A Temple Talk by Jen Smith on January 7 & 10.

The transition team has been busy over the past 8 months. We have met 2 hours a week most weeks (including the summer and busy month of December). Most recently we met 4 separate times to process the information collected from the “game board” activity. We had over 300 people participate in this activity helping us understand who we are and where we are going as a congregation.

“Gameboard”

  • Nearly 300 participants.
  • Rich dialogue has been generate and should continue.
  • This activity was about more than the answers written on the board, it was also about the discussions it has generated.
  • Conversations need to continue. This is where the work continues giving us direction and also validating where we are.

History:

We have a rich history which we are proud of. Of particular note is that MANY of them touched upon the importance of relationships. These relationships are instrumental in everything we do within our wall, through service and community. A wide variety of favorite memories were identified:

  • worship experiences
  • youth offerings
  • relationships
  • service opportunities

Something for Everyone:

We asked what makes St. John’s unique. In particular the response that there is something for everyone stood out. There is something for everyone. And if there isn’t, we want and need to hear about. We want St. John’s to be something to everyone. Lutefisk isn’t just about the fish. It is the spirit or everyone working together. Everyone makes the donation they are asked of in order to provide a meal and experience for the community. We open out doors and show them our best. What if this is what everyone saw every time they entered our building?

  • Over 40 programs were identified as important
  • Oasis Afterschool, including the big blue bus picking up kids at school
  • CKP
  • Variety of programs
  • Lutefisk

Worship:

  • Our worship experiences are diverse and dynamic
  • Identified ways to enrich what we have
  • Looked at gaps
  • We are blessed with excellent musicians vocally and instrumentally – we need to utilized them more

Faith Formation:

  • We need to attract, train and support our volunteers. Our programming is only as good as our volunteers
  • Offer a variety of experiences
  • Find ways to incorporate technology
  • Enhance bible study offering for all ages
  • Celebrate our unique offerings such as Oasis

Leadership:

We formed this transition team to look into who we are as a congregation. After 8 months and several interactions with the congregation including discussions during coffee  and on Wednesday evenings, our open forum, and information gathered from the game board; one thing in apparent. Leadership is not the responsibility of the lead pastor alone. We need to look to our council, our lay leaders, our programming staff, and each other. We have done great work to gather a sense of who we are. This information has been compiled and can be handed off to each of our commissions. We have the information necessary to complete a rich and accurate site profile. We do know that what we need is someone engaged, visible and personable. Again, that someone isn’t just the lead pastor, that is each of us.