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Discernment Session 1

Discernment Session 1 - Chebeague UMC, Sunday October 27th

 

As folks come in/get settled, have people write down their questions on one side of an index card, fears on the other.

  • Share?

 

Talk about these sessions as a combination of educational awareness (so we all have the same understanding of terminology, history, events, etc) and prayerful listening to God’s hopes and dreams for this church.

  • It is not about pushing our own individual agendas or thoughts or ideas - although each of us brings valuable information to the table - but about sensing God’s movement and figuring out God’s desires

 

Invite us to center in this space, light the candle reminding us of God’s presence with us - that God is the center of our lives and the center of the space between us

 

 

Introduction to Discernment - Gloria

 

Discernment Video:  The Quaker Practice of Discernment   <click   

 

Go over “Courage’s Role in Discernment” Handout  <click

 

Establish Guidelines:  “Discernment Listening Guidelines”  <click

  • Each person read one statement

 

Pause for Questions

 

Educational Material - Melissa

 

Give out UMC Vocab Handout   <click

 

Watch UMC Structure/Organization Video by Sara Ewing-Merrill   <click

 

Pause for Questions

 

Silence

 

Go into silence to allow time to process all this information - take time to reflect and note your own thoughts and emotional reactions to the material - to sift what seems to be bubbling to the surface for you in the midst of this first session...what might be of God...and what might be your own leanings.

 

Discussion:

 

Ask: What did you hear in the silence?

 

Ask: Think back to the fears you listed at the beginning of our session. In what way might God have addressed those concerns during our time together?

 

Ask: What are you going to take with you to pray over before our next session?

 

Close with hopeful, empowering affirmations like:

     Our local church is not being taken from us.

     We are going to keep doing what we're doing, and be true to our values.

     We are not going to surrender our values or abandon our local ministry.

     We are going to decide whether to continue doing what we do within the UMC or separate from the UMC.