Dream Discovery Update 03202012

The Dream Discovery Process formally launched in September of 2011 with the selection by the congregation of the Dream Discovery Leadership Team: Curtis Allen, Fran Barclay, Cindy Kyle, Julie Morren, Greg Pearson and Kim Rodenbaugh. After several weeks of preparation, the DDLT lead the congregation through an initial season of discovery, including unified Sunday school lessons coordinated with our sermon theme and the presentation of personal testimonies by the DDLT on Wednesday evenings. This season was called QUEST – Taking the Census and Scouting out the Land. We began

In our yearlong theme schedule, we are now moving through the season of strengthening as we journey with Jesus through Lent and think about the role repentance plays in our lives. Had things gone according to plan (mine, not God’s?) the preceding season of Epiphany would have brought us some big revelations of God’s overall dream for us, toward which we are now being strengthened. That hasn’t happened, which is ok. We are still in waiting mode: watching, listening, praying, sharing, asking and wondering together – what is God’s dream for us, individually, as a congregation, and as a community? One of the lessons of this Lenten season is that often, when things aren’t moving as we think they could or should, then repentance is a way to clear the runway of our hearts and minds so that God’s spirit has room to land. It may be that we have not heard God’s dream more clearly because we have not embraced prayerful repentance fully and completely. God isn’t interested in working with us half way. God wants all of us if we say we are signing up for God’s program.

What is next? More listening and praying and an effort to embrace repentance more fully. Easter is still three weeks away, so there is yet time for our hearts to be turned toward God. Each of us needs to take some moments to reflect on our lives in prayer and ask ourselves and God if there are areas still in need of repentance. We as a congregation will need to do this exercise as well. God is calling us to be a community that practices radical humility, which means confessing our sins against one another, and our corporate sins against those beyond and outside us. This is scary work, but it is the Exodus journey of liberation from slavery to guilt and sin. In the church that God is calling us to be, there is not room for continued self-righteousness. There is not room for arrogance or stubborn pride. The old camp song says, “Humble thyself in the sight of the Lord, and He shall lift you up, higher and higher.” During Lent we have been praying psalm 51, which says in part, “Create in me a clean heart, O God, and put a new and right spirit within me.” If we acknowledge that the spirit living in us is not yet fully redeemed, and we ask God to put a new and right spirit within us, then we must also be ready to repent of the thoughts, words, actions, systems, habits and attitudes that separate us from one another and from God. Until we fully embrace repentance, God will not be freed to give us the gifts that are ours as an inheritance with the saints (Ephesians 1:18).

Next steps?

  • Come together to share the dreams we are dreaming
  • Get to know our neighbors and discover what they need
  • Understand more fully what and how we are to teach the Good News of God’s Love

 

We are a community who embrace theological diversity under our shared confession that Jesus is the Christ, Son of God, Savior and Lord. We live out that shared faith in the following ways:

We affirm that every follower of Jesus is a minister called to serve others in His name

We love and serve each other in ways that become notable in the community

We love and serve the community in ways that are liberating and life-giving

We practice building relationships across social boundaries

We ask others what they need before we try to help them

We leverage all our resources for the furthering of God’s kingdom

We teach in varying ways to meet the varying needs of those who are here

We encourage and practice mutual accountability, starting with our leadership

We training and support people in the development of their ministries

We have high expectations of those in leadership – leadership is a privilege, not a right

We look for and live ways of supporting other congregations who are different from us

We partner in ministry with non-Christians, affirming that God is at work in every life

We share and pursue ministry dreams, even if we don’t know where they may lead us

 

It’s tempting at a time like this to look around and list who else could be doing more than they are – unless we are in a strong covenant relationship of accountability with them we ought to refrain from such judgments. Rather, let each of us consider our own lives and measure our commitment to Christ against his commitment to us. Think back over your life, season by season. Consider each relationship and sphere of activity where you have spent time and energy. Were you all you could be in each one? If not, then there is room for repentance, and perhaps some unfinished business

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