Our strategy to reach Petaluma (Jerusalem), our local field of outreach, includes things we do ourselves, and other ministries that we support.
Petaluma City Ministries
We believe that joining with other churches throughout Petaluma is a powerful witness. This visible display of unity to the community demonstrates that the forces that draw us together as the universal church are stronger than forces that might separate us. We actively participate in annual Petaluma City Ministries events, including combined worship service at the Petaluma Fairgrounds, and support the organization financially.
Mobile Food Pantry
The following is provided by Lisa Allen:
The reason I got involved with the Petaluma Interfaith Pantry was I couldn’t imagine families going without proper nutrition when we live in a town surrounded by farms and dairies. It is a privilege to be close to the food we consume. I have always been surrounded by great cooks, and enjoy cooking. My parents and grandparents had gardens when I was a child, and now I have one as well. Everyone should have access to good food, especially the very young and seniors. It bothers me that so much of our food is wasted, and that’s why organizations like Petaluma Bounty are so important in this process. They go around and gather the “extra” food that may not make it to market, and bring it to the community. The Petaluma Kitchen donates any extra food that it receives to the Interfaith Pantry so that nothing is wasted. Working with these organizations and other local churches gives me a hands-on approach to ministry that you simply can’t get when you write a check. God expects us to be his hands & feet, and this ministry embodies that message.
Getting involved with the Petaluma Interfaith Pantry is easy. We can always use volunteers to help distribute food on the second Tuesday of each month. There are also opportunities to help with the shopping at the Redwood Empire Food Bank. For more information, please contact Lisa Allen at (707) 765-2797.
The Evangelism & Missions Committee plans to provide training on how to share your faith with others. Materials have been purchased called You Can Tell It! by EvanTell Ministries, which focuses on "The Gospel. Clear and Simple." It's absolutely Biblical, clear, simple, and can be delivered in a way consistent with the Holy Spirit's leading (relational, not confrontational). We are prayerfully considering the right teacher(s) to deliver this training.
WebsiteThe Petaluma Valley Baptist Church website is maintained by the Evangelism & Missions Committee. Our vision is that the purpose for the website is to draw others to Christ in Petaluma and around the world, and serve as a resource center for members including a reliable, up to date calendar, and a way to identify and participate in ministry opportunities through a deepening commitment to and participation as part of the local church body.
We welcome anyone who wishes to help write, photograph, and otherwise help develop this resource to help us accomplish this vision.
The visitor packet is one part of the Welcome Ministry of the church. As part of our vision to love our neighbors to Christ, we want to make our guests feel welcome, explain our beliefs, inform them about what we do, and encourage them to prayerfully consider joining our fellowship.
The Welcome Ministry uses the Visitor Packet as one tool to help people feel welcome. The Evangelism & Missions Committee is working on a variety of greeting and follow-up practices to encourage people to come back by letting them know how much we appreciate their attendance. This includes a plan to standardize our printed materials so they convey a common look and feel with the website and visitor packet.
Redwood Gospel Mission
As part of our commitment to reach the poor among us, Petaluma Valley Baptist Church supports the Redwood Gospel Mission financially and also through volunteer participation. We are always looking for more people with a heart to reach those that society tends to forget with the love of Christ. This partnership has room for expansion as those people step forward.
Look for more information later in 2012.
Petaluma Salvation Army
As part of our commitment to reach the poor among us, Petaluma Valley Baptist Church supports the Salvation Army in Petaluma. The Salvation Army is also a member of City Ministries.
In our quest to empower everyone to fulfill the third part of God's Prayer, Care, Share vision for our church, we are looking for ways to make outreach accessible to everyone. In 2012, we are piloting a new program called Postcard Evangelism. It will consist of two components in the pilot year:
1. We will send invitation postcards welcoming new people who move into the neighborhoods right around our church campus. These will be sent by the church staff or volunteers.
2. The more important initiative is to encourage the entire church body to invite their neighbors to church. This will consist of a strategy that includes designing four "Neighbor Friendly Sundays" throughout the year, with a message topic announced in advance that will appeal to those who might be seeking truth but are not currently in a church fellowship. Postcards will be made available for church members to invite their neighbors - the ones for whom they have been praying and caring. This is a very accessible, zero-confrontation way to reach out to neighbors and let them know they're invited on a specific Sunday.
3. The postcards can also be used to invite people to special events at the church, whether that be a children's event, youth event, Christmas event, etc. They will be designed so the sender can "personalize" the card so they know that it's from their neighbor and can apply to any special event on the church campus. Children can even invite their friends!
The postcards are expected to be ready in early spring 2012, followed by a kickoff to get everyone involved.
Social Media Outreach
We are planning to develop an electronic newsletter to replace the monthly paper newsletter. This can be distributed via email using a commercially available tool, at very low cost.
Provisions will be made for seniors or others without access to email who still wish to receive the newsletter.
This project is in the concept stage and will enter the design stage after several other projects are completed.