Renewal Update, September 2021

This has been a very busy summer for the Gibson Renewal Lead Team. We have been doing a lot of listening and coordinating activities that you have also been a part of, in addition to some meaningful engagement with our neighbors at the Felt Mansion Concerts. More is forthcoming, but here are a few bullet points for your information and prayers at this point in our Renewal Expedition:

  • We have completed our 4-Directional Listening (Above, Within, Among, Outside–all previously explained) that we have done over the last few months since April.
  • Pastor Rod is working on a Summary Listening Report to share with the Lead Team first, and then with the congregation for information and feedback.
  • Our Gibson Church Renewal Lab Lead Team meets with the other congregations and leaders in our Great Lakes Renewal Cohort for our quarterly training, coaching, and gathering–Pastors on 9/23-24, and all Lead Teams and Councils on 9/25 via Zoom.
  • Our Gibson Church Renewal Lab Lead Team meets for a Listening Retreat on 10/1-2 to debrief, discuss, digest, and understand what we learned in all of our Listening and how this pertains to how the Spirit is leading into God’s good and preferred future for us.
  • The Listening Report, including 3 resulting narratives–Current Reality, Defaut Future, and God’s Preferred Future will be shared for conversation with the congregation soon after the retreat.
  • The next significant leg of the expedition will be to build our Vision Pyramid with fresh and clear articulations of Mission, Vision, Values, Objectives, Actions, and Practices.
  • This Vision Pyramid will also be shared with the congregation for input and feedback.
  • More guided Scripture reading, more renewal themed sermon series, more book discussion, potentially, to come.
    And still even more….

We have been formally in the Church Renewal Lab for 1 year of the 2 year process. After the 2-year process, we still will not have arrived. But, we will have a better and clearer picture of how we’ll proceed and experience God’s good and renewed future for Gibson Church. The Spirit is leading, friends! We are learning a lot. We have miles to go before we sleep. I’ve said before that this all-hands-on-deck Renewal Expedition is not for the faint of heart. It takes patience, courage, trust, and faith in our good God to lead us by his Spirit into a yet unknown future. And, it takes prayer…constant, faithful, intentional, urgent, expectant prayer for our team, for our neighbors, for the process and expedition of renewal. Please continue to join in and do your part.

Final Related Items

As shared with the congregation earlier, we continue to pursue Emerging Status with a partner congregation. This takes time to develop. We have been in conversation with a couple of local congregations, and remain in conversation and prayerful discernment with Faith CRC. We are together seeking the Spirit’s lead for a partnership, as well as how such a missional relationship might look for both of our congregations. Please pray for the Faith Church Council and Ministry leaders as they pray and discern the Spirit with us.

In the meantime, our Gibson Council composed of Laura and Paul remains on duty. I am so grateful for each of them. Please pray for them and extend your gratitude to them for serving so faithfully at this time, as well.

Finally, we are seeking a part time Worship Leader to collaborate with Pastor Rod on worship planning and leading. This position was approved by Council some time ago. We were actually putting the word out when we were again interrupted in our in person worship gatherings last November. What we have done over the last 20 months, including the times of online worship only, inviting many within Pastor Rod’s personal network, as well as some connected with our congregation, has worked reasonably well. Yet finding worship leaders each week is increasingly demanding and challenging. So, again, we are praying and discerning the Spirit’s lead to the right person to add to the team and to our congregation in this capacity.

Thank you for your continued prayers and support, sisters and brothers. Please feel free to ask members of the Renewal Lead Team, Laura, Paul, or Pastor Rod any questions you may have regarding our renewal expedition.

Grace and Peace,

Pastor Rod
For the Renewal Lead Team and Council