Spiritual Companionship Theme for March: BIG SKY DREAMING FOR OLD FIRST

Spiritual Companionship Theme for March: BIG SKY DREAMING FOR OLD FIRST

Spiritual Companionship Themes (to begin our gatherings and meetings with a grounding in our faith)

We encourage each of our ministry teams, fellowship or service groups–from the Board of Elders to the property committee–to integrate spiritual formation into their “business” meetings.

Groups are asked to set aside time at each meeting to connect with God and with one another and with God.

Here’s this month’s suggestion for a spiritual discussion theme:

As we think of the capital campaign that we are investigating, and we hope, preparing for, we hope to raise an infusion of capital to catch up on the building… maintenance we’ve deferred too long.

A group has been working with Partners for Sacred Spaces on developing our “case statement” for Old First — a concise way to capture what mission values are currently — who we are hoping in faith to become. (Remember the exercise at the end of the Annual Meeting in January?)

The case statement leads to a larger question of vision:  What’s the bigger picture? Or more specifically, why’s the building getting fixed up; what’s it matter; for what? …What, longer term, is the difference we hope Old First can make?

As our moderator, Larry Waddell, has written to many of you, our leaders: “A very important success factor for a successful campaign is that we, as a church community, have a bold vision of what we may wish to achieve, build, create or become.  What does this mean? It’s time to dream, and think big!”

For March, we’d like to ask all of your gatherings to spend opening time brainstorming big ideas for Old First.

Right now, this is a “sky’s the limit” brainstorming exercise! If there were no limitations upon us, what are the major projects and big goals you’d like to see Old First take on?

Examples from the first brainstorming include:
  • Buying a building in Kensington where we’d run our own f/t shelter ministry program for the homeless alongside an “engagement” center where people would come to Philadelphia to experience people and social situations outside their experience, even comfort zone.
  • Making Old First known across this city for something other than the Creche and live animals at Christmastime.
  • Selling our current Old City property, and with that significant capital, finding a cheaper and more fitting worship and service space for the ministry we think God is asking us to do now.
It’s a brainstorm, folks! There are no wrong answers. And no need to discuss relative merits or difficulties of people’s various contributions.
We just need to listen and capture people’s contributions. And then forward all the ideas your group generates to Mindy (who is creating a compilation that will be made available to everyone).

The next step in this exercise will be taken by folks at a Leader’s Retreat on Saturday, April 6 where we’ll pull out the material that will allow a capital campaign consultant to get working among us this Spring!

Good luck with your opening exercises this month (and the rest of your meetings too)!