Your transition team has been hard at work digesting the information gleaned from the September 29 congregational conversation. You can find a summary of the table discussion notes here. (The full notes are available here.) Mark your calendars for the second congregational conversation on October 27, noon-2 pm in the Fellowship Hall.
Below are some of the questions you have asked about the transition facilitation process. (Thank you for asking. Please keep doing so!)
What are the goals or objectives the transition facilitation process is seeking to address? What will the end product be?
The overall goal of transition facilitation is to help the congregation discern and claim who it is and what it is about in this season of ministry. This clarity allows the church to move forward with boldness and to articulate hopes and expectations for a new pastoral leader, which will most tangibly take the forms of church and pastor profiles. A lot of the work, then, is about paving the way for a long, fruitful ministry between FBC and its next clergyperson.
Additional goals emerge from the process itself. For example, the first congregational conversation revealed the need and desire to build relationships and trust across groups. That, then, will be a primary objective for the transition team for the rest of its work. As we switch from examining the church’s history to looking at the present and future of FBC, there will be space to share thoughts about the specifics of the church’s ministry, which will be passed on to committees that cover those areas.
When will discussion around lingering hurt and distrust happen?
The “connections” congregational conversation on October 27 will include some table discussion about places where church members feel disconnected and ways to overcome those gaps. As we move forward in the process, there will be intentional discussion about the church’s mission and leadership. Both topics will lend themselves to addressing unresolved issues around the building, leadership needs, and communication.
How will we navigate differing points of view and not allow any one group to drive decisions?
One way this navigation is already happening is within the transition team, which contains a range of perspectives. We are having healthy discussions about areas of disagreement, and in the process we are learning how to broaden that safety to be authentic beyond the team so that everyone feels welcome to contribute hopes and hurts, ideas and concerns.
Will we address the real issues our church is facing, such as leadership structure, lack of growth, and large property? How will we make sure this is time well spent and not just expend a lot of energy talking that doesn’t translate into action?
The transition team’s priority of building relationships and trust is the first step in making sure conversation leads to implementation. We believe that not having this trust has hurt past processes, at times leading to competing solutions rather than common hopes. In working on the relational piece even as we focus on connections, mission, leadership, and future, the church will build bridges across groups and communication gaps that will make action possible.
How will we be kept informed about the process?
I have been submitting weekly articles for Table Talk since July, and I intend to keep doing so. All of these articles can also be found on the church’s website. A transition team representative writes articles each month for Together. Team members will be available in the Welcome Center during First Cup on first Sundays for your questions and feedback. You are also always welcome to share your questions and comments with team members or to contact me at reverendlaura (at) gmail (dot) com.