This winter I’m participating in an online group of women committed to living life “on purpose.” It’s been a great support, with many suggestions for ways to live that are more peaceful, healthy, and whole. One of my favorites has been: identify why before moving on to how. Since I’m a “do-er,” I found this challenging at first. I mean, I find a lot of satisfaction in getting things done. But this can be a trap. For, if I move ahead with what I’m doing and how I’m doing it without knowing “why,” I’m liable to travel down many dead ends before finally stumbling on the right path.
This Sunday, January 26 we’ll host both the Annual Meeting of the Congregation to vote on our 2020 Lay Leaders and Budget (see meeting materials in our Annual Report at this link) and a Special Meeting to vote on the Capital Campaign’s Project Elements and Budget. I decided to use the “why” exercise with the latter and was happy to find the answers were clear! See if you agree. Question: Why are we embarking on the $1 million, five-year 2nd Century Campaign: Renewing Our Foundations? Answers:
- To strengthen our church’s physical foundation through the completion of critical infrastructure projects.
- To live out the central goal of our strategic plan, Widening Our Welcome, by making our building more physically accessible.
- To contribute to a more sustainable future by increasing our building’s energy efficiency.
- To grow our spiritual foundation through an expansion of our church’s mission and social action program.
Again, these are the answers to “why.” And, truthfully, there are a lot of different “hows” by which we could accomplish them. For instance, we could choose different materials or contractors for the infrastructure projects, different ramp styles or locations for physical accessibility, various solutions to energy efficiency, and a variety of possible social action projects that contribute to the community. I understand details matter, and “how” we do things makes a difference. But if the most important question is “why,” then we can feel pretty good. Because we’ve answered that!
After answering “why,” some visioning experts suggest adding two more words: “so that.” For instance, “To live out the central goal of our strategic plan, Widening Our Welcome, by making the building more accessible so that…” I think this is helpful, because it pushes us to think about intentions. In other words, what do we want to happen as a result? It’s important to take responsibility for the consequences we desire.
I pray the consequences we desire for each of the four areas listed above (infrastructure, accessibility, environmental efficiency, and mission/social action) will connect with our stated mission: to nurture love of God and love of neighbor in the world. Why? Because Jesus asked us to. How? By widening our welcome: to the stranger, the hungry, the homeless, the blind, the captive, and anyone else who has not been invited in.
I look forward to meeting with you!
P.S. Kimberly and Monica will be staying to provide childcare for both meetings.
EVENTS & ANNOUNCEMENTS
Annual Meeting and Special Meeting, 1/26—Please join us Sunday after worship for our congregation’s annual meeting to confirm our 2020 Lay Leaders and proposed 2020 Budget. This will be followed by a special meeting of the Board of Trustees to vote on the building components of our 2nd Century Campaign. Every voice has a vote— and we need yours! Childcare provided.
Visitor Information Session, 2/2—Please join Pastor Ellen after worship next Sunday to find out more about our congregation. Questions? Pastor@cpcchurch.org.
Bible Study, 2/2—We’ll gather after worship to discuss the first five chapters of Mark, dealing with Christ’s early ministry (this gospel has no nativity story). Compared to recent readings, this is familiar and straightforward! Think about broad themes and identify a couple sections that especially interest, please, or puzzle you. For more information: email@example.com.
Dinner and a Movie, 2/7—You may love your phone, but could you fall in love with its artificial intelligence? Theodore (Joaquin Phoenix) did. Her, a sci-fi romantic drama (2013), raises questions that are simultaneously uncomfortable and amusing about social isolation and our relationship with technology— and people. We’ll begin the film at 7 pm. If you’d like to come at 6:30 for a simple supper, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
FaithLife, 2/9—We’ll gather from 5:30-7 pm in the parlor. This winter we’re reading Holy Envy: Finding God in the Faith of Others by Barbara Brown Taylor. We’ll discuss portions from Chapters 2-6 at this session, but feel free to join us even if you haven’t done the reading. Questions? Email email@example.com.
Coffee Hour: Love and Chocolate, 2/16—We’ll celebrate Valentine’s Day with chocolate treats and love songs. If there’s a song you’d like to sing or play, email firstname.lastname@example.org.