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What is the Purpose of Eden Church?

The first big question that we have taken up in our strategic planning process is the question of purpose—what is the purpose of Eden Church?

The Congregation contributed helpful responses at our All-Church Strategic Planning Retreat which was held on Saturday, Oct 24, 2015. The Strategic Team met in November to workshop those ideas into a concise statement. The current draft of our purpose statement reads as follows:

Eden Church is a parish community that strives to follow Christ’s example by:

  • offering hospitality and sanctuary to all
  • worshipping God who is still speaking
  • nurturing spiritual growth and well-being for people of all ages
  • listening and responding to the needs of our community, and
  • amplifying the voices of our neighbors

The terms “parish community” were carefully chosen to describe Eden members’ desire to minister to and with congregants and residents of our surrounding community.

The term “parish” is a familiar one to some and foreign to others. Etymologically speaking, the term is an ecclesiastical and administrative word based on the Latin root perokia, referring to an area of land and the inhabitants who reside near a particular church. In the case of Eden UCC, the geographical area surrounding our campus is known as the Eden Area. This area encompasses Ashland, Castro Valley, Cherryland, Hayward, San Leandro, and San Lorenzo.

While we do draw members from 11 zip codes, the majority of Eden’s participants reside in the Eden Area. For this and other practical reasons, the Strategic Team is presenting a first-draft of our purpose statement for the congregation’s consideration which utilizes the terms “parish community,” that defines our parish and our scope of ministry as the Eden Area.

We look forward to hearing your thoughts about this concept and the entire draft purpose statement on Sunday, January 10, during our post-worship focus group session. Please see the article inside the January Chimes about this next All-Church event.

Pastor Arlene