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Deep Church Musings

“What Makes Our Church Our Church?”

by The Rev. Dr. William Carl Thomas

Please be thinking (and perhaps writing) in response to the question, “What makes our church my church?” Your thoughts (and prayers) are integral as we discern just what comes next, with God’s help, in and through Christ Church Middletown.

Using the overall theme of What Makes Our Church Our Church, we will explore how we respond to God’s delight to be intimately involved in our lives through a Spiritual Life Inventory survey (SLI). This survey will be offered online for three weeks beginningSeptember 11th(as well as on paper for those who prefer to stay away from computer screens). RenewalWorks, a component of Forward Movement (the people who publish Forward Day by Day), will compile the data for our use over four workshop meetings to be held during the fall and finishing just before Annual Meeting in January 2017.

If you write a short answer to the question, “What makes our church my church?” (which I hope you will do), we will publish the answers in a magazine style booklet entitled What Makes Our Church Our Church. This booklet will also include three budgets: 1) an update on our 2016 expenditures; 2) a possible 2017 budget based on 2016 norms; 3) a “visionary” budget that expresses what we could do if funded at the optimal level what we sense God is calling us to do. We’ll use the initial “visionary” budget as a discussion guide during our workshops. It will be interesting to see how close we come in matching our answers to the SLI to our financial commitment.

After the congregation takes the SLI survey, you will have the opportunity to come to four workshops, each addressing a specific question, each with a specific purpose and outcome. The workshops will be facilitated by skilled members of our parish family.

The Wednesday repeat sessions have been removed from the calendar as these discussions need as many voices as possible all in one place at one time.

Workshop #1: “Where Have We Been?”

Sunday, October 23rd

Held after church (11:30 pm to 1:00 pm) in the Undercroft

Workshop #2: “Where Are We Now?”

Sunday October 30th

Held after church (11:30 pm to 1:00 pm) in the Undercroft

Workshop #3: “Where Do We Feel Called to Go?”

Sunday November 13

Held after church (11:30 pm to 1:00 pm) in the Undercroft

Workshop #4: “How Do We Get There?”

Sunday January 22, 2017

Held after church (11:30 pm to 1:00 pm) in the Undercroft

  • This workshop is very much an extended pre-Annual Meeting.
  • Annual Meeting will follow on the next Sunday, January 29, 2017 and will be held between Sunday liturgies.
  • And be sure that we have your picture for the parish directory we plan to publish this fall. Knowing what everyone looks like is a great way to share What Makes Our Church Our Church.

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