Working the Plan: now with added caffeine

Jeff and I just returned from a new start training in Boise.  We meet with national leaders in the new faith community movement as well as numerous leaders from the west who were launching their own unique ministries.  Much of what we heard was both a reminder of past trainings and a celebration of new faith community development across the denomination.  There are a lot of really cool and exciting things happening out there.  Check out www.cloakedmonk.com for just one innovative example of faith community creation in the digital world by a passionate servant of Christ.One of the things that Jeff and I came away with was a sense of renewed commitment.  We are so excited about what is unfolding here in Sellwood!  To help us be more strategic and to communicate better we also decided this past weekend to set weekly staff meetings for the two of us and to commit to pray for one another and the new start each day.  For our first staff meeting we planned an hour on Thursday.  I’m sorry to have to report that I was late, but those of you who know me well will not be too surprised.  When I was finally pulled together we headed down the street to Starbucks where we worked on the plan for our upcoming service event, talked about how each of us planned to engage the community in the next two months, and some structural and financial issues we needed to resolve.  I took minutes and then sent Jeff an email of those minutes.This may all seem a little silly, but then my uncle...

When is Work Not Work

I’m a work in progress, just as this community is. I’m home for a few minutes between volunteering at school and picking up the daughter.  I decided to come home for 30 minutes to just be in my house.  I played a little candy crush, drank some water, and just sat.  It has been a really busy week.  I feel like I’m always on the go.  This is a little funny as I was worried what it would be like for me not to have office hours or a defined job.  Would I end up on the couch watching entire seasons of Gilmore Girls?  What I find is that I’m working more than ever.  I think it’s because I’ve changed how I define work.  My job now is to be present with and to love the people of my community.  I’m also able to give more of my time away knowing that a congregation won’t be seeing my time engaged with the community as frivolity. I love this, the connection between my passion, my ministry and the tasks I do each day. The downside is that I need to learn some boundaries in this brave new world.  Now I need to work to ensure I do actually watch an episode of tv once in a while or take a morning off to just be.  That’s the best thing about this new faith community start, I’m learning lots of new and surprising things along the way!    Now off to get that girl and grab some ice cream before we melt from this ridiculous...

Holy Steps

The perfect shoes for taking holy steps Fall is here I can’t believe it’s been so long since my last post!  Things have been moving as we’d hoped with the new start, which means slowly.  Our whole vision is to create networks, get engaged with our community, build relationships, and from there identify folks who are interested in joining with us in developing a faith community.  As we’ve begun to settle in it’s been easy to make connections at New Seasons, in pilates class, with the other moms in the neighborhood.  Sellwood is a friendly and welcoming place and I’m enjoying life here. It seems others resonate with us similarly, and we’ve already had a few people commit to being part of the new church start.  We’ve been meeting on and off over the last 2 months and are at the point where some of us are ready to enter into a covenant and begin a faith practice together this fall.  I’ve already learned so much from the wisdom of these folks and I’m hungry to journey with them in intentional practice and to encounter the blessings to my own spiritual growth. As part of this movement to some more structured time we’re also implementing the mission focus of our new community.  For our first event we’ll be gathering together on September 26th to work at Night Strike, a program that serves the city’s homeless by providing a hot meal, clothes and shoes, haircuts, and foot washing.  The motivation of the team that leads Night Strike is loving people, because people matter.  This pretty much sums up why we...