As I’m writing this, I’m hitting the snooze button repeatedly on my phone. I really need to leave the house on time today. I have an appointment up the street with some of the folks that live at Independence Village. These are the only home gather- ings I go to: the ones we’ve hosted at living centers. I’m not underfoot there. People living in such places are not afraid to say what they think to a pastor, because they’ve lived long enough to know that elders are forever and ministers come and go.
They’ve lived long enough to be disappointed, challenged and frustrated by partici- pating in the institutional church of Jesus Christ. And they’ve lived long enough to know how important and life sustaining it is to be in a community of faith, so they stick with us, warts and all. And they are willing to be honest.
As of today, this will be about the 20th gathering the Mission Study Task Force will have hosted. Our initial goal was 25 small groups or home gatherings, so we’re ap- proaching the level of participation we’re looking for. We are not looking to stop, however. We know not everyone has had a chance to participate in a home gather- ing yet. We want as much input as possible. We will continue to host if asked to do so.
Here’s where we need some help from you. We have had a chance to talk with many folks that are routinely in and out of the church facility. What we don’t know is how many more folks are hoping to get in on this home gathering process. We are willing to hold it open past the end of August, if you want to be a part of this. We do want to hear from you. Your input is important. We are willing to schedule day, eve- ning and weekend meetings and have even had someone volunteer to make home visits if needed. Please contact the church office any time Monday through Friday, to let us know of your desire to participate.
Another way you can participate in providing feedback during this time is by com- pleting the survey. We sent the link to the survey out over this past weekend to those on our Constant Contact file. If you get the weekly Ringer and have received this issue of the Chimes via email, you are in our file. If you are not/did not, then we need to add you. Please tell us to do so! If instead you would like a survey mailed to you, please let Trish know (693-2002).
Thank you for helping us learn what we need to know as we prepare for new pas- toral leadership and helping us discern where God is calling us to go.