July 2017 newsletter article

visioning sundays

I know the plans I have in mind for you, declares the LORD; they are plans for peace, not disaster, to give you a future filled with hope. When you call me and come and pray to me, I will listen to you. When you search for me, yes, search for me with all your heart, you will find me. I will be present for you, declares the LORD” ~ Jeremiah 29:11-14a

June 11 …
July 9 …
August 13 …

These are all the 2nd Sundays in their respective months, and for us at the Presbyterian Church of Oronoco, they are also our Visioning Sundays.

So what the heck are “Visioning Sundays” anyway?

Well, I’m so glad you asked. 🙂

As you know, we’re in a place of transition, a place of new things and change and transformation. Part of the reason we’ve come to this place is out of necessity. Our budget is not large, and we know that things cannot continue as they have been forever and ever. Things need to change, or we’re going to have to face closing our doors, which is certainly not something any of us want to do.

But we’ve also come to this place out of choice. We’ve come to this place because we want to do something different, try something new, be an active and vital presence for God’s love and grace in this community and in the world. That desire to build ourselves up and embrace what could be is popping up all over the place. Ideas are flying around. Energy is high. Attendance is great (and it’s even summertime!). And I must tell you that because of that attitude – that desire to change coupled with the necessary willingness to actually make those changes and try new things – that attitude is what gives me such strong and powerful hope for this little white church on the hill.

And so we are engaging in Visioning Sundays – chances for all of us who know and love the Presbyterian Church of Oronoco to sit down together, have some refreshments, and talk about our vision for the church:

  • What do we love and/or have we loved about this church in the past?
  • What would we like to do as a congregation?
  • Who are we as the PCO?
  • Who do we need to reach out to, and how can we do that?
  • How can we best present ourselves, our core values as a congregation, and our faith to those who may be looking for a church home?

I know summer schedules are busy. That’s why we put 3 Visioning Sundays on the calendar. If you can make it to one, great! If you can make it to all of them, awesome! It doesn’t matter whether you’re a member or a friend or somewhere in between. We want your ideas, dreams, and contribution. As part of these Visioning Sunday discussions, we’re both looking at how the congregation’s history has shaped us up to today and how we can not only survive but thrive in this community.

I truly believe with every ounce of my soul that God does indeed have plans in mind for this congregation – plans for peace and not disaster, to give us a future filled with hope. So as we embark on this process together – as we think and dream and brainstorm and share in life together, may we remember to do so in conversation with God – praying, listening, discerning together, searching for God with all our hearts.

Pastor Lisa sign

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