Hopefully you’ve heard Pastor Kirsten mention an upcoming visioning process in the last year. We now have a team together for this, and we’ve already met twice! We want you to know about the process we are following, and give you a glimpse into what we expect moving forward.
The process is called Wake Up, and it’s one of four processes developed by LEAD, a non-profit formed with the purpose of developing [non-rostered or lay] leaders in the church. The Wake Up process is an effort to more fully align our own lives and our congregation’s life with God’s mission. It’s an effort to catch up to some of what the Holy Spirit is doing in our changing world and to shape our identity as disciples who live into and out of God’s mission. Wake Up is a 10-step process that draws on ancient prayer practices, listening, and strategic thinking. We are first tasked with listening to each other, and seeking to listen to God in our own lives as team members, hence the prayer practices. How will we hear God’s Spirit speaking to us as a congregation if we are not all engaging in spiritual practices and seeking to listen what the Spirit has to say? There is personal and corporate work happening in this process, as we seek a clear identity to join in God’s mission. We invite you to join us in taking on your own spiritual practice and praying for this process!
There is need for a lot of flexibility in this undertaking. Each step takes a different amount of time. So far we have begun by building relationships within the team, which is essential to this being successful. We need to have high levels of trust established in order to have the conversations needed to move forward. The other steps involve faithful discernment and exploration about Core Beliefs (for us as ELCA Lutherans), Core Practices (within our congregation), and Core Convictions (specific to us as a congregation and our neighborhood/neighbors). The latter section is where we expect opportunity for congregation participation, but we have yet to discern what that looks like.
LEAD says that the Wake Up process takes 9-12 months. We hope to have something to report to you at the Annual Meeting in February 2020. Whether that is an end product, or somewhere close to one, we cannot say. We can commit to staying dedicated to this process and working it to the best of our ability. This is a partnership process between the Centering Team, Council, staff, and congregation. The Council has approved undergoing this process, and we will continue to update them monthly. We also plan to give regular updates to the congregation via this newsletter, and every so often we will have Temple Talks in worship. We know it is important to keep you informed.Finally, the Centering Team is made up of people from across our congregation, a diverse selection in age, gender, longevity at LoL, ethnicity, and congregation connections. We are excited to serve Lord of Life in this way, and we look forward to the work ahead!