Edge Ministry Feedback (under construction)

Our UCC CAN Edge Ministry facilitator, the Rev. Sharon Moon, provided us with feedback subsequent to the different visioning events that we held earlier this year. Please see below for that feedback as well as several ‘engaging questions’ that she proposed for us to ponder while we go through this process.

From Sharon Moon: 

I really enjoyed our afternoon on Sunday at Knox and enjoyed meeting "Chris" as your church as a person.  It was wonderful to share worship with you and to experience the vitality and informality of your community at worship.

It was particularly helpful to find that all agreed on where Knox was on the congregational life cycle, and on the need to do some serious visioning and redevelopment work rather than slip into decline.  It was interesting that everyone felt you had moved just a little past the redefinition stage.  I think the time is very ripe for some rethinking of what it means to be a missional church in these days.  There is a fulcrum here for moving forward.  And it feels as if you would have the support of your community to do that.

As I mentioned to you in my proposal, Sunday was some of the base work for developing a vision.  It is important for a congregation to have a clear honest look at who they really are, foibles and all, so that they can then look at their context for ministry in the 21st century, both global and local.  As we do this, we listen for where God is inviting/challenging/hoping for the congregation(CHRIS) to use their unique gifts to create the part of God's dream.

So I look forward to having another meeting fairly soon so that we can think about how we might help this happen.  There are lots of things you can do yourself as a congregation, and perhaps other things that it would be good to have outside consulting for.
As I listened yesterday to the process and to the people's response, there were a couple of things that I noticed that might be helpful for you to pursue in worship, in council, in other committees in your church.
 
One would be the whole issue of integrating your younger families and building the bridges across generations.   You are  blessed to have a number of young families who are obviously very comfortable there.  How do you know them well enough to know their gifts, to find out what they are wanting, what their interests are?   Likely they are not keen to do "time" on committees, but there may be particular ministries that they would get very excited about and be willing to offer leadership.   Perhaps having a young families gathering (with food; always with food!) where you specifically did some discussion with them about what they would like to see happen with Knox, and where they would be willing to put some energy.  They probably have ideas that could reshape Knox in techonology use, in talking to people their age, that could be very transforming.
 
The second area that I would encourage you to work on is your shyness, your tendancy to keep your identity and existence a secret from those around you.   Thinking through that part of your personality would be a really useful exercise.
 
The third area I noticed was your enjoyment of good traditions.    The challenge is always how to keep the positive side of that part of your personality forward, while making sure that the negative side of that part of your personality (getting stodgy and stuck in the mud) does not take over.    What we find with post modern people (ie younger folk) is that they are really looking for a place to belong; a place where they feel comfortable, and known, a place where how they think and what their issues are are taken seriously, and a place where there is authentic spiritual practice and community.    They want the "real" stuff.    I think you are very well poised to be able to offer that if you are able to do it intentionally and perhaps do some focus on how you might do it.
 
Some of this, (and of course your own insights from Sunday) would make interesting worship material over the next while.   Especially if you are able to introduce the whole congregation to "Chris " and help them continue to develop her personality and style.
Anyway,  there are some Tuesday morning musings.    I look forward to getting together soon.
 
Blessings in your ministry.
Sharon Moon

Feedback from Sharon Moon after the Hats Off event on April 28th:

Thanks for all your help today and for being such a force behind this process.  I hope it yields many results.

You may want to organize it in different ways, but it could be.

Actionable right now....little cost...who will do it by when....Report back to the congregation

Short term.  what will it cost in money and time? How will we get it done?  By what time. Report back  on progress

Longer term:  may need to do more research, may involve budget. how would we go about making this happen Report back  on what you need to do it, and how you expect it to evolve.

Doing some small things right now would be really important.

Things I could see.....

1. The decorating the kids are asking for.  What a great way to let them know you are hearing. Low cost.  Get them to do murals etc.

2. The technology task force (for worship and communication)
3.  Communication strategy...you have a volunteer who can help with this.
4. Continuing to make connections with the community...but involve groups of people from the congregation so they have hands on experience of meeting people rather  than hearing about it second hand.   This will yield great results
5. Community garden
6. Space use group (for space inside,) but also a dreaming group for what you can do with your property.