Each congregation has unique gifts to offer, but sometimes it can be difficult to see those unique gifts if they have never been framed as such. A part of equipping church leaders and congregations includes preparing church communities to imagine a future differently than the present they are living and harnessing their current capacity to make this happen.
Parsons First Christian Church as developed a Building Church Capacity Project. The project is based on the Ecumenical Campus Ministry at Kansas State University student grant projects, where university students design innovative projects based on their passions for creation care.
Parsons FCC along with participants from Manhattan FCC, and Faith CC, Wichita, kicked off this project with a Nov 12 – 14 retreat called Building Church Capacity, Tending the Garden. This online retreat was geared toward teaming with key church stakeholders in our congregations to identify the focus and direction for our future ministry.
Four 30-minute evening online sessions were led by Christian Watkins, Ecumenical Campus Ministries Director and Pastor, Manhattan; Ross Allen, Disciples pastor; Diane Watkins, Regional Representative to the General Board and former Kansas Regional Moderator; and Debra Mikulka, Grant Writer and Consultant.
Participants focused on identifying and sharing our unique ministry story, based on our community, to faithfully move forward into action. Peer congregation cohorts met so participants could learn from other innovative congregations in the Kansas Region.
Participants received “Workshop in a Box” materials (see picture right) as well as a project stipend for seed money for the invigorated or reimagined vision. Many ideas were discussed for future conversations in our region.