As Randy Hyde shared in church on Sunday, I was in an SUV vs. pedestrian (me) accident last week. I realize that I am so very fortunate not to have been injured more seriously, and I am beyond grateful for the messages I’ve received and for the prayers you’ve been offering on my behalf.

My work as your transition facilitator has not been impacted by my accident. This week, in fact, I am fleshing out plans for the upcoming transition team training and putting together team notebooks. As we all prepare for the first congregational conversation on September 29, 12:00-2:00, I hope the weekly thoughts I’ve been sharing and the prayer calendar have been helpful.

Here is this week’s offering:

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 the connections focus point a church considers all the relationships it has built outside of itself. This might include ties to denominational entities, local organizations (e.g., homeless shelters, Habitat for Humanity) and institutions (e.g. schools, hospitals), other congregations, and global mission partners. Naming these connections allows the church to assess which relationships remain consistent with the church’s vision, and for those that do, to think about how to work together even more effectively. If there are relationships that have run their course or that were tied to people who are no longer part of the church, the congregation can mull how to bring closure to those partnerships in healthy ways. This clears the path for the church to explore potential connections with new partners at community, state, national, and/or international levels. The underlying question for this focus point is “How can we work with those beyond our walls to increase the impact of our ministry?”

Reflection question/prayer prompt (for your personal preparation as a member of this discernment team): Who are we as a congregation to our larger community?

Grace and peace, Laura

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