The energy and potentiality in the room were almost palpable. We met with expectation, openness and eager anticipation of what it will mean to be the Spiritual Leadership Team. Together in the Prayer Room last night were Pastors Amy, Jonathan and Weldon with Carl, our congregational chair, as well as all members of the SLT: Charles, Kari, Ana Lena, Sue, Pete and Beth. We were reminded that although discernment is deep and complex, Spirit filled discernment has three elements:
- Passionate love for God and a willingness to give all for the God who loves us
- Believing that God speaks to us and intentionally listening
- Readiness for way ‘yes’ no matter what is asked, un-truncated by conditionality
We gathered with no agenda, trusting that the Spirit would be present to guide us, and indeed she was. In a brief lectio divina with John 1, we reflected on what shone forth. Some of the words and images that especially caught the light as we heard those words together were words like ‘dwelt among us,’ ‘light shining in the darkness,’the Son in the Father’s bosom’. They were words of hope and intimacy.
It was love and lightness that dominated our conversation of what motivated the ‘yes’ in SLT individual discernment to become members. A passionate love for the congregation, a desire to empower and honor the congregation in our leadership, to be open and transparent in communication and relationship with each other and with the congregation, and to move beyond maintenance with the energy and momentum of this moment. We also acknowledge that there is dis-ease and un-welcome and uncertainty among those in the congregation and we seek to minister into the holy longings.
When we began to name those things that need attention immediately, the priority quickly became calling people into positions on the councils. We also named budget and a church-wide calendar as things to attend to in the near term, but spent much of out energy in a spirited exchange of ideas about invitation. Recognizing that there are already individuals who have indicated their interest in council positions, we still want to be open to all and we settled on an invitational church-wide Sunday: October 14. During that Sunday we will worship, and fellowship and be invited to creatively engage the invitation into our structure. Expect to literally see and move into the structure as we use physical representations of Councils, maps of their relationship to each other and dramatization of our SMC story. We will do our best not to put people on the spot, but will try to make it participatory and welcoming for all.
SLT next meets on October 3 to further discern the Spirit’s calling to SMC. 6:30 in the prayer room. All are welcome.