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New Covenant leaders and Synod of the Sun leaders have worked through a process born in New Covenant to help congregations better see themselves and their communities and dream a God-inspired future. The process is called Future Story and it enables sessions to grapple with current realities and to dream big, God-inspired dreams.

The process begins with four seemingly simple questions:

  1. What are particular blessings of this congregation for you?

  2. What do folks in this community know about or say about this church?

  3. What challenges is your congregation facing in the next five years?

  4. What do you imagine God’s greatest hopes and dreams are for this congregation

The answers to these questions and others, the discussion that follows, along with demographic and other material collected by the Future Story team will lead the Session to a clearer understanding of who the congregation is and where God may be calling the church to be in its next chapter of life.

In the second visit, potential future stories of the congregation are shared by the Session members and leadership team. These stories are told from the viewpoint of an individual who, five years from now, has had a life-changing experience because of some connection with this particular congregation and its members. All stories are Resurrection stories of new life, whether the path chosen is one of Faithful Renewal (focusing on the spiritual renewal of members), Faithful Transformation (involving a willingness to make huge, sweeping changes in the way the congregation “does church”) or even Faithful Dissolution (For a congregation whose leaders recognize that it may be nearing the end of its life cycle and wish to leave a legacy behind).

The Session is energized so that it can choose a path of faithfulness that allows the congregation to make some of those dreams a reality. The Congregation makes choices for itself about where it believes God is calling it into ministry. And the Presbytery is strengthened by a better understanding of its member congregations. And together we can concretely exhibit our mission and vision as a presbytery.

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