First, the Session held a Monday evening special session meeting. The meeting was to discuss the recent youth and advisor policy and some of the actions and issues surrounding it. No need for the details here but the evening was a very difficult one. People were hurting, angry, frustrated, and remorseful. The redeeming and grace filled part of the evening for me was that we were talking and listening like a loving family! (Albeit an upset one.) The Session admitted making some mistakes and laid out a course of action to adjust the policy and work toward reconciliation. It’s up to all of us to support our Session and help them fulfill their promises. If we approach this honestly and faithfully we will end up with a sound implementation plan that will significantly enhance the safety of our children as well as forming a stronger Christian bond between us all.
On Wednesday the University of Faith team found out one of the previous classes wanted to get back together in their old form during Sunday school hour. I personally found this disappointing. The UofF team has tried very hard to listen to the expressed needs and establish an open and flexible Sunday school hour. The survey comments collected after the first quarter indicated the majority of folks were pleased with the arrangements. The decision by this class came as a surprise to me. I wish they had been more forthcoming in the survey process to allow the team to make other adjustments. I understand the desire for nurturing Christian relationships and, in that regard, this is a good thing. I guess I, and I think the team, had different objectives for the Sunday school hour. Sunday morning worship and Sunday school time is the prime time for us to invite and welcome guests into our Christian family. We felt the flexibility and variety would be an asset to providing a more comfortable entry environment for our guests rather than trying to mix into a well established group. I felt the small community group opportunities would be more effective at times other than Sunday morning. I guess we didn’t do a very good job of promoting other avenues for what I call nurture groups. It was just too big a job for the UofF team alone. Well, I know I have felt the presence of the Holy Spirit in the Akaloo class and will pray for guidance during the summer session in discerning the future shape of UofF and the Sunday school hour. We could always use some more input, help, and teachers!
Looking forward in Faith, Dave