Decisions, Decisions...

Dear People of Grace,

I wonder if you know yet just how remarkable you are? I think it is because you are full of Grace!

I talk to lots of people about their congregations, you know, and it’s very clear that Grace has wonderful meetings! Most other congregations don’t have unanimous votes about stuff. And those who do, it is because people are afraid to disagree with each other. That’s not true at Grace! And very few other congregations have healthy, vigorous, respectful debate. You have both!

At this last congregational meeting, there were at least two times that we had some spirited discussion, disagreeing with each other, then when it came to deciding, the vote was unanimous. This happened with both the discussion about replacing flooring with Hurricane Ike insurance money (we approved it, and will go ahead with some beautiful new tile) and with the changes to the Montrose Grace Place documents. (We’re ready to file IRS paperwork now!) I was surprised both times, because I knew some people disagreed with the proposals. I think we voted all the same way because the people who disagreed thought “Well, I respect my congregation, and most of them want this, so it is okay with me.” What a beautiful example of consensus! Especially because I have no doubt anyone who seriously thought we were going the wrong direction would continue to lovingly protest.

Sometimes our decisions at Grace take longer than in other churches, because we work so hard to make sure everyone is heard. But I think we make better ones because of it!

As our congregation grows, we need to think about how to keep bringing new people into the conversation, and into leadership. Some things that work in very small groups won’t work as well as our meetings get larger. There are lots of things we can talk out in groups of 20, but not as well in groups of 40! We’ll have to do some of the thinking out details in smaller groups, and focus on really big-picture pieces in the large congregational meetings.

Let’s start thinking about how to structure our decision making in ways that let more people in- but let’s do it holding onto Grace’s wonderful values and history of careful, Spirit-led discernment. We’ll make sure each individual is heard, every viewpoint considered, praying always, and speaking lovingly and freely. I’m not sure exactly what the process will be, but I think we’ll figure it out together! And I know that it will be led by the Holy Spirit, just as much as we have been in the past!

Pastor Lura

No comments:

Post a Comment