Therefore, as God's chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility gentleness and patience. Bear with one another and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity. Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts. And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.
Colossians 3: 12-17
The group of University people led by Ryan Schultz called to pray, listen and learn together had their first gathering this past Sunday. It was a holy time of sharing and seeking God’s best for our church. I was struck by the depth of love, spiritual wisdom and firmness of commitment of the group. There will be an email set up to send questions, comments, or resources to the discernment group. We anticipate town halls and listening sessions and other ways of learning and listening together in the season ahead. But more important than strategy or plans this group has committed to be directed by a covenant I want to share with the whole of our congregation. I invite you to join us on this journey of being shaped more deeply by the love of God and the purposes of God.
A Covenant for a Time of Discernment
We will be transparent, open and honest with those outside of this group while respecting the confidentiality of the individuals within the group.
We will see each other as a Child of God and will not judge one another for our differences or flee from conflict.
We will speak openly and honestly with one another, knowing each person's perspective has value and needs to be heard and understood.
We will listen more than we speak, and we will not assume that we know what anyone thinks or believes, and we will seek understanding and clarity.
When we feel offended, angry, or hurt we will not retreat or shut down but 'turn to wonder' and seek to understand why and find healing and reconciliation.
We commit to engage in new spiritual disciplines together for the Lord to speak truth and understanding into our hearts as we journey together in discernment.
We commit to be disciplined and dedicated to prayer, worship, and ministry of blessings during this season.
We are here to glorify God and not ourselves. We know the journey will be challenging and hard but we will not quit. We are here for University. We are here for the Lord.
God is with us - we are not alone,