Februray 22nd, 2017

Members and Friends,

We want to let you know about the next step in faithful ministry for BPC. We are the Equipping Team, a group put together by the Session to follow through on recommendations made three years ago by Ministry Architects.

For those who are new or may not remember, Ministry Architects (MA) was hired to help us determine how best to staff the church for the 21st century. An MA team spent a full weekend here, holding small group sessions with people of all ages.  Based on what they heard, they recommended hiring a Director of Communications and Church Life, putting a team in place to change some aspects of Children and Youth ministries, and rewriting Catherine's job description to give her more time for pastoral care.

All that has taken place. Now we hope to tackle a tougher recommendation: finding a single shared vision.  The MA consultants saw that BPC was healthy and thriving, that we have a good mix of ages and stages, and that we are engaged in all kinds of ministry to the community, and that different groups in the church have lots of passion for lots of things. But our lack of focus keeps us divided into little groups who are sometimes wary of each other, limiting what we can accomplish for Christ.  

Last August the Equipping Team was formed by the Session to find a process for building a shared vision. We researched, studied, prayed and talked with folks in other churches. We picked a discipleship process created by pastor Mark Tidsworth called Shift: Three Big Moves for the 21st Century Church. We practiced some of the steps ourselves, then practiced them with the Session. Now Session has approved a timeline for sharing the Shift process with the whole church. It will be introduced from the pulpit in Lent and begin in earnest this fall.

BPC is a healthy church because it's been responsive to God's calling throughout its history. We trust that God is speaking again. We've found a good process, but building a shared vision means hearing from everyone:  long time members and new members, children and adults, those who are here every week and those who come when they can.  BPC is a family.  It will take all of us discerning together to focus our vision faithfully.

This is the first of two letters you will be receiving—in other words, only the beginning. We are not going to rush through this process. We ask you to begin now to be in prayer for Blacksburg Presbyterian Church and for your role in the discernment process to come.

In Christ,

The Equipping Team:

Elva Miller, Heather Polikoff, Jack Call and Kendra Crabtree, staff

Scripture Readings: Exodus 24:12-18; Psalm 2 or Psalm 99; 2 Peter 1:16-21; Matthew 17:1-9.

The prayer list can be found here.