In last month’s “Sheepskin" article, reflecting on the Roman god Janus, I wrote that now is our time to begin journeying together, I would like to comment a bit more fully on that this month, pointing to two specific ways we’ll be doing that: the “Season of Discovery” and the Invite/Welcome/Connect initiative!
Our “Season of Discovery” is the first major phase of the whole Priest-in-Charge process. When Good Shepherd called me to that role, we both committed to the challenging work of looking closely at Good Shepherd’s past and present. What was it that “birthed” Good Shepherd? What have been the formative events — positive and negative— that have shaped Good Shepherd into the church it is today? What does our neighborhood look like? What does our congregation look like? The answers to these questions will form the “data” from which we will discern our next steps together (the “Season of Visioning”). This process, we hope, will engage the entire congregation in “information gathering” . . . . AND we intend it to be Sprit-filled and FUN!
Here are some of the things you can anticipate:
During February, we will put up a time-line of the church’s “history”, with key dates for the congregation, as well as national/global events. Y’all will be invited to add YOUR formative events/ideas to the timeline. Our hope is to have a congregational history, not simply a list of dates! And, our hope is that, while you are filling in YOUR dates, you’ll be having conversations with others who want your felt marker!
Also, during February, we will put up two maps of the Denver metro area. On one map, we’d like you to put a mark where you live. On the other map, we’d like to know where you work (even if you work from home).
Tentatively, during March, we may take advantage of some of the more traditional ways of gathering information, such as surveys.
In late April and May (i.e., in the weeks after Easter), we are considering hosting a series of “Easter House Masses” at peoples’ homes, inviting church members who live near the host to come together for food, worship and conversation — the topics for conversation will arise out of the other information-gathering exercises.
All of that will provide a wealth of information we can distill into our “Discovery” document . . . in time to deliver it to the Diocese by the end of the summer!
This process is being coordinated by a “Discovery Team” , the members of which are: Shane Jones, Elaine Oxenbury, Ellen Blackburn, Randy Hubbard, Kaitlyn Bridgers, Pete Roden, Deb Sampson, Susie Street, and myself. If you have any questions, concerns or comments, let one of us know!
Over the last several weeks, we have worked to begin our implementation of Invite/Welcome/Connect. This is an initiative that will help us incorporate new folks into the congregation. At this point in the congregation's life, we couldn't be more ready for such effort. As you might imagine, we will be working a bunch of new--and old-- ways to "invite" people (both through "marketing" and personal invitations) to see what Good Shepherd is all about; we will ensure that once they come through the door, they are greeted warmly and introduced to all that Good Shepherd can offer; and we will endeavor to put them in contact with those individuals and groups that can engage them in the ongoing life of the church. This is NOT the work of committees, but of the entire congregation! We're hoping for your ideas and whole-hearted engagement!
If you're interested in becoming MORE involved in making this as successful as it can be, and would like to become part of one of the teams (or just have ideas for them), please contact a member of the team:
Invite: DeeDee Atwood, Chair; plus Donna White & Nan Behringer
Welcome: Anne McMahon, Chair; plus Liv Hornsby, Chris Hall, Ann Pounds, Joyce Manning, and Tom & Duane Namaksy
Connect: Jim Wolfe, Chair; plus Deb Sampson & Christine Blackburn
We have a fantastic journey ahead of us! So jump on board as we head from Point A to Point B!