The Center for Congregational Health (CCH) Thriving Congregation Project:
Christ Lutheran Conyngham Has Been Invited to Become a Center for Congregational Health (CCH) Thriving Congregation
Below, please find information and excerpts from the invitation letter CCH sent to churches. This will help you understand why this is process is important, and why your input is integral to the process.
As a faith community, and members of Christ’s body, we are called to live in unity and share Christ’s gospel of love.
“For just as the body is one and has many members, and all the members of the body, though many, are one body, so it is with Christ.” (1 Corinthians 12:12)
As you know, almost everything in our lives has been changing, including church. Coming out of pandemic, it is a good time to look at where we have come from, and to talk about where we are going; what being together in our faith community looks like, how we want to serve our siblings in the larger community, and how we are and want to continue to share the love of God through Christ’s gospel.
CCH has invited us into a process which will help lead us into the future in our work together as Christ’s disciples.
“As we are engaging a world changed by a virus and other cultural forces, we are all seeking to understand our individual places, and the place of our churches in this new world.
As part of our Thriving Congregations grant from the Lilly Endowment, you are invited to participate in the creation of The Institute for Congregational Health focused on empowering clergy and lay leaders to work together within their faith communities to help them thrive. It is our deep belief that the future of the church depends on lay leadership understanding their role in the ministry of the church and seeing themselves as leaders beyond the walls of the church.” (CCH Invitation)
Maybe you’re wondering what it’s all about, and why you should participate.
Because each of us is a member of the body of Christ, and as Paul reminded the church in Corinth every member is vital, like the parts of a body…
“12 Just as a body, though one, has many parts, but all its many parts form one body, so it is with Christ. 13 For we were all baptized by one Spirit so as to form one body—whether Jews or Gentiles, slave or free—and we were all given the one Spirit to drink. 14 Even so the body is not made up of one part but of many.
15 Now if the foot should say, “Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body,” it would not for that reason stop being part of the body. 16 And if the ear should say, “Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body,” it would not for that reason stop being part of the body. 17 If the whole body were an eye, where would the sense of hearing be? If the whole body were an ear, where would the sense of smell be? 18 But in fact God has placed the parts in the body, every one of them, just as he wanted them to be. 19 If they were all one part, where would the body be? 20 As it is, there are many parts, but one body.”(1 Corinthians 12:12-19)
What does the CCH process involve?
“Churches will engage in a process built around essentials we have identified for congregational thriving:
- Clarity of mission, vision and values
- Ability to adapt to change” (CCH invitation letter)
Where are we in the process?
A leader group here at Christ Lutheran made up of 9 people has formed. Members are Pastor Deb, Lew Dryfoos, Mike Ziegler, Ashley Marsicano, Fred Jaxheimer, Tom Boock, Russ Nyblade and Tyler Russell. They meet and are working with CCH. We need the congregation working side by side with them, so that as a body, we are empowered by faith and Spirit as we walk into the future together.
We need the entire faith community to participate in the upcoming work meetings so that we can
- Look at who and where we have been….
- Look at who we are now…..
- Plan for how to move into the future together…..
The Leader group has begun their work, and now, it’s time for us all to participate! Come Holy Spirit!
You are invited to two important congregational meetings:
November 2, 2022 from 6:00—8:00pm:
This is a history meeting. We will start with a meal of soup and sandwiches, and have a conversation of the history of the church through sharing our own stories. Knowing who we have been and where we come from are important to knowing who we are and where we’re going.
November 12, 2022 from 9:00am—4:00p:
This is a day of workshops, so plan to be here for as much of the day as you can. Here’s the preliminary agenda:
9:00 to 9:30 - Breakfast and Gathering
9:30 to 9:50 - Feeding the Five Thousand Devotional - 20 minutes
9:50 to 10:30 - Creative Questions: Have members move around and get it into different numbered groups that you call out, 2, 3, 5, and answer questions about metaphors and memories of the church.
- If this church were a car or a vehicle, what would it be and why?
- What is your favorite memory here at the church or with church people?
- What makes you keep coming here?
- What is your favorite thing about this community/city?
- What is your earliest memory of church, any church?
- Who is someone in your life that was influential and why?
10:30 to 10:40 - Break
10:40 to 12:30 - State of the Church and State of Your Church
Report out research on last ten years of congregational life
12:30 to 1:15 - Lunch
1:15 to 2:45 - Table Group Session One
- What is the most powerful moment you have experienced at your church?
- What does this say about the values of the church?
- Debrief as a large group
2:45 to 3:00 - Break
3:00 to 4:00 - Table Group Session Two
Please Join us for these exciting meetings as we work together and walk together on this disciples path!
Your Siblings in Christ,
Ashley, Mike, Lew, Tyler, Tom, Rick, Fred, Russ, Pastor Deb
If planning to attend, please use the sheets on the table in the parlor, or call the church office.