Apologies to everyone for not keeping up with these reports. Chairing the Central Board created a heavy workload, and the notes from Forward Chats tended to get moved to the back burner. Writing on May 10, 2020 (Mother’s Day), I am reporting on nine meetings held from November 2019 through March 2020. In most cases, the whiteboard notes were brief. In a few, there were none taken. I am reporting what information I can find.
Meeting #24 – November 3, 2019:
Various, including membership and pastoral search
This Forward Chat was held after the All Saints service. Discussion about that service led to some thoughts about developing membership:
. Some rarely seen people attended today’s service because we invited them and asked them to do something in particular (light a candle for a relative who died this year)
· It is important to follow up with people who are absent
· We could follow up with our baptism families, who are all too often never seen again
· “Childcare esp for other . . . “ [incomplete note, perhaps about offering a mid-week childcare service for families who need some child-free time off for errands, etc.]
· Music for kids
· Older folks are essentially exiled from church – we need more visitation
· We could make care packages for shut-ins and college kids (tissues, etc.). [Note: this idea was used in the December 15th Advent Workshop service, where we assembled stockings with small wrapped gifts for shut-ins.]
We discussed the prospects of finding a pastor:
· Elsie reported that we were down to one person in the pipeline.
· People discussed what we are looking for in a pastor:
o We need someone warm – like Angie or Judy. We need to feel the warmth from the pulpit, that the pastor really cares about the people in the pews.
o Someone vital, relatable and young (ish)
. No more old white guys! Many people would like a woman.
. A person of color? But what could we offer a pastor of color?
. LGBT? – fine if it happens to be come with the package, but it’s not the primary quality we’re looking for.
· Our profile paints an inappropriately negative picture of this church, needs rewriting
· We may need to die to the old ways; we need to take a risk
Talked about the concept of steeple-jacking (seeding weak liberal churches with conservative leadership and eventually taking them over with all their assets)