As we prepare to meet on February 9, 2020 for our annual meeting, we pause to center our thoughts and prayers.
We gather as a community of faith who are committed to the ministry of all the baptized. As a Baptismal Community (see Marks of Baptismal Communities), New Song will take time during our annual meeting to review where we are in our mutual ministry.
We’re using a new tool called Congregational Mutual Ministry Review, developed by the Diocese of Iowa Commission on Ministry for mutual ministry congregations. A congregational mutual ministry review is a method of looking deeply into the positive potential of spiritual practice in community. This tool includes four essential elements:
Parish-wide discernment – Grounded in theology, community discernment involves all members of the parish in conversations about mission. New Song has held a number of wonderful and fruitful discernment discussions over the years, which have revealed these theological underpinnings:
- We have faith that God and creation are one: God is knit into all parts of creation, including every human.
- As we seek to live into the Divine within, we seek to learn about an infinitely good and present God and we seek to carry God’s goodness into the world. We are expansive in our theology, and we are specific in our actions.
- As a community of faith, we hold a sacred commitment to shared ministry through our baptismal promises.
In addition, our discernment discussions have pointed repeatedly to these priorities:
- New Song is a community of radical welcoming and inclusivity: “all who seek God are welcome at this table.”
- New Song is a safe place of respite for all.
- New Songers seek to care for and support fellow members of the parish.
- New Songers seek to serve the wider community.
At our upcoming annual meeting, we’ll be working on steps 2, 3, and 4:
Facilitated discussion – A discussion centered on theology makes time for frequent reflection on the spiritual and theological underpinnings of the conversation; holds space for many views; emphasizes listening focuses on positive visions for the future.
Goal-setting by consensus – The discussion process leads to goal setting by consensus among all members of the community.
Development and implementation of action items by members of the faith community – Action items spring from goals and involve all members of the parish.
Further details about our annual meeting discussion, including questions you can hold in prayer before the meeting, will be posted here on February 2.