New Mission Design– New Opportunities to Dream, Connect, Serve

Dear Colleagues and Friends in the Presbytery of Giddings-Lovejoy,

The Presbytery adopted a new Organizational Plan for Mission at our last Gathering. When requested, many currently serving in leadership have agreed to carry on their work through the transition to the new framework for our mission together. The Committee on Representation/ Nominations is busy calling and inviting members of the Presbytery to serve on new teams: Vision, Congregational Vibrancy, Dynamic Leaders, Mission and Outreach, and Administration and Support. In addition, COR/NOM is identifying those willing to be elected to lead teams and serve on administrative commissions. If you receive a call from a member of the hard-working Committee on Representation/Nominations, please prayerfully consider saying “yes.” If you have suggestions or would like to volunteer, please contact Rob Cardwell, Chair of COR/NOM . The Committee would appreciate nominations of men and women of diverse ages and various racial/ethnic identities willing to join in this exciting new venture.

The new design we have created together for our mission in Giddings-Lovejoy will allow us to become more nimble as we adapt to our rapidly changing world. We realize that the church must learn new ways in order to thrive in our current context. As we embrace mission opportunities and encourage transformation of existing congregations and ministries, let us pray together for the encouragement of Vibrant Congregations and Dynamic Leaders.

While church attendance in North America and Europe has been declining since the latter quarter of the 20th Century, it has been exploding in Latin America, Asia and Africa. Fortunately for us in the United States, people from these areas of the world are immigrating to the United States, bringing new life to our tired denominations. In worshiping with fifty of our congregations since I began ministry in Giddings-Lovejoy, I have experienced some of the most enthusiastic, Spirit-filled worship in our immigrant congregations. What can we learn about developing vibrant congregations from our recently arrived neighbors?

Being missional means drawing closer to God and closer to others. The growth of the Church is about neighbors meeting neighbors and building relationships, caring about those who live around us, and loving them with the love of Christ. Jesus told his disciples to go into the world and make other disciples. How’s that going for us? How are we connecting with people in our neighborhoods and cultivating physical, social, and spiritual wellness?

Let’s tell our stories about the adaptive changes we are making in our churches and the new life we are witnessing in our congregations and communities. God forms us in gatherings of believers so that we may learn from and support one another as we bear witness to God’s love and work for justice and wholeness. We are a changing church discovering how to witness to our faith in an increasingly complex world. Spanish author, Antonio Machado, wrote “…there is no road, the road is made by walking.” As we move forward in our mission may we place our trust in God who encourages us along the journey with the power and presence of the guiding Spirit.

Blessings,
Anita Hendrix, Presbytery Leader

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