First Discernment Gathering
We had a wonderful first gathering on April 17. Below are the discernment questions, and responses of the group.
What do we NOT want to do in the future?
- Engage in negativity
- Become close-minded, especially to new ideas
- Neglect our younger members
- Ignore people who don't seem to be like "us"
- Lose our sense of family and (shared) community
- Become overly programmed
- Lose our sense of volunteerism
- (Allow the few to become) burned-out
- (Lose a vision for shared ministry and become) impermeable (to new volunteers)
What do we WANT to do in the future?
- Become better known in the community - consider how to advertise
- Continue in community outreach
- Be good stewards of our buildings and grounds - security issues noted
- Develop the East side of property - labyrinth walk (and parking lot)
- Continue to welcome everyone
- Grow our Sunday School at all age levels
- Bring best practices to an expanded "Greeters" program
- Continue to improve our web site
- Continuing caring for congregation - especially long-term members
- Continue our innovations in worship and music - exploring how to be more contemporary and attractive to new people as well as our current members
- Continue community dinners as a form of outreach (to introduce people to Grace Church)
- Maintain a sense of belonging
- Develop appropriate programs (to match our needs and resources)
- Foster stability (in the midst of this time of transition)
- Better know who we are (with knowledge of whole church, not just parts we are active/interested/participate in)
What is God calling us to do?
- Listen to each other - and to God
- Pray (for one another) and (be in) Prayer (together)
- Work together
- (pursue an) unwavering faith/trust (in God)
- Love one another - even when things get tough
- Keep moving forward
- Be shepherds and sheep (of the Good Shepherd)
- Show up (to church events) and be present/involved
- Be a reflection of God's love, peace, kindness, etc.
- Be patient (with one another) in listening, working through (challenges), (staying) in the process
- (Create a space for) younger people (to experience God as part of the congregation)
Note: words in (brackets) are an attempt to provide some context to comments.
The whole parish (including our youth) are encouraged to participate as we reflect on where we are as a congregation and where God might be calling us to go into the future.
There will be two more
to take place on the following
Sunday mornings at 9:00am
May 1 and May 22
While not mandatory, participation in these conversations will inform the work of our Search Committee; scheduled to be appointed at our June 8 Vestry meeting.
Thank you for your continued prayers and support of the leadership and ministries of Grace Church.