We had a great time at the “Planting New Churches” workshop this last week. We spent three evenings with Craig Williams talking about how the process works and getting a glimpse of what the work ahead will look like. Saturday we went out in small groups to various locations in Stanwood and Camano Island and engaged people in conversation in order to gather more information about the area and some of the neighborhoods. This is something that we will do in more depth as a discernment team later, but already we gained some valuable insights. Personally, I am ready to move to Stanwood! Now we just have to pray that God will open the right doors for that to happen in the near future.
Here are some of the highlights of the workshop for me:
- I was able to get a better feel of what our “gatherings” will be like as a discernment team and how I might facilitate the process as the “point person.” I also had a number of questions answered about the process itself.
- All of the current session elders of Mountain View made an appearance at least once during our workshop. I value their insights and I am glad that they had a chance to get a better sense of the process. It was encouraging for me and our discernment team to have them participate!
- We had fun! Seriously! The small group times and the trips into the community were marked by authentic moments of laughter, prayer, excitement, and lively discussion. This despite that fact that many of us were tired after long days at work and even struggling with illness. For me, this is a clear sign that we are currently on the right track.
Now we move on to the next step and will begin gathering together with the discernment team on a regular basis. We are aiming to have our first gathering the third week of January and go from there. It is exciting to be moving forward!