Learning & Living Our Core Values

Last August, we had a church-wide retreat to look at our vision statement, Seek and Love God, Love and Serve People, and develop core values—specific ways of living out God’s vision for our church. We spent some time learning and discussing The United Methodist Social Principles and the ways in which they inform how we seek, love, and serve. Then we shared our own experiences at First United Methodist Church of Orlando and found similar threads among our personal stories. Several core values emerged, expressing who we are and what we are committed to as a church—Welcome, Worship, Care, Give, Grow, Peace with Justice, and Courageous Leadership.

In an effort to teach these core values throughout our congregation, a team of lay people and staff developed a curriculum that would offer compelling examples of each core value along with opportunities for reflection and challenge. It is a beautifully diverse portrait—stories from young and old, women and men, people with diverse gifts and abilities, etc. A heartfelt thank-you to the curriculum writing team—Dianne Richardson, Doug Barrett, Jeff Chandler, Justin Cox, and Felicia & Lamar Coleman; to those who either personally shared their stories or allowed them to be told—Megan Mueller, Jonathan Asbury, Doug Barrett, Dianne Richardson, Edna & Ken Benson, Katharine Henry, and Mackenzie Morrison; and to Danielle Voss for the curriculum’s eye-catching design.

The season of Lent is a time of reflection, confession, preparation, and challenge to live more fully as people changed by God’s grace and love, which are constantly at work in our lives. It is also a time when the church finds meaningful ways to renew its witness to Christ’s presence in the world. As we explore and add these core values to both our individual and corporate practice, we will deepen our experience and witness of God.

This curriculum can be used by Sunday School classes and small groups for prompting a meaningful discussion of our core values and how to live into them. It can also be used by individuals as a devotional for personal reflection, with encouragement to engage in conversation with someone in some way about how you are living these core values in your everyday life.

I hope that the stories in this resource will inspire you as they have for me, and I pray that the Holy Spirit will open our hearts as we commit to embracing who we are as First United Methodist Church of Orlando and living our core values more fully.

Download the 2018 Lent Curriculum Here or pick up a copy on campus.