Noticings – April 17, 2024

“It’s a season of renewal.”

Spring is doing its thing all around us. It’s a season of renewal. In church-land we call the fifty days after the Resurrection the ‘Season of Easter’, and it too is a season of renewal themes. Renewal is also the theme of the sermon series we’re in the midst of, because Faith United is entering a time of renewal too.

I love the word ‘renewal’ because it is so utterly biblical. The essence of it is to take something and transform it into something that is closely related to what was, but also becomes a new version of that previous thing. The bible says that God works with us (and in us) to make all things new – not to make all new things! It’s a subtle but critical nuance. ‘All new’ jettisons what was. ‘Renew’ prunes what was and invites new growth.

Currently, there is a wonderful group of people called the Visioning Team who are shepherding Faith’s renewal conversations. The team is: Steve Shanks, Tyler and Ashley Muir, Janet McFarland, Beth MacEwan, Hailu Lockyer, and Diana Chappell. They will be engaging you in conversation in three ways.

In the Bulletin and here in Noticings last week, this week, and next week, are a series of 3 questions to help everyone begin to think about renewal and transformation at Faith. These are meant to ‘prime the pump’ and start people reflecting.

This week the Visioning Team will be sending out a written survey to every person affiliated with Faith United. If Faith has your email you’ll be getting a link to the survey that way. Others will be hand delivered or sent via letter mail. You could print out the survey and bring your completed version to church and place it in the “Renewal” box in the atrium. But by far the most helpful way is to click the link and do the survey online. Please do the survey online if you can! It will make the collating and interpretation of the data so much easier!

The third method of engaging the congregation is via interactive workshops. The first will be in-person on Sunday May 5th after church. Another in-person option is Thursday May 9th in the afternoon. And there will be an online Zoom option on Tuesday May 7th in the evening. Please only attend one session – but please do attend one session! (Watch for a sign-up sheet.)

As you can see, the Visioning Team has been busy, and creative! As Faith United enters this time of transition, hearing from the congregation is a vital thing. Faith is a wonderful community of faith. There is so much good stuff going on here. This is a very healthy and vibrant congregation. And, there’s room for renewal.

It’s a time to think about what might continue, or stop, or start.
It’s a time to dream about the future.
It’s a time to lift up what folks value most, and let go of things that have run their course.
It’s a time to be honest about what concerns people, and what gives people hope.

This is a big moment in the life of Faith United. Your voice and views matter greatly.

Please engage with the questions, complete the survey, and participate in a workshop. Discerning and articulating who Faith United is, what Faith United is all about, and what Faith United values, will help create a job description for your next minister to come and help you bring those renewed visions to life. Share your voice!