For the past few months the congregation has been involved in a discernment process called “New Beginnings.” At the heart of this process is a question: “What is God calling our congregation to do and to be in this time and this place?” We began last Fall with an assessment of our church’s mission, finances, facilities, and programs which were compiled in a 71-page report.
On the first Sunday of February, we gathered for a special worship in the Church House auditorium when some of the elders led worship to kick-off the small group meeting phase of the New Beginnings. Since then, four small groups met to have conversations about the assessment of the congregation and to explore possible future options. A total of 35 people (participants and facilitators) took part in the lively conversations.
The next step is to gather the information and ideas generated by the small groups and to begin discerning how the Spirit is moving among and to move toward a decision for our future. The facilitators are currently meeting and working on these questions:
- Based on these conversations, what would you say were the points of agreement?
- What seemed to be the greatest opportunity for ministry in our context?
- After listening to all the groups, which decision do YOU think is best for us?
- Next steps and writing the report to the congregation.
A report to the congregation will be completed soon and there will be another special worship service to give thanks for the New Beginnings process and to hear the report. In the meantime, if you have any comments or questions about the process, please feel free to contact me.
Please also note the events coming up this month. Our annual Cooper’s Pond Clean Up, we join with the community in a “spring cleaning” of Cooper’s Pond is scheduled for Saturday, April 8 at 9:00 am! The next day, Sunday April 9, is Palm Sunday and marks the beginning of Holy Week (see the schedule on the front page), with Easter Sunday on April 16.
I will close with the words of Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, who invites us in a prayer of patient trust to: Above all, trust in the slow work of God:
Only God could say what this new spirit
gradually forming within you will be.
Give our Lord the benefit of believing
that his hand is leading you
and accept the anxiety of feeling yourself
in suspense and incomplete.
Grace and peace, Mark