By: Krista Smith : April 01 2019
Important Dates for FOCUS 2019
May 11, 2019: It has been nearly a month already since our first Focus 2019 workshop, and we are ready for the second workshop coming up shortly. I want to thank everyone who participated in the first workshop and for those who could not, I hope you will take advantage of coming to discussion follow-up session where you will have opportunity to respond to a few of the questions we wrestled with at the workshop. For those who came to the workshop, you are welcome to join as well, because we will give feedback in preparation for the next workshop. As we have discussed before, discernment of vision is a process and takes time to do it properly.
One might ask, “What separates a God given vision or a dream from a human scheme though?” “How do we know when something is of God and inspired by the Holy Spirit as opposed to something from ourselves?” In short, that which is inspired by God leads to life – life for and with all people. It’s a vision of a community and a world turned upside down and inside out by the power of love - nothing else, nothing less and not but love that begets love.
The good news is that we do not have to discern God’s vision alone. In fact, we shouldn’t try to do it alone. We are invited to do it together and as a community seeking faithfulness. We are a few days away from our discussion follow-up on April 30 at 7PM, and only a few weeks away from our second ALL CHURCH workshop on May 11. ALL are invited to participate in this important work in the life of our church as we continue to gather to discern God’s vision for us and to see where God is calling us forth in witness and mission to the world.
My hope is that through participation the workshops and upcoming discussion follow-up sessions a clearer picture is emerging for you as to the “next steps” relating to getting to the “call process”, following up on the CRT report, and moving forward as a church. As we continue to spend time together refocusing our vision – seeking to understand not only who we are now, but who God is calling us to be both now and for the future, I believe those who have engaged are seeing a bit bigger picture open up, but you are also seeing that there is still a fair amount of work left to do. My prayer is that this is not a point of discouragement but an exciting time of inspiration and recommitment.
Please make plans to join us as we continue on the Focus 2019 journey. Feel free to reach out to Pastor Kyle if you have further questions.
April 6th 2019: One of the wisest men ever to live proclaimed, “Where there is no vision the people perish” (Proverbs 29:18 KJV). If this is true, and I believe it is, and if we are going to live life and live it abundantly, as I believe God wants us to, then we are not only going to have to be able to recognize a vision for our life and the our life together as a community; but also we are going to have to be willing to live by that vision as a way of leading, guiding and directing us towards a higher purpose.
Discerning a vision like this for ourselves and for our community is not always easy and it will certainly require something of us. We will need to be patient; we will need to be in prayer; and we will need to be participant. I believe that God is calling us to a kind of faith that would free and equip us to live extraordinary lives in an ordinary world. But if we are going to have this kind of faith we are going to have to have a different kind of vision – we are going to have to learn to see what God wants us to see, believe what God wants us to believe, and have courage to act on what we see and what we believe as God grants the vision.
Many have been asking about our “next steps” as a congregation as it relates to getting to the “call process”, following up on the CRT report, and moving forward as a church. The next step is for us to spend some time together refocusing our vision – seeking to understand not only who we are now, but who God is calling us to be both now and for the future. This is perhaps the greatest and most important next steps in getting to the “call process”.
With this in mind, I invite you to join us as we embark on this journey: Focus 2019. Through a series of workshops and discussion groups over the next several months, we will spend time discerning together God’s vision for St. Jacob’s Lutheran Church and where God is calling us forth in witness and mission to the world.
More detailed information will be forthcoming after our first event, but we thought it would be important to list some of the upcoming workshop dates.
Please reach out to Pastor Kyle if you have further questions. Important workshop dates are below – other discussion group dates will be announced.