Perseverance, courage, and hope in the face of challenges was the theme of the “Stories from the Journey Continued” gathering held on February 24 at St. Michael’s, Wayne.
Building on the energy generated at our Annual Diocesan Convention in January and its theme of Stories from the Journey, teams and individuals from 16 congregations gathered to listen and share stories. Through a mix of dwelling in scripture, videos, storytelling, and small group discussion, the gathering expressed both the challenge and the hope in being God’s people at this time.
“The world has undergone extraordinary changes,” said the Rev. Ginny Dinsmore, “and sometimes we don’t realize how much. We need to learn how to move and thrive as God’s people in the midst of change.”
In an exercise “What is your church type?” participants become aware of where the primary energy of their congregation is focused. Gathering in small groups, they then discussed challenges to focusing their energy on moving forward or stepping onto a path of joining God in their neighborhoods.
Pat Vine of St. Michael’s, Wayne said that interviewing each other in their congregation was generating energy, and that they didn’t know where that would take them. “We leave the results of that to God.”
Although, there is discomfort, fear, and angst, and we don’t know where we are going, God is out in front of us and with us all as we continue the journey of joining God in the neighborhood and in shaping our future.
The Going Local journey invites clergy and congregations on a journey together to discern what God is up in their neighborhoods – all the places they live, work, play and worship. On the journey, relationships are formed and developed with God, each other, and neighbors. Through the five cyclic practices of listening, discerning, experimenting, evaluating and living into a new future, we are learning what it means to be God’s people in a complex world.