Still catching up on my back-log of sermons… Here’s the Festival of 9 Lessons and Carols service from December 27. This service is a series of 9 readings and carols patterned after the service at King’s College Chapel in Cambridge, UK.
It’s been a challenging time of change in the life of our church. As the news has come it, I was grateful to spend time with my friends in the small group.
The purpose of our small group meetings is to gain a realistic picture of our congregation’s place in its life so that we can make a collective decision about our direction for future ministry.
Most of the small groups are about halfway through the New Beginnings curriculum. We’ve talked about who we are now in Session 1. Session 2 covered our reactions to the New Beginnings report. Session 3 was a discussion of our community (along with the hard question of how we define our community). We are still looking ahead to sessions on “Our Church In God’s Mission”, “Discovering Our Options” and “Navigating Change”. In that last session, our small groups will create a recommendation for what direction we think we should use to go in next.
Once these recommendations are made, the small group leaders will come together to hash out the similarities and differences between our recommendations, and then use them to craft an understanding of our shared mission. We use THAT understanding to put together an idea of what kind of pastor we will need to help us accomplish the mission.
It’s a long process, but I love how it is building deeper relationships among us. I also love how the choices in our church aren’t left up to habit, or to some distant “them”, but come from the hearts of the people in our community.
If you haven’t been able to attend a small group meeting, you’re not out of luck. We still have sessions remaining, and we’d love to have you join. Reach out to me, and I’ll help you find the best one.
If you are interested in reading the New Beginnings report, here’s a link.
As always, I’m happy to answer any questions you might have about this process!
Another from the back-log of sermons… Mike must have stood right near the mike the entire time because this came out crystal clear — not even a nose-blow in the background ;)
This one is from December 20, and Rev. Mike explores Jesus’ mother Mary as a prophet.
Please excuse my tardiness in getting these last few episodes up…
From the women of the Presbyterian Church in Burlington, a song of Mary.
Our church is making some huge strides in listening to God’s call for us. We’re using the New Beginnings process to help us think and dream about what that call might be. The first step in that process was to invite in a New Beginnings consultant who talked to us and did in-depth analysis on our situation.
From that process, we’ve gotten an amazing report back. The next step is to go through that report together and use it to inspire our thoughts on what our future looks like. We’ll be doing this in small groups of 8 – 10 people who will meet together for several hours. We’ve set up 6 small group sessions meeting with many different schedules including:
Sunday after church
We’ve taken information from the signup sheets and our participant lists and put together some amazing small groups. The small group leaders will reach out to their groups and confirm the meetings. I think this will be an amazing spiritual time together, as well as an exciting one.
At the end of the small group process, the leaders will bring the ideas and enthusiasm of the different groups together and see what emerges. This will then lead the church to identify what qualities we will want from our next Teaching Elder (pastor). Is it preaching? Young families? Immigrant outreach? Food social justice leadership? I’m excited to find out.
If you have any questions about the small groups or the process, please feel free to ask Brenda at church or to email her at email@example.com .
We learned on Sunday that our beloved friend Steve Ross died unexpectedly Friday morning, to our great grief and loss.
Visiting hours will be Thursday, December 17th from 5 PM – 8 PM at the Edward V. Sullivan Funeral Home at 43 Winn St. in Burlington. Memorial Service will be Saturday, December 19 at 11 AM at Burlington Presbyterian Church at 335 Cambridge St. in Burlington.
Most of us have a Christmas tree to decorate our homes from the season. Most of us also know that Christmas trees have their origins in pagan tradition, but it’s later adoption by Christians changed the tradition and the meaning of the symbol. Rev. Mike explores the evergreen tree in the Christian tradition through the legend of Saint Boniface, medieval miracle plays, and their connection to the story of Jesus’ life.