Do you ever think of time periods in your life in terms of the things you experienced during those times (or are about to experience). For example, you might say, “those were the baby years” or “this is the year of going for it with my education plan or weight loss plan, or this is the year of building up to that big trip.” Well I have a way of thinking about the year ahead. When I think about what’s coming up this year at Bethel, four words pop into my head: “The year of mission.”
The reason I think of this as the year of mission is that, along with all the normal exciting activities we will be doing this year (engaging in ministries, supporting one another, learning, and having fun together) we will also be quietly and prayerfully - but strategically - piecing together a ministry plan for the years ahead. This is what it will involve:
~ Lots of prayer.
~ Seeking input from ministry leaders, our young adults, staff, Council members, Bannerman community leaders, and others.
~ Gathering the bits and pieces of our current vision and goals.
~ Working with the Full Council to discern the leading of the Holy Spirit.
~ Pulling all of this together to create a detailed picture of our next steps in ministry.
When we think we have discerned how the Lord is working among us, we will engage the congregation in a conversation. We trust that this will all result in a vision of the future that we find exciting, and that resonates in our hearts as being led by God.
I warn you in advance, if this process is really guided by God, the end result will both excite and challenge us! Stay tuned and pray.
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