Established in January 1975, Northeastern has embraced its call to be a mission driven congregation centered on community engagement, social justice and advocacy for those living on the margins of society. We love being the hands and feet of Christ in our community. Over the years our numbers have fallen from 450 to 220 members for various reasons, but mostly a change in community demographics. Our vision for ministry has now evolved to include programs that encourage:
- Family-oriented activities.
- Social causes like health care, homelessness, neighborhood crime and voting rights issues.
- Bible or Scripture study/prayer groups that fit the schedules of working family households.
- Spiritual discussion groups on topics that relate to wider-community and world issues.
- Adult social activities that benefit working family households.
- Cultural programs (music, drama, arts, etc.) that help bond community and Church life.
- Senior/retiree activities that satisfy the needs of the neighboring community population.
We have formed community partnerships with Food and Friends Inc., Capital Area Food Bank, and local schools. We continually seek new avenues to serve our church and our community. We will be looking to our next Pastor's experience and ideas to further enhance our congregation's vision for community ministry.
How do you feel called to reach out to address the emerging needs of your community or constituency?
Northeastern resides in an urban residential area that is experiencing significant changes. Our immediate area of Woodbridge/Brookland is experiencing rapid gentrification and is composed of an intergenerational community. We acknowledge and welcome our new neighbors with young families. We reside immediately next to Prince George’s County, Maryland which is a wealth of communities comprised of African Americans, Caucasians, Hispanics and recently immigrated people from an array of backgrounds. The emerging needs of our community consist of addressing spirituality and providing positive uplifting Christian based activities for families and individuals. We also acknowledge the need to address hunger, poverty, affordable childcare and transportation for seniors.
We address the emerging needs of our community through a variety of activities. We operate a food bank; Angel Tree for disadvantaged children; Vacation Bible School; and Christian Education. We have the Social Concerns Committee; the Literary Club; and the Presbyterian Men. There are also several social activities planned throughout the year. Workshops have been conducted on Mental Health for Black Men and Gun Violence. We have partnerships with organizations such as AARP and AA/NA. We also hold an annual Health Fair for the community.
It is Northeastern’s desire to learn more about God’s Word and to spread God’s love in our communities. The person who is called to be Northeastern’s next pastor will lead and encourage our congregation to work on our vision and mission goals through:
- Worship - Develops and delivers meaningful and uplifting sermons that inspire worshippers toward exemplary Christian living.
- Witness - Shares the love of Jesus Christ by providing opportunities for parishioners to reach out to and coordinate with community services to help the poor, homeless, sick and spiritually challenged
- Learning - Brings energy to the Christian Education ministry and creatively teach the word of God.
- Grow - Embraces the diversity in the community that surrounds Northeastern and helps the church grow in body and spirit
- Nurture - Provides on-going training to help the congregation give support to those who need nurturing.
- Serve -Provides a church environment which addresses the needs of all members including children.
Our next Pastor will need to be ready to energize our congregation. The major challenges are a lack of flexibility to change as well as having an aging congregation. Northeastern wants someone who will promote collaboration, flexibility, and compassion, and help us to discern where God is leading us. We need a leader who will walk with us and lead us to achieving all aspects of our Vision Statement. The following characteristic are desired:
- Preaching –Inspires and connects people to God’s vision.
- Strategic leadership –Casts a vision and leads the church toward realization of the vision.
- Change management –Leads the church through a significant and necessary period of change.
- Pastoral care –Engages people empathetically and cares for persons in times of need.
- Teaching/Training –Deepens understanding, forms character, and equips members with new skills.
- Navigate/resolve conflict – Helps our church deal with conflict through training, negotiation, and mediation.
- Administration –Manages our church operationally including facilities, budget and staff.