Good day siblings in Christ,
The time after Easter begins to get a little slower in the life of the congregation. While programming is not done, it begins to slow. This is why I felt it was a great time to begin to discern.
I have shared with the congregation and council before that I feel one of the most important things a congregation (and a person for that matter) can do is figure out who they are, so they can share that self with the world. I call it a congregation’s DNA. DNA includes what we value, where are our lines, and what are our gifts to share with the world and our community. Knowing who you are, as a congregation, helps reach individuals who are looking for you.
Every congregation says and thinks it is welcoming to everyone. The truth is, most are not, which may or may not be a positive thing. Looking at ourselves, we do not have a deaf interpreter at every service nor do we offer our bulletins in braille. We would not be welcoming to those with hearing or sight differences.
I believe the same holds true for a congregation’s values. If someone came in and said “women do not belong in leadership,” while we would welcome that person as an individual, we would not welcome that statement or value. It doesn’t fit our DNA as a congregation. That is what I am talking about.
We are beginning to name what we value. Yesterday, I sent an RIC questionnaire and so we are asking, “is this part of our DNA?” I believe it is, but it is time to name it, if it is. You can choose to answer each question, it would be helpful, but some chose to say “yes to welcoming.” That is fine too.
The purpose though is to define ourselves. The council will be going through other activities to help define us, so join in our discernment.