Nearly 20 parishioners joined in on the conversation about All Saints' Newcomer programs, Social programs, and Diversity. Thank you for those who attended and for the write-in comments and comments passed along through those that could attend. I forgot to take a new picture, but this one from last week has many of the same people present! ;>)
What would an outsider have learned by attending our Parish Conversation?
* Several attendees recalled how they were invited to brunch after their first service by members (typically another couple) who met them and learned they were new.
* Others mentioned having Tina Coffin greeting them and getting them connected with others.
* A parallel was observed with helping newcomers feel welcome and giving them avenues to engage and the earlier conversations about listing activities in a document that is available in the pews.
* There was the recognized separation of members of each service. Finding ways to get the 8 o'clockers and 10 o'clockers together was suggested.
* The desire and benefits of intergenerational get-togethers was strongly expressed.
* Several resonated with the idea that it's important not to confuse a high volume of activity with a high degree of integration. Rather, what was needed was leadership to support intergenerational community gatherings, but large (congregation wide) and small (dinner groups).
* The Shepherding Program (not currently active) was mentioned as effective where one family "adopts" a new family and ushers them along for a year, paying attention to their integration into the community and needs from the community.
* When we spoke of diversity, there did not appear to be specific areas that had focused energy behind them. It was acknowledged that the Milpas/Hispanic neighborhood was nearby. There was discussion that our next priest may not have a traditional sexual orientation. One participant observed that the gender of the new pastor was hardly a question worthy discussion and that suggested society has come a long way. Another hoped that we would follow Biblical teachings for guidance on calling a pastor. The parish survey in September will explore this area in much more depth.
* Another area of particular interest is our attention to single adults. One claim voiced to support this need was that 60% of the women church attendees were single.
* One participant pointed out that the history of the Episcopal church was one of a refuge for those that did not fit into other faiths...a welcoming church.
What desirable clergy characteristics were indicated by this conversation:
* A spiritual leader who can set the tone of a welcoming community, and then get lay leaders to implement.
* A leader who understands wholeness and community is achieved through all of strands of our activities, all of the time.
Our next Parish Conversation is August 18th (Sunday) on Worship and Music. We'll start close to 9 AM in the Parish House living room. Please come to listen and be heard. This is the second time Worship and Music is being discussed.
Other Parish Conversations to get on your schedule include:
- 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
- Sunday, September 22nd, after 10 AM service: Review of Sanctuary Survey and discussion of Sanctuary Upgrades (not part of Profile Committee, but an important part of our parish life!