Where now?

Brothers and Sisters-This has been a busy but productive week. We had our first session meeting of the year, the annual report is printed and ready for distribution this coming Sunday at the congregational meeting, and I got some writing done on my dissertation. Busy but productive.

I discussed my intentions for the coming year with the session and I wanted to share this with you. First, we watched this video about Appreciative Inquiry and talked a little bit about the process. I invite you follow the above link to watch the same material. The video is an overview of the process I would like us to start.

I explained to the session that we aren't walking in the dark and would be using Mark Lau Branson's book, Memories, Hopes, and Conversations as a guide in this process. Mark's book describes his experience with AI and the second edition includes several examples of churches that have used the process in their context. I know Mark through Zoom conversation and he and my doctoral adviser are close friends so I hope that he could serve as an additional resource in this process.

Finally, I am in the process of applying for a pilot grant through the presbytery.  Five congregations will be chosen in Presbytery of Wabash Valley and I think we are well situated to be considered for this resource. This is a grant for coaching and I hope to receive the grant and enlist a coach to help guide us through the process of Appreciative Inquiry. A coach in this instance is a person who helps us identify the resources we need to help us move ahead on a plan.

There is a Scripture passage (Esther 4:14) which mentions God's work to bring things together, "for a time such as this". I believe that APC is in a spot where the available resources have come together perfectly to help the congregation more fully engage with God's mission. God has invited us to be a part of that mission and I think AI provides a way for us to better discern God's nudge.

I know this is a lot of information and some of the practices are new ones. We aren't going to jump into this and we aren't going to be done in a month. This is a long process that we're going to enter into, but I hope we can enter with an attitude of excitement and expectation. I know God's word does not return empty and we are bearing fruit of the Spirit.

I you have any questions, please feel free to get in touch and we can have coffee or something.

shalom, David


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