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Congregational Vitality 

Living the Resurrection's most intensive process.

The goal of this process is to help congregations develop mutual relationships with their neighbors. This can be done with a single congregation, or a group of congregations. 

Congregations who actively participate and complete the work of the eight workshops included in the 18-month process will:

  • discover and articulate the core values of the congregation

  • identify neighbors (organization, institution, agency, or individuals) who share similar core values.

  • partner with specific neighbors for the benefit of the neighborhood.  The point is to foster relationships – so its not about the thing/event/ministry as much as it is about the relationships working together creates.

In addition, the team of leaders from the congregation will learn how to:

  • move their congregation through change with minimal resistance

  • use a change strategy to help them in future efforts.

 This process  is a deep exploration of the passions and struggles of both a congregation and its neighborhood. It includes eight workshops spaced about two months apart. The process moves at the speed of the congregations involved, working with them to build and maintain momentum for change. This extended focus gives congregations time to listen to one another, learn new things and then apply what they are learning with two innovations. It is an exciting process that helps congregations find their place in God's mission and start participating!  

This cohort based process is offered three ways:

  • in-person workshops facilitated by Pastor Marj (now ongoing in Central and Southern California).

  • a train-the-trainer process to teach leaders in your synod/area to lead the process with a group of congregations.

  • workshops facilitated by Pastor Marj through Zoom, with congregation teams either in a room with a local facilitator, or everyone on zoom.

The price structure for each offering is under "Financial Cost" at the end of this page. 

How? 

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Why? A Biblical Perspective.

It should come as no surprise that everything Living the Resurrection offers is founded on the Biblical promise of new life. Many of our congregations are convinced they are sliding from decline into death, yet God routinely calls us out of one way of living and into another.  God is committed to being in relationships with all people.  When what we are doing doesn't support God’s vision, that way needs to die. 

 

But death is not the end. Scripture contains so many stories of new life coming out of some sort of death, it’s hard to settle on just a few. Abram was called away from everything in knew in Haran and became the Father of the nations. Jesus’ healing miracles gave new life to many who suffered from chronic illness that had isolated them since birth. Their healing doesn’t restore them to community as much as provide the opportunity for their first experience of it.   

 

Our congregational vitality process focuses on a few of the big new life stories; the Exodus out of slavery, the return from Exile in Babylon, and God’s resurrection of Jesus.  My point isn’t simply that God calls us into new life, but that we have always had a part to play in the now and not yet of the mission of God.     

 

 Does this work?

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Photos of participating congregations.
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What else do you need to know?

This process will generate energy, but it will also require energy. Congregations who decide to participate may need to suspend some of their current activities for the next 18 months. Fear not, this is a good and healthy thing to do. Each congregation creates their own Learning Team. Together, the Learning Teams from each congregation will form a Learning Community. These folks will work together for 18 months. Workshops will be scheduled almost every other month.

 

Each congregation will take a turn hosting a workshop and providing snacks and lunch. Each Learning Team should consist of 4-6 people who commit to attending all of the workshops. Alternatively, you can have 2-3 to commit to all of the workshops and then add 2-3 as you go along, asking people who would be appropriate for the different workshops. Either way will work, as long as 2-3 folks are consistent attenders. 

Financial Cost 

 

  • In-person workshops facilitated by Pastor Marj can include up to 10 congregations.. 

    • $25,000 per year for 2 year process plus travel and hotel expenses.​

  • a train-the-trainer process to teach leaders in your synod/area to lead the process with a group of congregations.

    • two 4 day sessions 6 months apart.​

    • $12,000  plus travel and hotel expenses for Pastor Marj

  • Facilitated by Pastor Marj through Zoom, with congregation teams either in a room with a local facilitator, or everyone on zoom.

    • 8 online workshops over 18 months plus coaching for local leaders on recruiting and advertising the process.​

    • $15,000 per year (2 years).

If you are ELCA talk to your DEM about getting a Synod Vitality grant from Churchwide to help pay for this process.

Click the "Work with us" button below to get started!

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