In the coming weeks, the Parish Conference and the Ministry Conference will be doing some work together to identify some priorities for FUMC in the next 3 to 5 years. The truth is there are about a thousand different ways we could spend our energies, and just as many goals we could set for our common ministry.
In order to be most effective in our work, I believe we need to have a sense of direction. We need to “dream big dreams” and then set forth a few priorities for our congregation. Parish Conference will begin their work by answering a few questions together, like this one which you might want to consider as well:
“What one aspect of your church best represents the heartbeat of your congregation?”
I like that question because it is relatively open-ended. And my answer to the question might not be anything like your answer. But if we share our answers we might not only learn something about each other, we might glimpse a little more truth about our church.
I found this poem, which suggests to me that we need to do this work of prioritizing and goal setting in the broadest way possible. It is written by David Whyte, and entitled “What To Remember When Waking”, and goes in part like this:
“In that first hardly noticed moment
in which you wake,
coming back to this life from the other
and frighteningly honest world
where everything began,
there is a small opening into the day
which closes the moment
you begin your plans.
What you can plan
is too small
for you to live.
What you can live wholeheartedly
will make plans
for the vitality hidden in your sleep….”
I am hoping we will make plans an then live them wholeheartedly, together.