Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Upcoming Sabbatical summary

The purpose of this renewal/sabbatical program is to re-imagine a mission model for “doing church” that will carry Church of the Three Crosses into the future as a congregation that remains a vibrant and relevant faith community. I plan to visit and observe at least six churches which have broken from traditional church paradigms, and have begun evolving into dynamic and exciting spiritual communities. It is my hope that we can glean from these observations vital ways of being church. At each of the church visits, the same eight, core questions will be asked as a means of maintaining consistency and focusing the discussion: 1) What would the community name as core values vital to its identity? 2) How are these core values expressed in its communal life? 3) What are the overarching theologies that support the community/ 4) How and why was its worship style developed? 5) Who is coming through the doors to visit? 6) How does it do missional outreach? And, 7) How is the community marketing itself? 8) How is your community funding itself? a. Getting Focused: July 1-10 Reading and visiting Friendship Presbyterian Church which meets in a Metra train station. Begin reading Doug Pagitt's book: Church Re-Imagined, 2005 b. July 11 – 15 Drive to Minneapolis, MN (Pam and Dave Clinefelter have invited me to stay with them at their house), and visit Solomon’s Porch Church. Meet with staff and members to explore what they see as “best practices” for this congregation. Ask Church Council members to journal in their reading of the Pagitt's book. c. Return to Chicago: July 15-August 2. Time to rest, reflect and organize information. Utilize the church's blog to interact with a church book group, which will be reading Church Re-Imagined. Begin reading Diana Bulter Bass' Christianity for the Rest of Us. July 21 - worship at Urban Village - Chicago - ask core questions to pastor and key leaders. July 28 - worship at Holy Trinity Lutheran Church - ask core questions to pastor and key leaders. Blog on the church's blog site. d. August 3 - fly to Asheville, NC. e. Land of the Sky UCC and Circle of Mercy, Asheville, NC: August 3 Travel to Asheville, NC. Visit a new UCC church development, Land of the Sky, which bills itself as an emerging congregation. Attend Worship and meet with the co-pastors, Rev. Sara Wilcox and Rev. Amanda Hendler-Voss, lay leaders and members. Help lead Vacation Bible School camp at Land of the Sky. August 11 I will attend Circle of Mercy UCC church and meet with the pastoral staff. I will spend the remainder of my time in Asheville to summarize and reflect on all my data and stay with my daughter. Attending all the events of Land of the Sky possible. During August, the second book group will be convened. f. Return to Chicago: September 8 First Sunday back at Church of the Three Crosses will be September 8. Worship celebration and luncheon. Give a brief initial report to congregation. g. Follow-Up Conversations The congregation will meet over the next six Wednesdays (beginning September 18) for conversation and reflections upon what it has learned about its present life and work at imagining its future life. John and others will facilitate these conversations. Here are the web sites of the congregations I will be visiting - check them out: ;Friendship Presbyterian Church: http://fpcchicago.org ;Solomon's Porch: http://www.solomonsporch.com ;Urban Village Chicago: http://www.urbanvillagechurch.org ;Holy Trinity Lutheran Church: http://www.holytrinitychicago.org ;Land of the Sky UCC: http://landoftheskychurch.org ;Circle of Mercy UCC: https://sites.google.com/site/circleofmercy/


Unknown said...

John -
Thank you for posting your agenda and for including the links to the places you plan to visit. I look forward to learning more about these communities as you journey through your sabbatical. Blessings on this journey - may you be enlightened, informed, and refreshed along the way!

Anonymous said...

Thank you Dana, John