In this first month with you, I’ve learned a lot about you. I’ve met many of you and had a chance to learn from you what some of your priorities are for the life of our congregation. I appreciate you letting me learn from you and listen to you and grow with you. One of the places that I’ve started to dig in and get involved is in working with Christian Hampson on the work of the Nominations team. As you may or may not know, Nominations is a role within the United Methodist church polity that includes three main areas.
First, nominations teams help to discern and identify what gifts are present in the people of the congregation and how the people who have those gifts can be empowered to use their gifts to the glory of God. Sometimes, that means helping to connect people to a team that needs their help. Sometimes that means listening to people and their deep dreams for their church and raising those dreams to the awareness of others who share them. Sometimes it means thinking creatively about where God is calling us as a congregation and how we interact with our mission field. Sometimes people think of this role of the nominations team as filling holes on committees and that’s important, but it’s really much more than that. We are also there to facilitate a conversation about how to serve in the congregation, whether that’s on a committee or elsewhere. CLICK HERE for a list of the places that we know of right now where your talents would be valued. Please take some time to pray about which of these opportunities might be right for you at this time in your faith life. Christian and I are available to answer your questions and/or find the answers to them. They are looking forward to talking with you.
The second main area that nominations teams deal with is to help leaders, once they have been identified, to effectively find resources so they can lead. We think of this as leadership development. We are in communication with the Core Leadership Team in the work toward leadership retreats, resources, and studies. This means that the process of becoming a leader of any kind in the church is not a one way road that leads only to more work. Instead, our hope is that being a church leader is a step into a more faithful and joyful walk with God.
Finally, we understand our third role to be as a clearinghouse for opportunities for laity to develop new skills, new learnings, and new interests, whether or not they are leading a group or serving on a committee, or even attending worship. Expect to see notes from us in the Thursday emails and the Sunday bulletins with opportunities around the Bellevue, Seattle, and greater PNW region that will help us all stretch our minds, our hearts, and our hands in new directions as God calls us more and more into relationship with our region. One example that I hope you will consider is the Eco-Faith conference on November 11, 2017 at Bethany Community Church in Seattle. It will be a day of study, reflection, and discussion around the question, “What does Christ have to do with the environment?” I hope you will come! Tickets are available at https://www.eventbrite.com/e/ecofaith-a-christian-response-to-creation-care-in-cascadia-tickets-36165362573. The fee for the day is $40 for students and $80 for others. Please see me if a scholarship would help you to attend.
So we are here to serve you, as a leader, as laity, or in whatever way you are connected to Aldersgate. We hope you will read the list of places to serve below at this time and call us right away with your ideas. If we don’t hear from you, we’ll probably be calling you soon. Either way, we look forward to talking with you!