Monday night, 8/15/2011, the General Board authorized the next step in our visioning process – the formation of a “Dream Discovery Leadership Team”. The final selections for that team are being made, and we will have September to flesh out the plan for the congregation’s fall “Quest” – our exploring process in October and November. This group will meet at least weekly for prayer, study and work on the plan, which will be ready for publication by the end of September. The plan will also be reviewed by the Elders, Ministry Council and Executive Board prior to publication to the whole board or congregation. Along the way, we will be in consultation with Larry Ross and others about the process.
Looking for God’s Dream for FGCC – By Pastor Ken G Crawford (From August NL)
Over the last several years we have discussed that the time will come when we will need to gain a renewed vision for what God dreams for us as we live here in this community (Jeremiah 29). This dream will express who we are, and connect with where we are. As we live into God’s dream we will find more of our talents, gifts, interests and aptitudes being used in service of Christ and the Kingdom. For some this will be primarily within the congregation – “building up the Body of Christ”. For others, ministry will be primarily outside in the community – “go therefore into all the world and make disciples from all nations”. These are like the two sides of a coin or the two ends of a screwdriver – you really can’t have one without the other.
How do we discover what it is that God wants of us? How do we get a glimpse into this dream? When God speaks to the Israelites about the dream, they are essentially told, “Yes, I have a dream for you – one of blessing and peace and joy. But I’m not going to give you any of the details right now. What I need you to do is to bless the place where you live while you wait for me to reveal my work in my own time and way.” This is the same word that comes to us today. “Yes, Forest Grove, I have great plans to use you to transform this community. For now, what I need you to do is get to know your neighbors and love Me and them as I have loved you and as you love yourselves. Do this, and you will see my hand at work soon enough.” We will begin taking congregational steps in September toward this discernment of God’s dream. In the meantime, be praying that God would give us the ability to come to know our neighbors and love God and them as we have been loved by God. How will we create an atmosphere in which everyone knows it is safe for them to explore their faith, be open about their struggles, and pursue God’s best for their lives unencumbered by guilt or fear? How will we be a welcoming place?
2011-2012 Study Plan – outline of sermon and study themes
SCHOLA (September) Season of preparation – Laying the foundation of our shared faith in Jesus Christ.
QUEST (October 2 – November 13) Season of exploration – Who are we? Who are they? How does God call us to serve?
ADVENT (November 20- January 1) Season of gestation – Allowing the hidden work of the Holy Spirit to grow and develop within us.
EPIPHANY (January 8 – February 19) Season of revealing – What new thing(s) is God doing among us? To what are we called?
LENT (February 22 – April 7) Season of strengthening – Deepening our spiritual muscles in preparation for God’s work.
EASTER (April 8 – May 27) Season of resurrection – new life springs forth from us into the world – do you see it?
PENTECOST (June 3 –August 26) Season of formation – The new community taking shape, empowered by the Holy Spirit.
What can you do?
Pray for the work of the team, and the congregation’s deepening openness to God’s work in us all.
Be thinking about who God is calling you to be. What strengths do you have that God desires to use?
Study the scriptures on the back of this page and talk about what you hear God saying to us.