On October 17, Session will receive the results, summary, and interpretation of the Survey from our consultant, Holy Cow. Following that, the next stage of our Mission Study process will be to hold listening sessions for the congregation to provide additional input to the Mission Study. We’ll gather in small groups in people’s homes and at the church several times during late October and early November. We hope to have about six or seven sessions. We encourage everyone who is willing to participate to sign up to attend at least one listening session.
But the purpose of the listening session goes beyond merely giving input. Gathering to talk about who we are and who we want to be is a means for vision to reveal itself through our dialogue. So Mission Study Taskforce members will be present for all the listening sessions to record comments and especially the ‘aha’ moments when consensus arises about the identity and values of Nacoochee Presbyterian Church.
You see, this is what we want to uncover more than anything else – our unique identity and the values we most cherish and uphold as a community of faith. Because when the Pastor Search Committee (which will be elected by the congregation once the Mission Study process is complete) composes the description that will draw candidates to apply for the position of Installed Pastor of NPC, they’ll rely heavily on the identity and values which arise from the Mission Study. They’ll use these to set NPC apart from all the other congregations seeking pastors. Our job description won’t look like any other church’s job description. It will be uniquely our own, an image of Nacoochee. Of course, the theory is that the better we’re able to describe who we are the better able we’ll be to draw those candidates who are looking for a congregation like us.
Our faith teaches us that God is at work in all aspects of the process, from our survey and listening sessions to our calling of a new pastor. God will be at work in our dialogue as we gather to remember our church’s history and better understand how we came to be the people we are today. God will be at work as we distill our core values and our vision for the future. God will also be at work preparing the hearts and minds of those candidates who may apply to become our next pastor. Even today, God is at work leading us in this participatory process to clarify who we are as a church and how we interpret God’s will for us – to become the people God is calling us to be.
Your Mission Study Taskforce: Jennifer Thomas, Chair; Gordon Fowler; Elizabeth Crittenden; Johnny Bailey; and Teresa Franklin, Interim Pastor.