Making a List… and Checking it Twice…

Beloved community,

The season of joy is upon us! Even the most spontaneous of folks tend to make lists and check them twice. We even sing it in a Christmas carol. It’s a way of keeping order, a way of making sure the most important things aren’t missed, and a way of helping see things more clearly.

In October, 36 folks gathered together to share stories about the ministries and hopes for St. James. Conversation gathered around the Carnival in September, and we talked about what kinds of beliefs, attitudes, and actions make a vibrant church. Time was also spent naming in small groups what folks thought this congregation’s assets are (the things we have that we can use), what needs are (the things that need to be named, healed, worked on, fixed), and what wows are here (places where God is easily seen, present, and things that are happening that please God). You’re invited to continue the conversation on Sunday, December 15th immediately following the social time for further conversation. An invitation to consider – while gathered with family and friends, try asking a few questions about their feelings about church. Some questions you may ask could be: – When you think about “church,” what kinds of things (what kinds of gifts, what kinds of resources) do you feel churches have that they should use? – What kinds of things should churches be doing? – When you hear about churches, what things do you hear/observe that points to God (the Divine, a higher power)? The trick is to ask the questions and then sit back and listen without judgment. I know that part’s hard, especially with family and close friends (at least, it is for me!). It’s amazing how the gift of listening is so impactful to others, and how much it allows you to really hear someone else.

When we gather on December 15th, it will be interesting to hear what has come from those conversations!

Peace be with you,


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