past several years, the Board has primarily been busy raising the funds and completing the preparations for our new sanctuary, scheduled for completion this spring.
Growth Groups are gatherings of 10-15 people who get together each week (for 6-8 weeks) in convenient locations around Austin to grow in faith and have fun together. There are three Growth Group sessions each year:
The Lay Delegates of MCC Austin are elected to represent our congregation at the MCC General Conference by participating and by voting at the business meeting. Delegates also communicate the results of the General Conference with the congregation.
Psalm 95 tells us to “sing joyfully to the Lord.” At upRisiing, we don’t just sing joyfully…we sing passionately, artfully, inclusively, diversely, beautifully, with or without accompaniment, in solo and ensembles, and often! Nearly every event is an occasion to raise a chorus of praise to the Gracious Creator that has blessed our church with a wealth of musically talented individuals. After all, we ARE located in the live music capital of the world!
The mission of this ministry team is to make sure that everyone who walks through our door feels welcome. Ministry volunteers greet everyone, offer information, and serve as ushers at services as well as other special events.
At every worship service people are invited to leave their prayer requests. The Shepherding ministry volunteers collect all of the prayer requests and distribute them to the deacons and pastoral staff.
MCC Austin provides food and shelter on nights when the temperature drops below 32 degrees during the winter. Volunteers will help provide dinner and breakfast and help staff the church overnight while guests are here.
General Conference is a time for the members of UFMCC to conduct denominational business and provide training opportunities through workshops and plenary sessions. The General Conference is held every three years, and the next gathering will be in July 2019.
The purpose of L.E.A.D. is to offer lay leaders of UFMCC an opportunity to deepen their spiritual growth, develop their existing skills and furnish them with additional leadership tools so that they may be effective leaders in the church and the world.
MCC Austin participates in the annual Austin PRIDE events every fall. You are welcome to help us set up and/or host our PRIDE festival booth or participate in the parade with us by walking with us and/or helping create our parade entry.
On the third Sunday of each month—September through May—two groups meet for food and fellowship at local restaurants.
The Family Lunch Bunch visits restaurants that also have playgrounds—spaces where adults and children alike can comfortably socialize.
Community Connection gathers at a different restaurant each month to meet new people and connect with old friends.
If you are visiting us or if lunch out doesn’t fit into your budget, we would love for you to be our guest for lunch. Just let one of our hosts know that you’d like to be our guest.
Seasonal Meetups are opportunities throughout the year to gather at the church or to get out in the city for some fun with friends. We have game nights and potlucks. During the summer, meetups have included fishing at Moby Dick’s Private Pond, taking in a show at Zilker Hillside Theater, and cheering on the Round Rock Express. During Advent, we meet weekly for activities such as cookie decorating, ornament making, and Christmas caroling.
If members are to grow in their faith, they need to have established an emotional bond with their congregation. And for that bond to have optimum strength, it must go beyond just the worship experience. ~Albert Winesman