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Leading in the Garden

serving in our new community garden

Church, I'm filled with gratitude for beginning a third year as your pastor this June. By God’s grace, we've seen awesome transformation in hearts and lives! We also have a more clear vision of who God wants us to be: servants in "the Garden," where people are planted, tended and harvested into disciples of Jesus Christ. New ministries are springing up like volunteer tomatoes you’re likely to see this spring, multiplying our efforts as the Spirit joins us in ministry. However, some tilling, weeding and pruning is still needed to ensure healthy growth. It’s time to bring our vision of the Garden to our leadership and meetings. Maybe you’ve heard or said one of the following statements about leadership meetings:

- “Communication is terrible in this church.” - “We don’t have enough leaders.” - “I dread coming to meetings. All we do is talk, and nothing ever happens.”

It’s time for change–new growth! To this end, we are discerning how we might simplify our leadership structure to make meetings more fruitful for growing disciples in the Garden. A plan is being drafted by members of our council and the Nominations and Leadership Development Committee, in accordance with the Book of Discipline, to consolidate our multiple administrative committees (the Council, Staff/Parish Relations, Trustees and Finance) into one Council. We will begin experimenting with this way of leading in the coming months, with the expectation to make a change in January 2018.

Of course, organizing ourselves differently won’t magically grow more disciples. But carefully discerning God’s will through prayer, listening, loving dialogue and faithful obedience, all by the grace of the Holy Spirit at work in us, will make disciples out of us and others. Details of the emerging leadership plan will be shared and input will be gathered in the coming weeks. Please share your thoughts and any concerns with our council Chair, James Markham, and our Nominations and Leadership Development Committee: Paul Sefcik, Cindy Kilgore, Jennifer Johnson, Kathy Williams, Steve Kilgore and me, your pastor and the NLDC chair. We appreciate your prayerful support as we discern God’s will together. Your servant in Christ, Matt Headley

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