STEP ONE: TOWN HALL STYLE SERVICES – SUNDAY, APRIL 15
Pastor Salying and the Discipleship Committee hosted a Town Hall style service/meeting (like our annual meeting) at both the regularly scheduled 8:00 and 10:30 AM morning services.
If you missed out, not to worry – there’s more opportunities to participate starting this Sunday!
STEP TWO: COMBINED SERVICES AND SMALL GROUPS – APRIL 22, 29 & MAY 6
April 22, 29 and May 6 @ 9:30 AM: We will meet in combined services starting at 9:30 am in the sanctuary. After a short service, including prayers designed to center us and lead us into discernment, we will gather in small groups to work together to create “dream statements.”
These meetings will be followed by a nice lunch, catered by David Barnes.
STEP THREE: RESUME TWO WORSHIP SERVICES @ 8:00 & 10:30 AM TO ENGAGE TOGETHER
We will resume our regular two-service (8:00 and 10:30 AM) Sunday schedule in order to celebrate mothers and engage in prayerful meditation on the work we did in the preceding gatherings.
MAY 20TH: PENTECOST – COMBINED SERVICE @ 9:30 AM
We will reconvene in a combined service starting at 9:30 am. Pastor Salying and the wardens will discuss how the Holy Spirit has worked for us in our discernment. We will ask the questions: “where are God and the Holy Spirit leading us?” This meeting will be followed by an ice-cream social, sponsored by Family Ministry.
SEPTEMBER: BACK TO CHURCH SUNDAY
At this meeting, we will discuss where we believe God is leading St. Thomas and we will all look forward to hearing God’s voice for us and our future.
It is important for the future of St. Thomas to get as much participation in the meetings from parishioners as possible in order for the many voices of St. Thomas to be heard.
During the small group meetings, we will be creating “dream statements.” Creating “dream statements” from the dream categories will involve pulling the themes/motivations out of the dream categories, or distilling the dreams into themes and creating one focused statement summarizing the category. This process will involve prioritizing, but not in the sense of accomplishing any one particular dream. Rather, we will be prioritizing the “spirits” of the dreams. The spirits of the dreams will then become the inspiration for creating the dream statements. [So, if the dream is to “provide Thanksgiving dinner to 30 homeless people,” the spirit or motivation of that dream might be to “lift up those in need.” Since “lift up those in need” is fairly broad, it will likely apply to more than one dream and hence become part of a dream statement.]
SIX CATEGORIES OF DREAMS
We have consolidated the dreams into six categories in order to cover them all in three meetings. Each category identifies an area in which parishioners believe St. Thomas should be involved or pursuing in some way. The dream categories include Community, Spiritual Life, Arts, Education, Family and Social Justice.
We will come up with six dream statements that we will all consider deeply from May 20th to the September “Back to Church” meeting, in order to discern a mission-based plan for the future of the church.