Thanks to everyone who made Grace's Healthy Church Initiative Weekend so successful. The HCI team, which worked together for more than a year, each had their own roles, but a large number of the congregation as a whole chipped in. Let's use the common United Methodist parlance and see how it applied to the HCI weekend:
Will you support Grace United Methodist Church with your prayers, presence, gifts, service, and witness?
Prayers: We had an HCI prayer team that upheld the process for many, many months. Over the weekend, every meeting/gathering/listening session was grounded in prayer. Check.
Presence: People showed up! A handful of individual leaders and staff met with the consulting team for one-on-ones Friday, roughly sixty people participated in the Saturday workshop, and around 130 were present for the one worship service on Sunday. Check.
Gifts: Financial support made possible the delicious lunch on Saturday-- the papusas and tacos were a major hit-- thank you La Placita! Check.
Service: Many, many people worked behind the scenes to make the weekend happen. Jack set up the rooms and Celebration Center for Friday, Saturday and Sunday. People prepared food. Others were guides and facilitators. Others cleaned and put away tables. Check.
Witness: Efforts were made to encourage as many as possible to attend and fully participate. Thanks to everyone who invited, said 'yes,' and shared in the joy. Check.
We read the HCI prescriptions at the end of the worship service. We distributed copies. I published them on my blog. Click here to read the report if you haven't yet. This Sunday, February 25 there will be a Town Hall meeting to discuss the prescriptions. Please take the time to read and reflect on them before the Town Hall begins. This is your time to ask questions, share feedback and opinions. The discussion will be led by our Lay Leader, Tom Busby, and Administrative Council Chair, Stephen Clayton. Each prescription will have about 15 minutes for discussion. No votes will be taken. A Church Conference, where every member of Grace is allowed to vote, will be hosted by our District Superintendent Dr Marvin Guier March 18 following 11:00 worship. The vote will be for all five prescriptions, not ala carte-- this is not Luby's! Assuming we vote 'yes,' our clergy coach, Rev Edlen Cowley, will preach at a prayer/launch service April 15.
It was a great weekend, and I have heard of lots of excitement. But the work is only beginning! In addition to the prescriptions, check out this photo: There are two stacks on my desk this morning. One is the report of the dozen Mystery Guests who attended worship here over the last six months or so. It's 160 pages long. That's about twice as long as the Bible study book I wrote a couple of years ago! The other stack are the Easter postcards we'll send to the 5000 closest households around the church. Easter is only a few weeks away-- there are folk to invite!!
Thanks for the privilege of serving this gifted, hospitable, service-minded church. It's the Gospel of Jesus Christ that makes all of this possible. As we grow into the vision God is laying out before us, let's be mindful of the mission: to bring more people to the Gospel. And to bring the Gospel to more people.