Sunday, 3/23 Payoff Day for a lot of work
Sunday, March 23, 2014
Today was a special day in the life of our church. I have been part of our visioning leadership team and over the past several months, we held about 8 or so "focus groups" where we invited all members of our congregation to join us for conversation and discussion to identify who we are as a church. They were fun meetings with lots of stories being shared and told, wishes and dreams being shared. (We did not want to focus on any negativity.) Next, we spent a good deal of time sorting through every response from the focus groups and organizing related information together. Our last 4-5 meetings have given us the opportunity to create a set of "provocative proposals" that define each category of information that we gleaned from the focus groups. We ended up with 14 of those. Last week, I created a poster for each of those for the event today.
We had an "imagining event" today. Decorations were created and child care with face painting was a part of the day. We served a nice, healthy lunch and sat around 7 different tables. Those of us in the visioning team selected 2 of the proposals and traveled from table to table in 8 minute increments to gather ideas and activities that corresponded to each of the proposals. After we finished, each participant used identified stickers to vote for their top 4 proposals. This information will all be used by our church council to clarify the direction of our church and to create a revision to our 20 year old mission statement.
We were nervous because it was a new way to do things--but it was a smashing success. I was physically exhausted because it was a high-energy activity for those of us sharing proposals. I am excited because one of mine was the top one chosen--however, the other was dear to my heart and was one of the bottom 3 or 4. We think that we got a clear picture of what our congregation wants and who we are and that is not always an easy job for any organization. It was fun as well, and I got to visit with a lot of people I really enjoy being with.
On another note, I am swimming hard each day and getting back into laps after I do some warm-ups. I moved to 3/8 of a mile from 1/3 about 2 days ago and am working toward swimming a half a mile at a time. I know this seems small, especially when my running son is planning a 50 mile event in a couple of weeks, but I have had to come back over and over again, recently due to shoulder surgery. I am pleased with my accomplishments and have been getting a lot of complements from people at the fitness center. I am doing my best to build up my cardio and my body before I get to a surgery so that I can get back to my A-game as soon as possible. I have a lot at stake and it may be coming soon. Hopefully, I will hit that half mile mark by next week. (I also have a 2 day a week water exercise class that takes a lot out of me, but it is super cardio and strengthening. I wish it met a couple of more times a week, but I am lucky to have this shallow water class.)
Anyway, that's my story and I'm sticking with it, lol!
Have a great week.