Small Group at FCCC's Retreat

Well, I’ve finally rested enough after the last two days’ All Church Retreat to blog about it.  What an amazing (though short) time shared with some of the most wonderful people I could know!  About twenty of us gathered at River’s Edge Retreat Center on Cleveland’s far west edge to talk about this church we love (Franklin Circle Christian Church) and begin to envision what God might have in store for us in the coming years.

There will be time for us to “report out” what was said and imagined, but for now it is suffice to say the energy level was incredibly positive, while at the same time honest and appropriately critical.  That balance gave me hope that we would continue to be honest with ourselves and others about the possibilities and probabilities of this historic, diverse, dynamic urban community of faith.  The fact that it was weighted toward excitement and anticipation simply THRILLED me!!!  (In fact, it led me to tears!  Such an emotional man I am!)

I’m eager now to get this visioning process in full motion.  I am also eager to hear from a wider diversity of members of our church.  We were completely unrepresented by youth.  People of color were represented by only one individual.  And we were less well represented by our longstanding members than we should have been.  But, we recognized from the start that this retreat was only the very beginning, and only one way of visioning our church’s future.  Much more will come.

I would solicit your prayers and solidarity with us.  It will not be easy because we really do need to address some challenges the future has for us (and, for that matter, the present!)  But, from the likes of what happened Friday night and Saturday, it will at least be a fun and exciting ride!

God’s Grace Is Abundant,

Pastor Allen

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