This is a question we are asking in all aspects of our lives, including our life together as the body of Christ. We have learned, grown, and changed over the past 15 months; do we go back to the way things were? How do we incorporate what we have learned? What new things are emerging? How is God calling us into the future?
Prince of Peace has been invited to be one of eight congregations in a cohort of churches in the St. Paul Area Synod who will wrestle with these questions together. Assistant to the Bishop Justin Grimm joined us for the May 2 Church Council to introduce a new Synod-led initiative for congregational renewal called “Liberating Structures.”
Five years ago, in 2016, the congregation did a Holy Cow C.A.T Survey. The survey revealed that we are a “magi church” with many good ideas causing us to run in many different directions. From there the congregation created the current staffing plan that led to calling Pastor Ruth as Pastor for Visitation and Congregational Care and Pastor Betsy as Pastor of Faith Formation.
The Liberating Structures process will help us evaluate not only how we have changed over the past five years, but how we’ve changed over the past 50, and how our governance structure will serve us effectively as we look to the future. Currently we have a Congregation Council with 14 members. Council members are responsible for a particular area of community life. We have a committee structure that functions well in some areas and not at all in others. Is this still the best way to structure our life together? Is this the best way for ministry ideas to bubble up and be embraced by the congregation?
These and other questions are what the Congregation Council will wrestle with as they delve into this process. The Council voted at its May 11 meeting to participate in Liberating Structures 18-month cohort with other congregations in the synod.