Last night at the board meeting, I was talking about the current sermon series and discerning a new vision for the congregation. I was seeking their input/suggestions. As always, they took the seed of an idea, and improved and grew it. On November 10, I will be preaching on the Israelites crossing the Jordan River and entering the Promised Land. Joshua had them pile 12 stones as a memorial-- they were to tell their children what God had done when the children asked about the significance of the stones. I wanted to do something with distributing stones.
One board member is a retired corporate vice president and veteran of many visioning processes. He suddenly became very excited. "To determine vision, we have to know the congregation's values. You can't change values. We ask them to think about what they most value about the congregation, and then write that on a rock. We'll build a memorial during worship and then sort the rocks following to see what the congregation most values!"
We decided to put an insert in the bulletin this week to explain what we're going to do and encourage people to think about what is most important to them about the church. We'll have tables with rocks and sharpies set up at strategic places on the 10th so we can get people to write what they value on a rock. Following the sermon, we will invite them all to come forward and add their stone to the memorial.
Retired VP was in this morning to talk about rocks. His wife found some at a dollar store this afternoon, and then he came to the church to collect some more from the landscaping. He sent me a picture of what he wants to do, and is planning to set up something with a tall stone that we can pile the other stones around. He is so excited, and it's great to see him running with it. Administrative Assistant is just as excited. She's calling it a non-survey, and thinks we've found a sneaky way to do a survey. She has been working on the bulletin insert. She's drawn out some rocks, and is going to put text in the center. She plans to print it on gray paper to follow through with the stone theme.
The congregation really is beginning to understand and find a vision for the future, beginning with gaining perspective on the past. One of the members who had worshiped the founding pastor told me I'd explained the dangers of that very well in Sunday's sermon. He gets it now.
Daughter has had another good day. She sent me a picture of herself dressed up for a Halloween party this evening. She was wearing the poodle skirt I made her several years ago (which she insisted she couldn't wear) and she looks very nice. She was enthusiastic, too. It's nice to see people so enthusiastic about these things.