Have you heard about our emerging vision of cooperating ministries with the Suydam Street Reformed Church? If not, see the Consistory Corner in our March newsletter and the Vision Reports at the Annual Meeting. This month the emerging vision will become a little more concrete. After having received the March report from our Vision Team, our Consistory endorsed two important benchmarks for the process that might bring our two congregations closer together:
â€¢ It will be an open process of getting to know each other, and we are not interested in undue speed. It will be a slow process that will allow all of us to be part of it.
â€¢ It will be an open process with no predetermined outcome. Perhaps we will cooperate only temporarily; perhaps we might enter a closer relationship. All we know is that it would be premature if we claimed knowing the outcome before the process has really begun.
And how do we get to know each other? By bringing people together who work already in certain areas. For this purpose, we want to start with those who have been working on the vision teams of both our churches. We have scheduled a combined vision meeting for Saturday, April 21, 2007. We plan to begin at 9:30 in the morning, and end with a lunch together.
And here are some of the topics on the agenda:
â€¢ What are our expectations? Why are we entering these conversations? What is our hope?
â€¢ Introducing our ministries to each other: What are some of our similarities, andÂ what are some of our differences?
â€¢ What are some of the concerns in each of our congregations against a mutual vision?
â€¢ What are possible next steps; how do we prepare for the immediate future?
We hope that both our churches will be represented in good number at this meeting. If you, dear reader, are a member of our church and want to be part of this; please feel welcome. Our Vision Team here at First Reformed Church has never been an arcane group, and its constituency was different at every meeting. And you donâ€™t have to serve on Consistory in order to come. All you need to bring is a good dose of curiosity and openness to a future that may be new and different.
Our Vision Team will gather with the vision group of the Suydam Street Reformed Church as we explore together a possible co-habitation as well as doing ministry together. We will begin at 9:30 a.m. on Saturday, April 21st at First Reformed in the Fellowship Hall. Lunch will be prepared and provided by both vision teams. We will be finished by 1:00 p.m. If you have any questions, please contact Pastors Hartmut or Susan.