Looking Ahead

Within the second decade of the 21st century, we have taken intentional steps to help ensure Prospect has a bright future -- looking at both the church facility and vitality.

2010 The Building: Preserving Our Past While Building Our Future

In 2010 we kicked off a Capital Campaign to fund a building initiative under the theme of "Preserving Our Past While Building Our Future".

The renovation included the following:

- Replace the 1971 fellowship hall, kitchen, and toilet with an enlarged structure that encompasses an enlarged building that includes more social space, new kitchen, classrooms, nursery, offices, ADA restrooms, foyer, and bell tower entrance.

- Re-side and reroof entire building

- Remove old chimney and straighten the steeple

We broke ground on 3/11/2012 and the renovated church (Phase I and II) of the original plan was consecrated on 10/3/2012.

The Capital Campaign ended in January 2017. At that time we elected to remove Phase III altogether as part of this initiative. The entire project had been paid in full with some residual for the future.

This was indeed a church-wide initiative that was supported by a unified congregation. We adopted guiding principles before we started anything that addressed and eliminated division that had caused prior efforts to fail. A key principle was that all modifications would be done in a manner that preserved the historical integrity of the original church building (Sanctuary) that was built in 1887. Learn more in the Overview.

2017 Church Life: Expanding Christ's Love to All Generations

In the Fall of 2017 the Administrative Council launched an initiative to help us discern Prospect's best path forward. Building upon where we are today with lots of good things happening, the goal was to help ensure a bright and vital future for this church remaining relevant in a fast-paced changing world and in continued service to the UMC mission: making disciples of Jesus Christ to transform the world. This motivation was also in response to the known struggles that churches are having in general and many are closing. We wanted to help ensure Prospect stays on a positive trajectory for long-term survival. We focused on:

· Church Vitality

· Effectiveness

· Long-term Viability

· All Age Groups

The scope of the initiative included study, analysis, dialog/reviews within the church and outside advisors, validation, and alignment with related UMC initiatives.

The results of the initiative was a recommended "Path Forward" framework with four key strategies and supporting guidelines — to not only survive but to thrive. In addition, a church member crafted a beautiful “Prospect's Future“ vision box attributed to the future of the church and to be an inspiration and invitation for the congregation to open up communication.

The deliverables are largely a synthesis of recurring themes and learned practices of successful churches from related UMC initiatives and supporting resources. Representative resources are reflected in Equipping Vital Leadership, Congregation, and Laity and Book of Discipline and Leadership Guidelines, various UMC websites, as well as resources from a variety of church consultancies.

View the brochure that tells the story and contains the Path Forward platform. View the guidelines created as part of the initiative.

The result of this initiative also helped position Prospect to be aligned with Bishop Lewis' 2020 disciple-formation directive as she describes in her 2017 Annual Conference Reflections: "Our ministry vision for the Virginia Annual Conference is to be Disciples of Jesus Christ who are lifelong learners who influence others to serve. All United Methodist churches in Virginia will have a process of intentionally forming disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world by their influence and their acts of servanthood by 2020."