Our discernment team had a very productive day-long retreat at Warm Beach Camp last Saturday. We wanted to have more time together to move through a larger chunk of the discernment material. Although we hoped to move through multiple “gatherings” from our handbook, what actually happened was that we spent most of our time filling in the details on our mission plan. Our team is nothing if not thorough! And I, for one, am glad that we are because when we finish something it is done with excellence and is something to be proud of! It was good that we took the time for the retreat because we discovered that we had more to discuss in the mission plan than we thought.
The mission plan is basically complete with the exception of some smaller details that need to be filled in (like some budget numbers). We hope to be ready to share it very soon. We are moving forward with the final phase of the discernment process which involves developing a “missionary plan” (leadership positions and job descriptions). Our goal is to have the discernment process wrapped up by the beginning of July so that we will be ready to present all of the material to Mountain View’s session, Presbytery Executive Board, and eventually the GA grant.
Obviously the process of starting this new faith community does not end with the conclusion of the discernment process, it just transitions into a new phase. One of the final tasks of our team will be to create a timeline for what will happen next. This will include a timeline for when we will begin worship gatherings. From there we will begin searching for the leaders we need to get things going and begin putting together a core team. All along the way we continue to pray and listen, seeking God’s steps as we go. I am reminded of one of my favorite scriptures (recently quoted to me by a member of our discernment team):
In their hearts humans plan their course,
but the Lord establishes their steps.
– Proverbs 16:9