Many North American Meetings have changed a great deal in the past ten to twenty years. A lot of our numbers are smaller. In this gathering, we’ll talk through many of the ways in which Meetings and churches can faithfully adjust to changing conditions. We’ll touch on each of the following areas, spending extra time on those that are of the most interest to Friends who are present:
• Rethinking our distribution of responsibilities among members—do we really need all the same committees and positions we used to?
• Adjusting from a full-time pastor to a part-time pastor—how does the relationship change to honor the released minister’s part-time status?
• Becoming a Meeting without a pastor—how can a church make the shift from having to not having staff?
• Reassessing our relationship with property—is it time to think about selling our building, or maybe consider sharing it with others in new ways?
• Combining congregations—what are some of the different ways in which this can be approached?
• Changing a Meeting’s status—could there be times when a congregation is called to transition to a virtual Meeting, or maybe a house church? What would those transitions be like?
• Considering legacy—how could a congregation respond faithfully to the need to close, and how could the Meeting’s ministries be honored in closing?
The gathering will focus on recognizing who we are as congregations now and finding the institutional structures most likely to support the work to which God calls us.
If we are called "to equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ," is this the same when part of our body is on the internet? How so? And what is different?
While this workshop may address a few technical questions, the majority of the emphasis will be on the spiritual aspects of how worship and other meeting activities unfold in a hybrid (partly online, partly in-person) setting.
Have you ever had a burning desire to serve within your local community in some way, but really didn’t know how to get started? This workshop will provide practical insights for you to consider as you navigate your way forward to rewarding, impactful, and sustainable service. This workshop will discuss community networks, community systems, and community organizations that are present in every community—how they work, and how to connect with them. This workshop will also touch on how to see service to community as an exercise in real-time discipleship, and how this shapes and transforms our spirituality.
Pastor Gar Mickelson has been bridging the gap between the Church and local communities over the last 25 years of ministry. Street side, Gar has provided catalyst leadership for numerous local outreach initiatives in his local community including hands on work with at-risk youth, returning citizens from prison, isolated seniors, addicts, those stuck in cyclical poverty, and street homeless. Church side, Gar has provided training and discipleship to hundreds of volunteers in his local community, and throughout the Pacific Northwest, through his practical workshops and coaching.