District Strategic Plan


Rediscovering the Way:

Becoming a Wesleyan Movement for the 21st Century

2016-2020 Columbia District Strategic Plan

Executive Summary

What Is Our Vision?

We believe God has a purpose for us!  We hope that United Methodists in the Columbia District can become a contagious Christian catalyst for

  • Robust Christian practices
  • Social and critical thinking, and
  • Creative solutions.

These habits will deepen and enhance our relationships with God and one another, our connections with our local communities, and our engagement in global concerns.

Why a Strategic Plan Now?

Big changes are evident in the Columbia District – both in the Portland metro area and in the Columbia Gorge.  Churches are closing or merging.  Some churches are exploring new forms of worship or ministry to try to turn around their decline.  If these trends continue, we will not have the financial or leadership resources at the Annual Conference level to sustain our denominational connections by 2025.

How Will We Move Forward?

Our goal is to find a way to rediscover our roots. Christianity and Methodism are powerful Spirit-led movements.  Our imperative is to be open to an as-yet-unknown future where we will once again be significant participants in our communities and assist people in finding spiritual meaning.

None of us knows exactly how our churches will need to change to have a lasting future.  We do know that it won’t be a focus on raising more money or finding more members – It will be about our spiritual rediscovery. 

It will take all of us – working in partnership.  Rather than a last-ditch attempt to prop up a failing structure - this strategic plan is an invitation to explore new ways to move forward.

This plan is only a starting place.  Together we will live into the vision outlined in this plan.  Each church will engage the goals as they strengthen the mission at work and movement already underway in their community.

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Boldly Making Disciples of Jesus Christ - Vitalizing the Church - Transforming the World