The community has two final opportunities to help shape Worthington's vision. Now is the time to let your voice be heard.

Earlier in the visioning process, I wrote in this column about how Worthington is a special community made up of passionate and informed residents who want the best for their families, neighborhoods and community.

Much has changed since then, with the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic and issues of racial equity and justice now in the forefront, but the Worthington Community Visioning Committee has discovered that those words written in 2019 ring truer now than ever.

In the face of the uncertainty generated by the pandemic, Worthington residents have come out strongly to share how deeply they care about Worthington and their ideas to shape the direction of our city.

Greater inclusivity and diversity, a high satisfaction with city services, the creation of a "Worthington Mile" connecting Old Worthington to the Shops at Worthington Place and innovative economic-development opportunities are just a sampling of what has been heard from the community over the past few months in our virtual visioning efforts.

City residents, students and members of the Worthington Schools, local businesspeople and community nonprofit leaders all have logged in, connected and shared their thoughts and perspectives on what they value most about Worthington.

The committee has evaluated this feedback, drafted vision statements based on what we heard and is entering the final phase of the visioning process.

To successfully finish our work, we need to hear from you once again to refine the draft vision statements and principles capturing the thoughts and feelings the community has shared regarding the future of Worthington.

The draft vision statements are being mailed to every Worthington household.

We are asking you to review, refine and share your final thoughts about each statement and the guiding principles. You can fill out the enclosed form with your reflections and send it back to us in the postage-paid return envelope or log on to visionworthington.org and share your thoughts virtually.

We also want to invite you to participate in our final virtual planning session Oct. 1. This event, called a charrette, is a collaborative-planning process that harnesses the talents and energies of community stakeholders to create and support a vision or plan using consensus and a plan of action.

We will use the charrette to work out the final details of the vision statements and principles. A link to register for the charrette may be found at visionworthington.org.

Your voice is important, and we want to hear what you have to say.

A final visioning report will be presented to Worthington City Council in November. It is intended to help guide what Worthington will look and feel like over the next 15 to 20 years and assist council in policy and funding decisions.

We ask that you participate and encourage your friends and neighbors to do so as well so we can create a collective vision for the community we all care so passionately about.

Joe Sherman is chairman of the Worthington Community Visioning Committee.