On October 1, 2017, Pr. John Mocko, Interim Assistant to the Bishop for the Florida Bahamas Synod, met with and heard from the members of the Church Council and others who had expressed an interest in conversation about the future of Living Faith. He produced a Ministry Review report, and in further conversation with Bishop Lohrmann, shared this Proposal for the transformation of ministry at Living Faith. On October 22, 2017, after Pastor Mocko presented this proposal to the Church Council, the Council voted to recommend this proposal for the Congregation's approval as part of a process that would lead to renewal and transformation towards God, one another, and our larger community mission field.
We urge you to read, pray, discuss, and share it with others. On November 19, 2017, it will be presented at a Congregational Meeting for an approval vote.
Living Faith Lutheran Church
October 17, 2017
The process to be accepted and or modified: (NOTE: All dates are expected to be modified)
- Adoption of the process by the congregation council and consensus of the congregation (Target dates - November 19, 2017)
- Recruit a team of six leaders plus Pastor Thode to guide the congregation through the renewal process. At least two people should be council members, at least two should be not on council. The leader of the team will be a lay member of Living Faith. Target date - October 31st)
- Take a group of ten - twelve leaders through an initial course of Unbinding Your Heart” by Martha Grace Reese. Council members renewal team leaders and other key leaders should make up the first class, facilitated by Pastor Thode. The course includes six consecutive weeks of reading, daily prayer exercises as outlined in the second half of the book and weekly meetings with discussion as outlined at the end of the chapters. Prayerfully, some leaders form the first group will facilitate other classes of Unbinding after the first class is complete. The goal is to engage 70% of the congregation in the class by summer of 2018. (Target Dates- November - early January)
- Order, complete the Congregational Vitality Survey. The survey is an assessment by members of the congregation of the vitality of the congregation, that is, how they connect with God, with each other and the community. (Target dates - order survey the week of October 22; conduct the survey during the first two weeks in December, and begin conversation about the survey results in December. The survey will cost the congregation $200 for 75 surveys.)
- Conduct three four-hour renewal team workshops about a month apart. Pastor Mocko will facilitate the workshops.
- Session one will be to see where the congregation currently is in its vitality. Gifts of the congregation will be considered. Demographic data will be examined. Mission, vision and values will be explored and/or developed. The One-to-one interview process will be explained and and practiced. Before the second session at least 30 one-to-one interviews with leaders and members of the community will be conducted to discern the needs and of the community. Interviewers will also seek to discern where God is already active in the world. (Target for this first meeting is mid-January 2018)
- Considering the results of the community interviews, the gifts of the congregation and the vision of the congregation, the team will discern where God is calling the congregation to go forward in ministry. (Target for this meeting is February 2018)
- Develop plans, with SMART goals to get from where the congregation is to where the congregation believes God is calling them to go. A coach, such as Pastor Mocko, will walk the congregation through the plan for 12 months, helping the congregation to be accountable to the plan and make appropriate adjustments. The plan and goals will be adopted by the congregation. (Target - March 2018.)
- Once the plan is initiated a Healthy Congregations Workshop will be conducted (3-4 hours,) to help leaders navigate the changes in the congregation in a healthy manner. (Target date is April 2018.)