In the February Good News I shared with you an initiative approved by Session called Appreciative Inquiry. Session has appointed a Mission Study Task Force consisting of Barbara Smith, Dan Traina, Janette Henderson, Charles Francis, Elizabeth Bishop, Len Parker, Ginny Vorhis, Lew Becker, Addie Ivey, and Sandy Seacat. This team, along with your Program Staff, will be guiding a number of Appreciative Inquiry (AI) gatherings.
AI emerged more than 30 years ago as an alternative to problem-based approaches for organizational transformation. AI is future-oriented and focuses on congregational assets, core competencies, and strengths. It engages the entire congregation in conversation about our greatest experiences; core values; highest hopes and aspirations for the church. It is an approach to organizational change that shifts the focus of the church culture from deficits to assets, the past to the future, finger-pointing to collaboration, and solving problems to sparking possibilities... It intentionally incorporates consultation with all members and therefore seeks to involve the entire congregation.
One of the goals is to hear reflections about the church from everyone, either through small group gatherings or an interview process. The more who are involved—the better it will be. That’s why I am writing you. We need You! I’m writing to invite you to participate. No preparation is needed for attending. It is important that we hear from everyone. Please accept this as my personal invitation to participate as part of a group or individually.
These gatherings will invite you to respond to inquiry about your best experiences in the life of First Presbyterian Church; what you believe the core values of this fellowship are; and what your greatest hopes, dreams, wishes, and aspirations for this congregation may be. These guided conversations will focus on the generative, life-giving aspects of this beloved faith community and where God wants it to be.
Enclosed is a list of dates and times for the AI Sessions that have been scheduled. Please respond either by signing up via our website pittsfordpres.org or by simply showing up to one of the gatherings. If you cannot find a way to participate in any of the sessions that have been scheduled, please indicate on our website that you would appreciate an individualized session or simply call the church office. It will be arranged for you. It is that important.
I look forward to hearing your voice.
Yours in faith,
Rev. Dr. Jeffrey D. Weenink