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Stealing Ideas that WORK!

CloudBreaking the 8th [Commandment]-

Stealing Ideas that WORK!

Wednesday, June 5

10 am -2:30pm

First Congregational Church of Glendale, UCC

PLENTY of FREE parking and right off the CA2 Freeway!



     Are you looking for some new ideas for your ministry that actually work?  Tired of being frustrated by what isn’t working?  Then come join with a group of brilliantly creative UCC pastors and church professionals for a stimulating day of sharing ideas that work!”  The purpose of this gathering is to steal ideas that work – and adapt them for your ministry.

     Today the challenges of ministry are so difficult that it is hard to find ideas that work.  So we thought it would be well worthwhile to spend one day together having fun and sharing ideas that have worked or are working for us!

     We’ll divide the day into three segments.  Each pastor/church professional will have an opportunity to share one thing that has worked in feeding either you or your congregation spiritually.  That can be a book you just read, a retreat, a spiritual discipline, a bible study, an article, a sharing of from your recent life experience, a mission/service project or opportunity, a youth event.  Anything.

      Then we’ll continue nurturing our spirit over lunch – probably at a neighborhood restaurant. 

      In the afternoon we’ll ask each person to share one thing that really works well in their ministry.  It can be a one-time experience, a program, a study, a worship series, a caring ministry opportunity or training, a new style of worship, bible study, mission or service project or opportunity, children’s or youth ministry – anything that is working well for you.  For example:

      Altadena UCC offers an annual in home, small group (6-10 people per group) Lenten study experience.  A different focus or a book is utilized each year.  The material is prepared by the pastor and designed so that it can be self-lead. Persons in the small groups rotate responsibility for guiding a particular session.  Several groups are offered: during the week, in the morning or evening, and at least one on a Saturday or Sunday.  Hosts are selected and then congregants sign up for the group that best meets their schedules.  All of these groups include food; the responsibilities for bringing food are rotated among all members of the group.  Past topics have included works by Marcus Borg, Henri Nouwen, Sara Covin Juengst, Harold Kushner, and Joyce Rupp.  Other topics utilized the art of Vincent van Gogh and Michelangelo’s “Pieta” as guides for Lent. When Lent is over, the participants have gotten to know others in the congregation in a much deeper way and have had their own souls and spirits enriched and renewed.

lamp bulb tulips

West Hollywood UCC occasionally offers something similar, called “Community Dinners.”  The purpose is to build deeper relationships among older and new members of the congregation.   One member offers to host a dinner; 5-7 more people who have expressed interest in participating are assigned to that host’s group.  Each group may have no more than 7-8 participants.  Each person in the group brings one item to the dinner (appetizers, beverages, salad, main course, etc.).  Each host is given a set of five life and faith sharing questions that can be covered anytime during the evening.  Some groups begin answering a question during appetizers, some ask them over dinner, some hold them until after dinner. But when the evening is done, 8 people know something more about everyone’s life and faith than when they came.  And they leave much closer friends.

     Those are just two examples of ministry ideas that work.  Each participant will get to hear a bunch of great ideas that are adaptable for their church.  The purpose of this day is to foster creativity and swap ideas that work. 

     This is NOT a ‘stich and bitch’ gathering.  We all know what doesn’t work, what we want to hear is what DOES WORK!

     Let the commandment breaking begin!

     RSVP to Rev. Rudolph van Graan rudolph@fccglendale.org.  for directions and information.

Blessings, from the un-holy trinity who thought up this idea over lunch at a great Mexican eatery!

Rudolph van Graan

Joe McGowan

Dan Smith

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