One Step Closer to the Vital Congregations Initiative

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I am so excited to share with you about my recent trip to Denver with Janis Lappeus. We traveled to Denver with a lot of questions, anxieties, and fears. But we left feeling inspired, renewed, and hopeful for the future of ministry in our churches across PCUSA.

There were seven Presbytery‘s represented at this gathering and our Presbytery had 16 church representatives who were there just like Janis and me, there to find out more about this new initiative. This process is designed to help congregations take a step back and begin reflecting and doing ministry around thoughtful prayer and meaningful discernment guided by the Holy Spirit.

It is built around the seven marks of vital congregations and we as the whole church will begin to learn about what each of these marks represents and begin to prayerfully reflect where we, the church, find ourselves within each of these marks. From now through December I will begin to introduce you to these marks and we will have prayer and discussion around the seven marks In preparation for starting the two-year process beginning in January.

The thing that I’m really excited about is this process will help us identify our mission and ministry and the way in which we do things really well. It will also help to identify areas of weakness and it will be for us to discern how we choose or want to address those areas. And our outcome from this process will be for us to decide based on exploring these seven marks. And there will be support from the Presbytery as well from the national office of PCUSA.

In June I have asked Sallie Watson, who is our executive presbyter, to come and preach for you all while I am attending the music and worship conference at Montreat. She is excited to come and share with you more about the vital congregations and answer any questions that you might have as we begin this new journey together.

While the outcome may be uncertain, the one thing I am certain about is when Christians come together in thoughtful discernment and prayer calling on the Holy Spirit to guide and direct them, good things happen. And I am confident that God is at work within us and within our congregation and will give us the wisdom and the knowledge that we need to be a vital congregation here in San Antonio. I look forward to embarking on this journey with you.

Peace and blessings to you, Pastor Elise

I also want to mention that if you would like to meet with me to talk about any of this, I am more than willing to sit down and meet with you. All you have to do is send me an email or give me a phone call.