Our Discernment Process

Considering our Future:

Center Church, like many other mainline protestant congregations, is feeling the heat of the nationwide shift in culture away from organized, traditional religious expression. In the face of a shifting landscape and its effects on church involvement, our faith community is embarking on a journey to assess the landscape as it relates to our congregation and how we might proceed into the future. For more information feel free to get in touch with our staff!

Upcoming Programming for 2021-2022

Fall Congregational Conversations:

These fall sessions will be interactive town hall meetings, geared toward helping us understand who we are as a congregation and how that affects our choice in paths forward. Each session is scheduled for a Sunday after worship. Expect these sessions to run for about two hours. Food will be provided during these sessions so no need to worry about lunch!

Session 1: What is Faith in Action? 9/19/2021

Session 2: What do we Value? 10/3/2021

Session 3: Who We Are 10/17/2021

Session 4: Energy & Our Congregation 10/31/2021

Session 5: Change and Our Congregation 11/21/2021

Spring Congregational Meetings:

These spring meetings will take what we’ve learned from our fall conversations and begin applying that learning to our decision on the future. Our first several sessions will review each path – discerning the joys that they would bring and the challenges we specifically would face. Then we will enter narrowing sessions, where we will progressively narrow our choices down to one final choice, which will be voted on in June. All sessions will occur after worship, with food provided. Expect path review sessions to run about two hours, narrowing sessions to run for an hour, and the final vote meeting to run for an hour. An asterisk (*) means that this meeting will occur if necessary.

Path Review 1 1/30/2022

Path Review 2 2/13/2022

Path Review 3 2/27/2022

Path Review 4* 3/20/2022

Narrowing Session 1 4/3/2022

Narrowing Session 2 5/1/2022

Narrowing Session 3 5/15/2022

Narrowing Session 4* 6/5/2022

Final Vote 6/26/2022

Discernment Book Study:

This fall we will read and reflect on a new book, titled: Claiming Resurrection in the Dying Church; Freedom beyond Survival. This book, written by Pastor Anna Olson, offers an accessible read with challenging themes that intersect with our discernment process. You won't want to miss this study! Meetings will be a mix of zoom and in-person. Free copies will be available, first come first serve. To sign up, click the button below or call the church office. To buy the book on your own, you can find it by clicking the corresponding button.

Fall Book Study Dates:

9/30/21 @ 6:30pm

10/7/21 @ 6:30pm

10/21/21 @6:30pm

11/4/21 @6:30pm

11/18/21 @ 6:30pm

Our Paths:

Below are the documents that relate to each path that we have considered thus far. Each is a distinct path that pursues distinct goals, and the names of each path relate to those goals. The temptation to mix and match strategies from each is enticing, but must be avoided, as mixing and matching only serves the goal of comfort and contentment. If you have questions about these paths, please contact Pastor Connor.

Trim the Green

TrimTheGreen.pdf

Reconstruct

Reconstruct.pdf

Heritage

Heritage.pdf

Better Together

BetterTogether.pdf

New Church Model Fall Presentations:

During the fall of 2020, Pastor Connor made several presentations on the lifecycle of local congregations, as well as the cultural shifts in America and the challenges they present local faith communities. The information presented is crucial in understanding what churches are faced with. You can find the recording of those two presentations below, as well as PDF copies of the slides.

NCM PART 3: The Focus

Videos are available with closed captions

NCM 1: The Local Church Lifecycle

NCM 2: A Cultural Shift