So...your editor forgot to announce that we had no questions in the queue...so this week, we have some questions for all of you...
Mompriest, blogging at Seeking Authentic Voice has a good question:
It would be a good idea to talk about the program year ahead. Share with us what your congregation has scheduled for the program year in terms of adult, youth, and children’s formation. Do you have a program in place for year-long stewardship and if so, how do you teach and get folks to live it? Do you offer special programs for Advent and Lent and if so what’s on the schedule for this year? Let’s share our ideas and resources.
Jennifer, who blogs at An Orientation of Heart, has lots of great ideas cooking at her place:
This is just about the busiest time of the year for our congregation, administratively. We’re putting the finishing touches on the kick-off to a new program year, complete with educational opportunities for children, youth and adults (Sunday morning and Sunday evening for teachers and other leaders), a great program that we’ve adapted from Faith Inkubators called Faith Stepping Stones, which ties life landmarks in the lives of children and youth and their families with spiritual practices, and all of the usual groups that you’d expect to find in a mainline church (women’s organization, youth groups, etc.)
We do some fun stuff with year-round stewardship, dividing the year into quarters and thinking about time and talents in the first quarter of the calendar year (Jan.-March), our commitment to the environment in the second quarter, a focus on sabbath in the third quarter, and an emphasis on our financial stewardship in the fourth quarter. This is our second full year of thinking together this way. We’ve got miles to go…
I’m out of time and gas to summarize Advent and Lent. The church I serve is blessed with lots of creative folks, but even so, the caveat I’d offer is to avoid over-programming. People of all sorts seem to be overbooked and overscheduled. It’s hard to be counter-cultural and offer time for church leaders and participants in the creative programming of the church to rest and be renewed. That’s our greatest growing edge.
What are you planning at your place? What is your faith community's greatest growing edge?
Muthuh+ also has a very good question awaiting your response:
As a newly retired pastor/priest, I am not sure what I can do in parishes. For the past 30 years I have been the sole pastor or senior pastor. I am still vital but not willing to be in charge any longer. What would clergy like for a pastor to do or NOT do if I joined your congregation?