Thank you all for your participation in this past Sunday’s congregational conversation. On Sunday evening the transition team had a very positive meeting in which we talked through the event. Here are some of the team members’ thoughts based on what emerged in table conversations:
- Based on all that we have heard to this point, the core values that were identified during the 2015 strategic planning process—hospitality, community, dialogue, and service—truly reflect FBC’s ongoing identity. (That consistency is a good thing!)
- At the moment, due to a variety of factors, some of those core values are more aspirational than operational at the congregational level.
- For example, the question (which relates in some way to all of the core values) remains about how to be a church of people who want to keep politics out of church and people who see Jesus and the Gospel as political. How can we connect in ways that don’t require us all to come to the same conclusion?
- The church shows the ability to live in this tension all the time in smaller groups, such as around the tables during the congregational conversations and in Sunday School classes.
- Some guidance might be useful, however, for how to engage in ongoing dialogue at the whole group/congregational level that embodies hospitality and builds community so that the church can join together in service.
- That guidance filters into these categories:
- recommendations/tools for increased relationship-building, communication, and transparency
- covenanting around ground rules for conversations
- adjustments to leadership structure
- ownership of processes by more people
- the establishment of qualifications of and priorities for the next settled pastor
The transition team will share some of these points for consideration at the final congregational conversation on March 29. That gathering will be a time of commitment, celebration, and looking ahead to the pastor search, so please make plans to attend. In the intervening weeks, I will share the collated responses from this Sunday’s table conversations.