A Thoughtful Thursday – via Zoom
A one hour gathering for busy people. An opportunity for conversation and reflection as we make our way toward our next BC Synod Learning Day held in conjunction with our BC Synod Convention in late October. This event is for EVERYONE!
Our speaker/facilitator this year is Rev. Susan Beaumont, author of “How to Lead: When You Don’t Know Where You’re Going.” Rev. Beaumont has provided some questions for us to consider and discuss in her article “10 Questions to Ask Now”.
This week (see below) you will find the first set of questions that will help us consider what we have lost through this time of pandemic. The following week we will think together about the many unstated assumptions that undergird the choices we make when making decisions together as congregations. In the final week, Susan’s questions will invite us to explore God’s hopeful future by asking what wants to emerge?
Then on Thursday, October 7th at 7:00pm we will come together for an hour of conversation reflecting on the questions we’ve been responding to over the 3 weeks. We will gather via Zoom and spend a little time talking about these questions together. (there will only be one conversation session not two as was announced earlier.)
10 Questions to Ask Now
Rev. Susan Beaumont
We have been reactive. How else can one be during a pandemic? The opinions of outside experts have guided our actions since this all began, and their positions change daily. When to close, how to take church online, protocols to follow before opening. Now, things are slowing down a bit and it is time to become more reflective – tapping into our own wisdom and exploring the potent learning opportunities at hand. The shift begins by asking better questions.
Liminal seasons are rich times, ripe for innovation and creativity. A threshold has opened. Our grasp on the past has loosened. The threshold invites us to let go of our fears and discomforts, along with some things that we hold dear. We are broken open to embrace new possibilities.
Moving from reactivity to reflection calls for three kinds of work: acknowledging our losses, exploring unstated assumptions, and noticing what wants to emerge. Good questions will create a holding space for this transformational work.
I have adapted the following ten reflective questions from a recent article published in the Praxis Journal. I recommend that you find a quite space to sit and journal your response to each of these questions. Then take the questions to your leadership teams and bring them in on the learning.
What Have We Lost?
All significant transitions begin with an ending. Something must come to an end before we can explore a new beginning. Most of us resist endings, accompanied as they are by loss. We gloss over the painful work of grief to move onto action, which feels more productive.
Every leader I have spoken with in recent weeks has a personal story of loss to share about their journey through the pandemic. There are the immediately evident losses associated with sickness and unattended deaths. Then, there are the more subtle, but still painful losses associated with abandoned plans, dreams deferred, and the loss of control over our destiny.
- What were we on the verge of discovering or accomplishing before the onset of the
pandemic? What needs to move forward in different ways now?
- What was possible before that may not be possible for some time-if ever?
- What seemed important before that feels superfluous now?
Perhaps you were on the verge of launching a new strategic plan, an organizational restructuring, or a capital campaign. Honor the effort and energy that it took to bring your project to fruition. Now, acknowledge that this is something that no longer matters, at least not in the same way. The loss is real.
On the flip side, some of our losses are freeing. The definition of “membership” which absorbed so much energy in recent years is suddenly not relevant in the same way. Someone new to the congregation stumbles upon us online through a guided prayer meditation offered by our associate pastor. They have attached themselves to us, albeit in a limited way. How will we talk about and nurture that attachment? It is a new and refreshing conversation
© Susan Beaumont & Associates, LLC. All Rights Reserved. 2020