Category: reVision

Action Summit

Action Summit

The reVision Action Summit took place on October 22, 2017 as about 50 people gathered after worship to hear from the proposal teams. We began with the prayer: “God, in all that we are doing today, in our listening and in our speaking, open us to your leading and guide us toward your call in Jesus Christ. Amen!”

Each team provide a 5 minute presentation followed by 5 minutes for questions.  Sitting at small tables, the congregation then spent a few minutes in silence for individual discernment – a thoughtful time of guided considerations …  “In what ways does this proposal continue to grow the vision and insights gleaned from our reVision journey started last April?”

  1. What inspired you about his idea (where is the “wow” for you)? Where do you see the movement of the Holy Spirit in this proposal?
  2. What opportunities for renewed mission and vision for the congregation do you see in this proposal? What about this idea excites you to action?
  3. What wisdom would you offer to the proposal team? What further questions of concerns do you have about this proposal?

The four proposals presented to the congregation were:

  1. Develop a small group ministry at Trinity. The congregation was asked to develop a practice of creating small groups that would be offered during the course of each year. Small groups could be focused on a common activity together, a book to read a discuss together, a series of faith-based topics for discussion, or simply meeting for conversation and friendship. The options are wide open. Small groups would be time limited with a start date and end date, and each group would include some element of spiritual inquiry and growth.
  2. Develop a ministry of faith education for all ages. This proposal included an expanded focus on children and youth beyond the current Christian education program and a particular focus on young famiies. The program included the hiring of a part-time coordinator to champion the cause of this program and offer support at all levels and for all ages.
  3. Develop an after school / early evening program for children in grades 3 – 6. This proposal included an application for funding from the United Church General Council to provide resources (which was subsequently approved). The program will be called “BLAST” … Believe. Learn. And. Seek. Together.
  4. Develop a lecture and concert series called “Trinity Presents …” This proposal is designed to foster spiritual, social and intellectual growth for the enrichment of the congregation and extended community through the sharing of a series of concerts and health information sessions which showcase the talents and resources within our midst.
Convergence Summit

Convergence Summit

convergence

The latest step of the reVision program at Trinity was our Convergence Summit held on June 25th. About 60 members and children shared in a meal following the worship service and then we turned our attention to the convergence of the thoughts and ideas that have been emerging during our small group gatherings. Around tables, we engaged in conversation based on three questions:

  • What gifts are present in this congregation and in our neighbourhood?
  • What passions are present in this congregation and in our neighbourhood?
  • Hearing all this, what are we inspired to do.

Many gifts were identified as we talked about the first question. We live in the midst of abundance! While we often complain about the problems around us, focus on the things we think are missing, and pine for the “good ol’ days” we are in fact blessed with many gifts. God expects us to faithfully use those gifts for the good of our community and world. Click on the word cloud to the right to see some of the gifts that we see within our congregation and within our community.

Trinity Gifts Wordcloud
Trinity passions wordcloud

We also had deep conversations about the things we are passionate about – as individuals and as a community of faith. At the top of our list was music, of course. Music plays an important role at Trinity – from congregational singing, a talented choir under the direction of Michelle Pyatt, to contemporary music from our “Wii” band – including many original songs. Other things that we are passionate about include social justice programs, outreach, caring for others, sharing our building with community programs, Sunday school, Bible study and small groups. Click on the word cloud to the left to see some of the things that we are passionate about at Trinity.

After talking about the gifts we share and what we are passionate about, we turned our conversation to the question “what are we inspired to do?” About 40 ideas were identified which we narrowed down to 12. We posted these ideas around the room and then everyone stood beside the project that they felt they would like to help implement over the next year. Three ideas emerged as having the most support. They were:

  • develop a small group ministry for the congregation
  • develop our ministry with youth and children
  • develop a lecture and concert series for the community

So what’s next? Three teams are going to work over the summer and early fall to create a detailed proposal for each of these ideas. In October, the teams will present their proposals to the congregation at an “Action Summit.” The congregation will then decide together how to move forward on all or some of the proposals, and what the timeline for action will be.

reVision – Be Open, Be Bold, Be Humble

reVision – Be Open, Be Bold, Be Humble

Trinity United Church has embarked on a spiritual journey called reVision — a program of renewal divided into 3 major stages.

Stage #1 – Be Open –  will take approximately 90 days and conclude with a “convergence summit” in June.

 

What is stage #1 reVision?  An opportunity to…

  • Build community through participation in small group ministry
  • Deepen friendships
  • Grow in faith through study, scripture and spiritual practices
  • Experience Christ in our midst

Small groups (consisting of 8-10 people) will meet 7 times within stage #1.
Our 7 guided sessions are structured around the following topics:

Week 1) Getting to know our small group members
Week 2) Discerning our gifts
Week 3) Who are our neighbours
Week 4) Discerning local community needs
Week 5) Sharing my story (testimony)
Week 6) Evaluating congregational gifts
Week 7) Looking forward (letting go)

We will conclude these conversations with a convergence summit. This will be a congregational gathering providing a time to share the life, passion, and longing of this church and our community.  Insight and wisdom gleaned from our small group time will help us discover our gifts and passions for today. What are we inspired to do?  What needs are we being called to meet in this moment of our life at Trinity? With a fresh vision/understanding of our current context, who knows what actions/directions we will be prompted to pursue into our future together!

Questions for reVision

  • Who are we meant to be?
  • What are we here for?
  • What do we want to create together?

As you see by the questions central to reVision, there is no quick fix to the challenges that face the modern church.  The program of reVision is intended to deepen friendships and grow in our awareness of who God is calling us to be in this moment and place, believing that a fresh engagement of faith can help us see the direction God would have us walk together.

What is expected from those who have joined a small group?

  • 7 meetings with a small group over 90 days
  • They will receive a brief daily devotion, including scripture and reflection, to guide their thoughts through these 90 days
  • They will participate in reflecting on the book “Christianity for the Rest of Us” by sharing in small group guided discussions
  • They will be invited to consider an extra spiritual practice as found in traditional/historical church practises
  • Between each meeting, they will participate in a simple exercise which will deepen their awareness of the small group, our church community, and our surrounding neighbourhood (e.g. guided interview questions of another church member)
  • They will participate in a convergence summit at the end of the 90 days. This will bring together our small groups into one space to share our experience of the 90 days and look to future possibilities for our church.
  • Their commitment to the small group will be completed following the convergence summit.