Mission Study October 2019

Mission Statement:  We are a family rooted in Christ, called to glorify and enjoy God through worship, discipleship, compassion, and service to one another and to our community. 


History of Pinetop-Lakeside:  Founded in early 1880s by Mormon pioneers there were two towns.  Pinetop derived its name from the nickname of a saloon keeper who served the Fort Apache soldiers and Lakeside derived its name from the area’s lakes. They are located in the heart of the White Mountains of Arizona, elevation 6900’.  The two towns incorporated together in 1984.  Pinetop-Lakeside is best known for its extensive tourism, recreational activities and proximity to the world’s largest stand of ponderosa pines. The area is surrounded by national forest and adjoins the White Mountain Apache reservation to the south.  Over 200 miles of developed multi-use trails for hiking, biking, horseback riding are found.  Hunting, fishing and golf are popular activities.  In the winter cross-country skiing, sledding, snowmobiling and ice fishing are enjoyed by many.  Sunrise Park Ski Resort, the largest ski resort in Arizona is about 45 minutes away.  Further information can be found at http://www.pinetoplakesideaz.gov/ 


Currently we have 68 members and 34 affiliate members of which 85% are Caucasian, 8% are Native American and 7% are Hispanic.  The majority of our congregation is over 60 years old.  Because we are a summer resort community Worship attendance varies from an average of 65 in the winter to 156 during the summer months. 


Brief History of CPC:  There was a time, prior to 1957, when Pinetop consisted of thirteen liquor establishments, two small grocery stores and no churches.  In the fall of 1956, a petition bearing the names of thirty prospective members for a church in Pinetop was presented to the Synod of Arizona.  The first service was held March of 1957 in the Pinetop Elementary School Gymnasium. The congregation was organized on November 18, 1957 with the sponsorship of the Presbytery of Northern Arizona and the Board of Missions, and thus the first church in Pinetop was formed.  The sanctuary was completed in 1962 and additions were made in 1982/1983.  Recently we have added a large pavilion, electronic message sign, remodeled the pastor’s office, and repainted the church, cottage (old manse, now church school) and the outbuildings.   A total of six installed pastors have served our congregation, with the most recent pastor serving 14 years before receiving another call in the spring of 2018.  We have received several comments concerning their CPC experiences, they are: 


Rev. Richard Madden, 1995 to 2002:  “I’d say with no hesitation that our Pinetop experience was the most satisfying ministry of my career. It is a vibrant and loving congregation”.   Rev. Tom Berry, 2004 to 2018: “Quickly I came to realize just how much the congregation and community had to offer me… it was the members of Community Presbyterian who shaped me into the pastor I am today. My time at Community Presbyterian was a blessing for me”. 


The Community We Serve:   Our community is located in eastern Arizona near the New Mexico border and nearly equidistant from the north and south borders.   PinetopLakeside has a population of 4,300.  The nearest neighboring town and commercial hub is Show Low (7 miles), population of 11,500.  During the summer months our combined population total is about 35,000.  Summer residents come from many different areas including out of state but primarily from the urban areas of Phoenix and Tucson.  Both are +/-180 miles away. 


The community is located between two large reservations.   Adjacent to us is the White Mountain Apache Reservation on the south and the Navajo Reservation is about 60 miles north.   The community demographic is 50% Caucasian, 26% Native American and 24% Hispanic.  However, in the summer months the demographic percentages can vary significantly. Our ministry area is generally called the White Mountains of Arizona. 


Significant employment opportunities are found in health care, schools, service industries, construction and tourism.  The hospital recently completed a multi-million dollar expansion and several new commercial enterprises have been recently completed or under construction near the hospital. 


Social issues faced are similar to other towns in Arizona.  These would include different types of addictions, dysfunctional families, suicide, homelessness and depression.  Many nonprofits have sprung up to assist in addressing these concerns with varying success.  Our congregation strongly supports the Love Kitchen, Veterans Village, Montlure (youth) Camp, Living Hope Centers and other local and national charities.   


Mission Study-2019:   During July, 2019 our congregation participated in a Mission Survey from the Ministry of Leadership Transformations Inc. (third party).  The survey was a written questionnaire called “CHAT” (Church Health Assessment Tool).  It was a series of questions given to our members and non-members who wanted to engage.  The results were divided into two groups, Leadership Team and Congregation, for comparison.  Not all members and/or congregation attendees were active in the survey but we feel a reasonable number (57) completed the survey for a reliable study.  The results are attached. 


Our work as the “Pastor Nominating Committee” encompassed the following areas:

● Studying the community where we worship and serve 

● Engaging about the church’s role in the community 

● Conducting an analysis of the CHAT Study (Mission Survey) 

● Committee conversations 

● Ultimately: Determining church priorities and opportunities for personal spiritual and congregational growth as we move forward to call a pastor. 


Guide Lines for Mission Study: Overview The Mission Study Report is a necessary step before a congregation is allowed to begin the search for a new pastor.  Many people confuse a Mission Study with Long Range Planning or Strategic Planning and a list of Goals and Objectives.  There are a number of significant differences, however. The First and foremost difference is that as a church, we always seek to examine ourselves and our actions in the light of scripture and prayerfully to ask God’s guidance as we try to determine the work that God wants us to do in a certain time and place. Secondly, unlike most corporations, the church is a volunteer organization.  The corporate model in which leadership sets direction and tells staff to follow does not work well in a church.  Thus it is important to involve as much of the congregation as possible in the process of self-examination and decision-making.  There are two reasons for this.  One reason is that as Reformed Christians we believe both in the priesthood of believers and in the corporate body of the church, together we are enhanced in our endeavors more than we are separately.  The second is to develop a sense of ownership with the congregation of the future directions for the ministry of that church in the coming years. 


Ministry Gifts:  The tools God uses to build up the Church.  At CPC there is an abiding peace when we gather for worship, fellowship, and service.  With the Holy Spirit leading us, even in difficult situations, and thus imparts deep joy within the congregation. An awareness of God’s empowering presence is one of our gifts as a congregation. 


Another gift we have is wise administration coupled with strong accountability to one another.  There is a feeling of wise management and trust within our leadership.  This is recognized in the facility maintenance and the strong financial position. 


Coupled with a vivid sense of God’s presence and good administration comes a congregation with a very generous heart.  Stewardship and generosity are not talked about too much, because these are gifts the congregation lives out in a natural manner.  These include normal mission giving to agencies of the PCUSA and/or locally, but are most focused when a need arises in the congregation or the community.  Believing and acknowledging how blessed we are, guides the direction of our mission. 


Expanding on this generous spirit is a commitment to caring/honoring relationships.  Like many PCUSA congregations, we have varying political and societal views at CPC.  This attitude is modeled by our leadership and witnessed/followed by the members.  All are respected as living out their journey of faith. Finally, our relative inclusivity and diversity are highly valued by the congregation.  And, as much as it is valued, our aspiration to be even more inclusive is an exciting opportunity in which we can grow. 


Our Hope for the Future:  Like most organizations, the areas we have identified for improvement are also rooted in our strengths.  The Mission Survey process allowed us to ask questions that had not been asked and have given us a fresh perspective on ways we can strengthen our congregational family.  Most pronounced, a little over half in the survey thought we lack outreach, learning and growing and servant-leadership development.  A little under half believe we need networking with the body of Christ. Although a large number of our congregation is involved in a number of agencies and charities, many feel we can do more; there is a concern about the lack of group experiences and the lack of training and empowerment for service within and outside the church.  Also revealed is a lack networking with Grand Canyon Presbytery, this may be due to the distance from the urban area of Phoenix (180 miles away) and not easily rectified but we acknowledge the need.  


Vision Statement:  We strive to be a safe place, a sanctuary where people are accepted, included, and cared for as they are. We have been called to be agents of God’s transforming power, aligning ourselves with the Holy Spirit as we pray, worship, learn, gather for fellowship and serve together. 

Ephesians 4:11-13.  So Christ himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers, 12. to equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up 13. until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ. 



Community Presbyterian Church Website: https://cpcpinetop.org 

Presbytery Grand Canyon website: https://www.pbygrandcanyon.org 

Pinetop-Lakeside website: https://www.pinetoplakesideaz.gov 

Show Low website: https://www.showlowaz.gov 

White Mountain Apache Tribe website: https://whitemountainapache.org 

Pinetop-Lakeside School District: https://www.brusd.org/ 

Show Low School District: https://www.showlow.education 

Hospital website: https://summithealthcare.net 

Pinetop-Lakeside Chamber of Commerce: https://www.pinetoplakesidechamber.com 

Navajo County: https://www.navajocountyaz.gov