There have been times that I have had to tell myself to stop talking about the College for Congregation Development in fear of becoming a broken record to my congregation. But then we decided that it was time for us to engage in a vision process! This has given me the opportunity to use the CCD models and techniques to my hearts’ content. St. Michael & All Angels commissioned its Dream Weavers Team at our Annual Meeting in January 2017. Since then, we have been using various models to help us examine our life together. Some of the pre-work with did with the Vestry was using the Life Cycle model to see in chart and sticker why a vision process was well timed. As leaders, it was easy to see that while we feel mostly vibrant and stable, we were edging toward stagnation and wanted to use a vision process to revitalize and re-examine who we are, what gifts we possess, and how those gifts might intersect with the needs of the community that is changing around us.
What I love about the models is that they can become part of the language of an entire congregation and tools for various, smaller entities within the congregation. We have used Force-Field Analysis at staff meetings to help staff members see how to strengthen the potential for successful change. Our Catechumenate class has walked through the Anglican Temperament and Spirituality exercise to deepen their understanding of our faith and see what attracts them to the Episcopal Church. Our Newcomer Committee divided into Welcome Squads based on the principles of the Gather, Transform, Send model creating teams that examine how we Invite, Greet, Orient, and Incorporate. As part of our planning for an end of life workshop, we used the Sources of Transformation to see how we could come into the discussion through our mind, heart and practice.
So yes, I may get an occasional eye-roll from folks who have heard me say, “Oh we could use a model from the College for Congregation Development for that!” But it has prepared our church to have deeper conversations about who we are and who we believe God is calling us to be since we are well-versed in the material from the CCD.
The Rev. Christopher Craun