Tuesday, July 1, 2014

A(nother) new beginning...

Living, breathing organizations keep moving forward.  Our scriptural focus this week has been on the promise of God to be with us, a need most critical in times of transition.  We have taken a great step forward as an association, much as we have from time to time in our history over these past sixty years, and as the Congregational Way for many years before.

We will continue our transformation into a new structure by focusing on a single Executive Director.  I have been a part of the process of fleshing out such an idea and I am a strong advocate for this approach, but also of the methodology we have used to get here.

We sought to use a crucial new role in our association: the year-round delegate.  We reached out with information and for feedback, seeking clarity and unity in our work.  We held off any 'final draft' until we had exhausted that avenue as far as we could tell.  It meant that not all churches were treated equally, except that all churches were included IF they had such a delegate.  It was a risk, but one based on our new structure, honoring and forging a new path for possible future use.  With prayerful hearts, we can use this all again and again to find new shared wisdom together.

Now in our third Bible lecture, we are looking at the Beatitudes and several other verses, Matthew 5:3-10, 43-45 and 7:12, turning to our neighbors for discussion.  Our best wisdom begins when we turn to our neighbors, all of our neighbors, and share, speaking and listening and listening together.  Our community that gathers us

Our Bible lecturer, Dr. Richard Cleaves has been in and out of our business meetings, but has been guided to a message for us that has spoken as clearly as if he had written our agenda and made our motions and resolutions.  This is God's work, a clear testament to the moving of the Spirit and the gifts of seeking that voice that can guide, unite and empower us.

As I reflect on this morning, and where we have been together, I am hopeful in more ways than ever about where we are going, because, truly, the Lord God is with us wherever we go.

Dr. Cleaves' full lectures are listed on his blog:  click here to read all of his notes, up until this morning, and soon to be joined by today's work too: http://withyouwhereveryougo.blogspot.co.uk/

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