This was certainly our most energetic discussion to date. Our conversation groups appear to be growing by a handful or two more participants each meeting. Thank you for those who attended and for several members who wrote in with their comments which were incorporated into our discussion.
What would an outsider have learned by attending our Parish Conversation?
* Among attendees, there is a substantial amount of energy for more Adult Formation opportunities.
* Many programs from past years were named that changed lives and saved souls.
* As underscored in the Outreach Parish Conversation, communication of opportunities and activities must be broadened and pervasive if we expect everyone to be informed.
* As mentioned in several meetings previously, announcements during the service appears to be a primary communication vector underutilized; bulletin write-ups are not a good substitute for a live announcement.
* One useful distinction regarding Adult Formation offerings made is that some are passive and some are generative. As with types of worship, a variety is appreciated, but generative adult formation opportunities were repeatedly mentioned as desirable.
* Generative was used to denote that the class inspired new ministries. Eventide was an example of a ministry that was spawned by an adult formation opportunity.
* The idea that All Saints could be known as a congregation of continuous Christian Learning was suggested.
* Leadership to create and breath life into these ideas was recognized as a key component of adding formation opportunities. After some discussion, it was clear these attendees did not think the types of opportunities desired could be provided by a clergy team, but rather needed clergy leadership that encouraged the laity to offer their talents as adult formation leaders for these opportunities.
* The richness of community resources (i.e., speakers) to incorporate into our formation was highlighted.
* Joint formation opportunities with other congregations was mentioned as desirable for some topics and activities.
* Some of the Adult Formation activities that were mentioned as formative and desired included:
* Education for Ministry (EFM) (Robert, how are signups going?)
* Edge of Adventure (from George Hall's days)
* Kyrgma (deeper Bible study)
* Senior Search (miss the trips)
* CFI/Ekklesia Project (Nancy's passion)
* Parker Palmer book group (thanks to Pat's vision and energy)
* Listening Hearts (and other prayer groups before and current)
* Holy Huddle
* Wise Women
* Between services next-week lesson discussion (tough on clergy)
* Cursillo Weekend retreats
* Newcomers Class (We miss you, Tina!)
* Confirmation Class for young and older (sorely missed)
* Classes about Episcopalian tradition (also mentioned in Worship Conversation)
* Living the Question video series (offered as new suggestion)
* Movie Nights (loved it, Steve!)
* Cum Forte (not just for shut-ins!)
* Intergenerational classes (desired)
* Parenting classes (such as Beth offered)
* and others known to thee
What desirable clergy characteristics were indicated by this conversation:
* Clergy that can identify, rally, and breath wind into the sails of congregants to lead and foster formation opportunities.
* A vision of a community of continuous learning for Christians and an expectation of transformation.
Our next Parish Conversation is August 11th (Sunday) on Fellowship/Social/Newcomer Activities. We'll start close to 9 AM in the Parish House living room. Please come to listen and be heard.
Other Parish Conversations to get on your schedule include:
- Sunday, August 18th, between services: Worship (a reprise by popular acclaim)
- Sunday, August 25th, between services: Our Campus (incl. Friendship Center/Parish School)
- Wednesday, September 11th, after Eventide dinner: Parish & Neighborhood Demographic Profile
Sunday, September 15th, between services: Pastoral and Congregational Care