The Transition Team is continuing to build relationships by intentional email discussion each week in advance of our September 14 training. We invite you to participate in the September 29 congregational conversation, which will be held 12:00-2:00 in the Fellowship Hall. The September edition of Together will have more details about childcare and potluck items to bring.

Last week’s Table Talk included the link to a prayer calendar. The daily prayer prompts are designed to help us notice more deeply where God is already at work around us. I invite you to begin using the calendar (copies are available at the Welcome Center Desk or using this link), noting that an August 14 start would lead to working through all the prayer prompts by the first congregational conversation.

Here is this week’s food for thought:

Transition facilitation aims to help congregations between settled ministers think deeply about five different focus points: heritage, connections, mission, leadership, and future. Over the next few weeks, I’ll share a bit about each of these, starting with heritage. In this focus point, a congregation considers the whole of its history in order to understand what factors have led to the current moment, appreciate what the church has accomplished, bring closure to aspects that might be hindering its ministry, and decide what threads of its legacy to pull forward into the future.

Often in these discussions members discover previously-unearthed treasures, whether these are lessons from a difficult season or a new awareness of congregational values and characteristics that are key to forward movement. The power of these conversations lies in the participants’ willingness to share with and listen deeply to one another, then to ask, “Given what we’ve talked about, what’s next?” The potential pitfall to be on guard against is the kind of remembering that leads to getting mired in nostalgia, or the desire to return to the way things were.

Reflection question/prayer prompt: What do our neighbors say about our church?

Grace and peace, Laura

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