by Phil Miller–
Monday evening, our Discovery Team met for the first time. We had 100% perfect attendance, including the ex-officio types. Without introductions, without discussing our purpose or aim, we plunged right in with a prayer for renewed vision, motivation, energy, excitement, and commitment. We used an Asset Mapping exercise, which some others among you have likely experienced here or there. This exercise challenged our team to think creatively by looking at familiar things from new perspectives. In following up on the group’s efforts, my imagination led to pictures such as these:
It’s a Saturday morning in late September. Some grandparent types volunteer to watch kids on the playground while parents of young ones meet for a 75-minute session about rearing children in the household of God.
Four church members invite four members of a business association to an informal wine & dine in one of their back yards—to have a frank conversation about race, reparations, class, economic inequality, forgiveness, acceptance, and reconciliation.
First Christian invests $1,000 in ping-pong equipment and enlists participants through Greensboro Urban Ministries and the YWCA Shelter for quarterly tournaments. The two months between these events are for tournaments within our church, or between our church and another one.
Our church publishes a “Last-Minute Trips” schedule with only the dates, hours, and necessary things to bring. This goes to the UCC, Quakers, Lutherans, and other neighboring churches. People RSVP within the week of the trip—first come, first served. Connections built with sibling organizations pay off in projects such as CROP Walk.
A crew from FCC, including some youth, reaches out to a foster care agency such as Seven Homes (336) 378-8030 to plan a Saturday field trip to a state park with foster kids and perhaps some of their family members.
Eight people board the church bus at 7 a.m. By 10:00, they’re at Harper’s Creek Falls in the Pisgah National Forest. For the next 5 hours together, shall they hike or go tubing? They’ve brought food to share for lunch, maybe with honey from a beekeeper! By 3 p.m., they’re back on the bus heading home. Altogether, the 11 hours they spend together build deeper, stronger relationships.
FCC organizes an inter-church Scrabble competition, or a Trivia Night, or a tricycle race, or . . . or . . . or . . . We use the stage in our Fellowship Hall for a talent show—not just for and by church members, but for and by citizens of Greater Greensboro! Why not?
This process is something like brainstorming. The results are raw but refreshing, unfiltered but not squelched. Will you end up doing any of these? Who knows? But it’s a great year to stretch our churchly imaginations!