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Beitragvon GG001 » 23.12.2005, 09:58

Some Megachurches Closing for Christmas

By RACHEL ZOLL, AP Religion WriterTue Dec 6,10:57 PM ET

This Christmas, no prayers will be said in several megachurches around the country. Even though the holiday falls this year on a Sunday, when churches normally host thousands for worship, pastors are canceling services, anticipating low attendance on what they call a family day.

Critics within the evangelical community, more accustomed to doing battle with department stores and public schools over keeping religion in Christmas, are stunned by the shutdown.

It is almost unheard of for a Christian church to cancel services on a Sunday, and opponents of the closures are accusing these congregations of bowing to secular culture.

"This is a consumer mentality at work: `Let's not impose the church on people. Let's not make church in any way inconvenient,'" ...

The closures stand in stark contrast to Roman Catholic parishes, which will see some of their largest crowds of the year on Christmas, and mainline Protestant congregations such as the Episcopal, Methodist and Lutheran churches, where Sunday services are rarely if ever canceled.
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GG001
 
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Beitragvon GG001 » 24.12.2005, 18:19

Weihnachtsgedicht von Consultant to Erinnyes, frei nach "'Twas the Night before Christmas", see for instance http://www.christmas-tree.com/stories/n ... stmas.html

'Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the board
not a creature was posting, to discus things abhorred.
The mouse were hung by the computer with care,
in hopes that open discussions, soon would be there.

Calamity and Banger, sat back on the couch,
with cold beer and munchies, great joy filled the house.
Deaconess sat, awaiting reply,
from Hammer and Freund, giving her a cynical eye

Morse was there too, pointing out to the lot,
a topic to open, starting each with a shot.
JF was still typing, a thought only he knew.
only to him, it meaning was true

When from the computer there arose such a clatter,
I sprang from my chair to see what was the matter.
Up popped a window, from Katherine it was,
another Bush bashing letter, filled with disgust.

The moon on the breast of the new-fallen snow
gave the lustre of midday to carolers below,
LACNAC, Bertsie and Lynne from KC
stood out in the snow, just singing with glee.

With a little old member, Dap2 heard a tale,
soon to be posting, in greatest detail.
Gerguest still translating, the news that he knew
unbiased and truthful, from those we drew

"Now Lieber! Now Hoffman!
Now, Kolb and Old Freund!
On, Hammer! On, Middleton!
On, Fendt and his friends!
If you think we don’t know,
the lies heard from you.
Now dash away! Dash away!
Deleting the emails, no reason to call!"

They meet with an obstacle, The Canadian and crew,
will post soon a list, things wanting to do
If they succeed, we wish them the best,
if not they’ll know. In the bench they will rest

And then, in a twinkling, I heard on the roof
the prancing and pawing of each little hoof.
Myule was standing, just looking aloof,
He started to speak, and defending his truth

Many spoke not a word, but went to the board,
and read all the postings, then thought of it all.
And pondered and pondered, their thoughts were a mix,
of following blindly, and falling for tricks.

Leber sprang to his sleigh, to his team gave a whistle,
And away they all flew, First class in the drizzle.
But I heard him exclaim, 'ere he drove out of sight,
"Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good night! suckers"

C2E
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GG001
 
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Oh those whacky Eye-talians

Beitragvon GG001 » 04.01.2006, 10:26

The Times January 03, 2006

Prove Christ exists, judge orders priest
From Richard Owen in Rome


AN ITALIAN judge has ordered a priest to appear in court this month to prove that Jesus Christ existed.

The case against Father Enrico Righi has been brought in the town of Viterbo, north of Rome, by Luigi Cascioli, a retired agronomist who once studied for the priesthood but later became a militant atheist.

Signor Cascioli, author of a book called The Fable of Christ, began legal proceedings against Father Righi three years ago after the priest denounced Signor Cascioli in the parish newsletter for questioning Christ's historical existence.

Yesterday Gaetano Mautone, a judge in Viterbo, set a preliminary hearing for the end of this month and ordered Father Righi to appear. The judge had earlier refused to take up the case, but was overruled last month by the Court of Appeal, which agreed that Signor Cascioli had a reasonable case for his accusation that Father Righi was "abusing popular credulity".

Signor Cascioli's contention - echoed in numerous atheist books and internet sites - is that there was no reliable evidence that Jesus lived and died in 1st-century Palestine apart from the Gospel accounts, which Christians took on faith. There is therefore no basis for Christianity, he claims.

Signor Cascioli's one-man campaign came to a head at a court hearing last April when he lodged his accusations of "abuse of popular credulity" and "impersonation", both offences under the Italian penal code. He argued that all claims for the existence of Jesus from sources other than the Bible stem from authors who lived "after the time of the hypothetical Jesus" and were therefore not reliable witnesses.

Signor Cascioli maintains that early Christian writers confused Jesus with John of Gamala, an anti-Roman Jewish insurgent in 1st-century Palestine. Church authorities were therefore guilty of "substitution of persons".

The Roman historians Tacitus and Suetonius mention a "Christus" or "Chrestus", but were writing "well after the life of the purported Jesus" and were relying on hearsay.

Father Righi said there was overwhelming testimony to Christ's existence in religious and secular texts. Millions had in any case believed in Christ as both man and Son of God for 2,000 years.

"If Cascioli does not see the sun in the sky at midday, he cannot sue me because I see it and he does not," Father Righi said.

Signor Cascioli said that the Gospels themselves were full of inconsistencies and did not agree on the names of the 12 apostles. He said that he would withdraw his legal action if Father Righi came up with irrefutable proof of Christ's existence by the end of the month.

The Vatican has so far declined to comment.

THE EVIDENCE

The Gospels say that Jesus was born to the Virgin Mary in Bethlehem, grew up in Nazareth, preached and performed miracles in Galilee and died on the Cross in Jerusalem

In his Antiquities of the Jews at the end of the 1st century, Josephus, the Jewish historian, refers to Jesus as "a wise man, a doer of wonderful works" who "drew over to him both many of the Jews and many of the Gentiles"

Muslims believe Jesus was a great prophet. Many Jewish theologians regard Jesus as an itinerant rabbi who popularised many of the beliefs of liberal Jews. Neither Muslims nor Jews believe he was the Messiah and Son of God

Tacitus, the Roman historian who lived from 55 to 120, mentions "Christus" in his Annals. In about 120 Suetonius, author of The Lives of the Caesars, says: "Since the Jews constantly made disturbances at the instigation of Chrestus, Emperor Claudius expelled them from Rome."

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GG001
 
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Brainstorming session

Beitragvon GG001 » 08.01.2006, 10:35

Aus einem Beitrag von "deaconess" im NACboard (siehe http://p072.ezboard.com/fnacboardfrm8.s ... c&index=26) Solche Gehirnsturm-Sitzungen sind doch auch in DE denkbar. Oder etwa nicht?

Zur Erklaerung: Die erwaehnte re-dedication nach Ablauf von fuenf Jahren war schon deshalb am Platz, weil bei der eigentlichen Einweihung die Gemeinde LA ueberhaupt nicht anwesend war. Vor fuenf Jahren waren die "higher-ups" eingeladen, was die Gemeindemitglieder von LA Central traurig gestimmt hat.

Es ist klar, dass sich uns viele andere Punkte nicht oder nicht ganz erschliessen, weil uns die Hintergrundinformation fehlt. Ich habe den Beitrag trotzdem einfach in voller Laenge eingestellt.

MK, so lange die Zitatfunktion in diesem Forum eine vor allem bei dieser Textmenge untaugliche (=riesige) Darstellung liefert, muss ich darauf verzichten (hint, hint). Emphasis (red, boldface) is mine.

========== Beginn des Zitats =============
Brainstorming Session In March of 2005, LAC celebrated its 5th anniversary by having a rededication service... to rededicate ourselves to the Lord, our congregation, and community. In conjunction with the festivities, the congregation was given questionaires asking for them to record their most memorable moments in the church, their hopes for the future in our church, and joyful experiences. During a fellowship the members shared their thoughts and ideas.

In April of 2005 we hired a professional facilitator with two assistants to conduct a meeting to review, evaluate, and discuss means of implementation of many of the ideas that were shared. We met off-site in a room overlooking the Pacific Ocean in Santa Barbara, and spent 6 hours brainstorming. There were 17 from the congregation that participated, including some Sunday School students and teachers, youth, ABs, and anyone else that wished to contribute.

Following are the notes from the brainstorming session:

NEW APOSTOLIC CHURCH

Los Angeles Central Congregation Planning Retreat

Casa Las Palmas
April 23, 2005


Purpose: The purpose of the New Apostolic Church Planning Retreat is to initiate a process leading to the development of a Strategic Plan. The retreat will provide members an opportunity for reflection, visioning and planning church initiatives including priorities and specific actions.

We need to make sure that our own personal growth in Christ is not lost.
Our vision for ALL of our efforts is to bring people to Christ.

Agenda
I. Prayer, Welcome, Overview, and Hopes
II. Vision of Ideal Future
III. Review of “Joyful Experience” Cards
IV. Identification of Congregational Strengths/Assets
V. Review of Congregational Wishes
VI. Identification of Congregational Wishes
VII. Matching Wishes and Strengths/Assets
VIII. Limitations and Reality Check
IX. Identification of Strategic Initiatives
X. Setting Priorities and Planning for Action
XI. Review and Wrap-Up


I. PRAYER, WELCOME, OVERVIEW, AND HOPES
A. Community Agreement/Guidelines for Discussion
1. Have respect for others’ opinions/ideas
2. Honor others
3. Refrain from judgment
4. Talk about issues and not persons
5. Retain a sense of humor
6. Encourage all to participate
7. Be open-minded
8. Agree to disagree
9. Have patience

B. Participants’ Hopes and Expectations for Retreat
1. Formulate a vision that’s achievable
2. Develop a plan of direction and determine how I’ll fit in
3. Leave with energy and commitment
4. Experience a renewal and rededication
5. Utilize the diversity and strengths of the group to reach goal
6. Understand what’s expected to achieve goals
7. Gain a new perspective of God’s word
8. Learn how to better serve the community
9. Discover ways to help neighbors
10. Find ways to make the congregation a priority
11. Help generate interest to motivate greater attendance, both with members and guests
12. Learn how to show love in more meaningful ways
13. Find direction
14. Help LAC become a dynamic church
15. Find ways to increase opportunities and roles for women
16. Find ways to help make LAC a place where people wish to go
17. Hope to always have a feeling of rededication
18. Hope to foster self (introspective) spiritual growth while also fostering group (congregational) spiritual health.

II. VISION OF IDEAL FUTURE
A. Participants’ Dreams and Visions for the Congregation
1. That the congregation would reflect the diversity of the community
2. That there would be services that would appeal to all ages
3. Large population/more people than seats
4. Serenity/God’s presence would be felt in the sanctuary
5. Women in the pulpit
6. Community youth programs and participation
7. A Starbucks Coffee Booth on the Patio
8. Continuous church hours and activities
9. All styles of worship and praise with congregation actively participating
10. Bigger facility
11. More staff
12. Staff that receives training from Fuller Seminary
13. Multiple Outreach Programs
14. Yearly 15% growth
15. Independent/Local autonomy
16. Paid ministers so that they can devote their time for planning and serving the congregation
17. Standing at altar calling
18.. Crowded church—maximum capacity filled
19. Empty church because everyone is serving the community
20. Outdoor coffee
21. Jazz/Praise Band
22. Church open all day/accessible to neighborhood
23. Senior lunch program
24. Mentor program
25. Helping with homework
26. Buses going on trips
27. Day care during services
28. Freedom to praise the Lord any way you want to
29. Greater congregational participation in activities
30. Greater diversity- age, color, etc.
31. Food bank
32. Singles supported
33. Working with other churches to serve community
34. Build ladders to help other people up
35. Change in heart’s attitudes
36. Become more independent
37. Have congregational buy-in
38. More hands to help
39. Reactivate older generations
40. More casual dress/jeans
41. Friday services
42. Pre-service outlines
43. Power point with service
44. More people to help than jobs to do
45. Filling the generation gap
46. Playground/Fun activities for youth
47. Praise band
48. Walls offsite for graffiti/murals
49. Ministers greeting upon arrival
50. Responsive interaction
51. Pastor Jana/Deaconess Gayle & Ellyn
52. More Fellowship to draw congregation closer to each other
53. Active spiritual youth & senior groups
54. Strong framework
55. Feel “safe”/non-judgmental attitudes
56. Greater thirst for the word through bible study
57. Mixed group interaction
58. Annual vacation Bible school – 2 weeks
59. Christmas program inviting kids from the neighborhood to participate in a musical
60. Sponsored missionary programs/scholarships
62. Benches full
63. Oozing love
64. Assistance for single parents
65. Bus ministry
66. Church library
67. Basketball courts
68. Retreats/conferences/Promise Keepers
69. The congregation grows so large that people won’t know each other
70. Christ centered as foundation
71. Utilizing congregational talents for single women
72. Finding a medial ground for traditional & modern growth
73. Continuing traditional activities
74. Larger facility needed
75. Multi-building campus
76. More children
77. Sports programs
78. Swimming lessons/Water polo
79. Financial independence
80. Minister-lead trips to the Holy Land
81. Working more with other Christian churches
82. People aren’t afraid to invite guests – guests return because it’s awesome to fellowship in Christ’s love
83. Develop understanding for other people’s faiths
84. Sunday services on Saturday nights
85. Youth musical Friday nights
86. Youth & seniors getting together to discuss spiritual things
87. All ages work together/more opportunities to work together
88. More Sunday School rooms
89. Christ is in every vision
90. Helping elderly in their homes
91. Return to traditional
92. And embrace contemporary worship
93. Find full support for changes
94. More opportunities for congregational input
95. A traditional worship service with traditional music AND a contemporary one
96. Interactive children services – allowing children to also share message
97. Supportive fellowship. People hold each other accountable.
98. Choir robes

C. Vision Theme Areas
1. Leadership/Organization
2. Social- Fellowship/Family
3. Liturgy/Service style
4. Community Outreach
5. Resources
6. Education/Scriptural Knowledge/Psychological training


III. CONGREGATIONAL "JOYFUL EXPERIENCE" CARDS MATCHED WITH VISION THEME AREAS
A. Leadership/Organization
1. The services held by Bishop, District elder, and local servants and brothers
2. Visits of the District Apostle
3. Visits of Apostle Kolb, Jr.
4. Visits of Apostle Kolb, Sr.
5. Ordinations: all of our deacons we’ve been given; our 3 new District Evangelists; the additional resources we now have.

B. Social-Fellowship/Family
1. I’ve had many, many memorable times with my gal-pals! I heart them all.
2. I have gained many more friends, faith, and learned more about God’s word and those are my treasured experiences
3. I have been to this church 7 times in the past 5 years. Each one has been a joyful experience
4. Connor’s baptism day: (my grandson); my son. Not only did it represent a wonderful pledge to raise Connor in the faith as well as dedicate his life and soul to God, but it also represented my family finally being together. My Dad doing the baptism also made it even more special.
5. Celebration of Bishop Klein’s ministry
6. The fellowship we have had over the years: 2 after service; the senior dinners; at confirmation; etc.
7. Two weddings: one held for our good friends 2 daughters – only a year apart
8. My children being sealed
9. The baptism of Cameron, as the words of the service were perfect (thanks Pr. Stroh!) and the chance to share this day with friends and family was special
10. Working on the flower team to decorate the altar
11. My son Trent’s baptism by his Grandpa
12. Trent’s and Madison’s baptism
13. Introduction of the greeting program, especially women having the opportunity to greet
14. Sitting on the steps on 9-11 praying and crying with Cindy
15. District services where all congregations get together and we can interact with members and friends from other congregations that we don’t see too often
16. My son Devin’s (and Leah’s) wedding
17. Connor in his wagon at Devin and Leah’s wedding. He was absolutely adorable
18. What drew me to this church and keeps me going is the diversity of people in this congregation. The conservative, stubborn traditionalists, the forward thinking radical upstarts, the fashionable, the fashionably late, the comics, the cynics, the quietly pious, and the vocally joyful. But these are just labels. God made each of us as we are and brought us together – each infinitely different with our views, ideas, fears, joys, thoughts, and feelings. And yet, we celebrate this diversity and harmony that can still come with it when we come together to hear God’s word, seek his forgiveness, and to celebrate his blessings through communion, fellowship and love.
19. Gayle and my 25th anniversary fellowship was the happiest!

D. Liturgy/Service Style
1. God’s word
2. New songs for the choir- getting to sing gospel songs
3. Singing in the choir
4. Thanking God for today
5. Soon-to-be confirmation
6. Leading the Sunday School in Praise songs
7. Baptism of new babies – parents dedicating their children to God
8. The Songs of Faith concert: especially hearing the amazing stories (many times tragedies) that caused the writing of various songs; Concert was outstanding in the overall joy, excietement, number of guests and members that participated in the service and concert. The afterglow of that concert still is felt and hopefully will be experienced again in the patriotic concert

E. Community Outreach
1. The car wash
2. Various concerts: Just keep getting better; held at Christmas time; Easter, and other occasions to which we invited guests.
3. Chari-teas: testimony shared about the presence of Christ in the participants’ lives; the outpouring of love and fellowship
4. The garage sale
5. Neighborhood events: Barb-b-q; ice cream socials; getting to know our neighbors; the esteem and support generated; Mayor Bogard’s expression of change in our neighbors’ perceptions of us
6. Children’s/Christmas programs – 5 their joy; the joy they shared; Carolyn Newton’s awesome solo; Alice Bachofner’s solo; with stories that truly touched my soul

F. Resources
1. New members joining our groups (Tevis, David)
2. Strength and courage

G. Education/Scriptural Knowledge
1. Soon-to-be confirmation
2. I have gained many more friends, faith, and learned more
3. Learning to be receptive to rededication
4. To see our Sunday School children grow both spiritually and physically. They all work well together and respect each other.
5. Seeing family together; family learning God; Sunday School.
6. Bible Study Class: the pure fellowship of sharing God’s Word; great insights shared by brothers and sisters; facilitators’ patient work of bringing us along
7. Bible verses available for members

IV. IDENTIFICATION OF CONGREGATIONAL STRENGTHS/ASSETS

A. Leadership/Organization Assets
1. Professionals
2. Visionaries
3. Spiritual
4. Planners/Organizers
5. Bureaucrats
6. Dependable
7. Prayers
8. Creative
9. Punctual
10. Independent Thinkers
11. Hard workers
12. Diligent
13. Outgoing
14. Salesmen
15. Generous
16. Flexible
17. Intergenerational
18. Leaders not afraid/Fearless Leaders
19. Good communicators

B. Social- Fellowship/Family Assets
1. Intergenerational
2. Caring & Loving
3. Givers
4. Enjoy Fellowships
5. Good cooks
6. Good Eaters
7. Musical Talents
8. Prayers
9. Knitters
10. Good location
11. Plenty of Space
12. Community support
13. Multilingual
14. Compassionate
15. Caring & Loving
16. Teachers
17. Good mentors
18. Creative
19. Outgoing
20. Politician
21. Planners
22. Artists
23. Good Communicators
24. Christ-centered

C. Liturgy/Service Style Assets
1. Spiritual
2. Teachers
3. Creative
4. Musical Talents
5. Salespeople
6. Flexible
7. Independent People
8. Diligent
9. A lot of space
10. Breathtaking building
11. Multilingual
12. Prayers
13. Fearless leaders
14. Outgoing
15. Professional
16. Power-point savvy
17. A new apostle who is forward looking

D. Community Outreach Assets
1. Community Support
2. Planners
3. Multilingual
4. Christ-like
5. Good Cooks
6. Good location
7. Good finances
8. Musical Talent
9. Area needs help
10. Knitters/Quilters
11. Prayers
12. Teachers
13. Plenty of Space
14. Intellectuals
15. Givers
16. Outgoing
17. Connected
18. Professional
19. Diversity
20. Loving
21. Hard workers
22. Politicians
23. Salesmen
E. Resources
1. Spiritual Minded
2. Financial Resources
3. Diversity
4. Fundraisers
5. Space
6. Members with Financial Resources
7. Community Support


F. Education/Scriptural Knowledge/Psychological Training Assets
1. Teachers
2. Spiritual
3. Desire to Learn
4. Creative
5. Space
6. Dependable
7. Well-educated
8. Thirst for Knowledge
9. Intergenerational
10. Independent Thinkers
11. Financial Resources
12. Driven to be Christ-like
13. Loving
14. Potential exists
15. Fuller Seminary close by
16. Internet Accessibility
17. Church Library

V. REVIEW OF CONGREGATIONAL WISHES

VI. IDENTIFICATION OF CONGREGATIONAL WISHES
A. Leadership/Organization
1. Allowing some autonomy between the congregations so that each church isn’t identical to the others.
2. The message is the same, but allow for some variation in the delivery
3. That we always remain positive, no matter what
4. That we find joy in the service of the Lord
5. Wish for visionaries, leaders that are enthusiastic and inspiring
6. My hope and dream for this church in the future is that we will continue to come together to learn to respect and celebrate each of our differences – to respect and honor the church’s past and to welcome (or at least initially tolerate) the changes of the future.

B. Social – Fellowship/Family
1. Supportive Christian network where people freely share what’s in their hearts
2. A congregation that loves to serve the Lord
3. My wish would be that everyone could pray for God, and everyone would go to church and want to go every Sunday. We can improve by asking people to pray to God.
4. Open communication with one another
5. My wish for LAC is a congregation filled with peace and tolerance. One where focus is placed on our similarities and commonalities and not on differences in issues, (such as types or styles of music, attire, appearance, etc.) which in the overall picture are inconsequential. A congregation where all the members can look at each other and truly believe that they would have no problem spending eternity with any one of their fellow brothers and sisters.
6. Would like to see Asian and African-American and hopefully provide ethnic dishes for fellowship.
7. To address brothers’ and sisters’ needs through a prayer request list. And having brothers and sisters comfortable enough to write down their prayer requests.
8. That I personally stay faithful to the proposition desire to want to be a first-fruit, to the gifts of the Holy Spirit; and to better do God’s will for me. As an older New Apostolic, but never present in attendance of the congregation. It was 50 years ago this April 10 that I was confirmed.
9. My first thought is that we need to chill more. We as a congregation as a whole need to hangout and “chil-ax.” We could start by having fellowship again (I sneak Bible Study into fellowship.) Also we need to hang out, just to have fun, like a pool party, or just watching a DVD, getting coffee on a Wednesday
10. Wish that everyone could just get along
11. After Sunday morning fellowship –- pot luck.
12. We are always encouraging and strengthening one another
13. Church mini-bus for various functions: Sunday pick-ups (we will grow to fit into it); Youth functions; Sunday School outings; Singles’ use

C. Liturgy/Service Style
1. A service put on by the youth. They are smart and talented and we all have a lot to learn from them!
2. Dedications, weddings, services for the departed
3. I think we should have women serve during the service and start a new trend.
4. I wish we had a praise band
5. I wish that the choir will not sing every service in black and white. Everything else is fine

D. Community Outreach
1. We truly find our joy in the service of the Lord
2. I would like to see guest services about one time each quarter with a fellowship
3. I wish for youth missionaries when the youth went to South Africa, I thought about it a lot. I think that it would be fun for the youth, also a great learning experience.
4. Daycare
5. K-12 School
6. After School Care
7. Retirees Home
8. Pantry
9. We should make more use of the church’s web site to report on upcoming events and past happenings. We need to publicize the web site more as a way of disseminating local information & activities
10. To grow our congregation we need more community outreach programs that will bring in guests. How about listing services schedules in the local papers, mailers, etc. Put church locations in the phone books.
11. Love; Joy; Peace – everyone a missionary
12. To have more interest/concern over the issues/needs of the community, specifically the children in the neighborhood living in poverty. (90% of the white; 60% black; 30% Hispanic; 15% other races children are living in poverty in the neighborhood.) I would like us to start praying more for our neighbors.
13. Accepting our neighbors as they are, our Christian brethren.
14. My wish for LA Central is that we will eventually become a community church offering not just a place to worship and have fellowship but a place of community support – for instance day care; pre-school; senior care; youth center.
15. More open and accepting of the Christian Community around us
16. That those who visit will exclaim of us
17. That the neighboring kids would feel welcome enough to come to Sunday School to learn about God – like Jakari, Meley, and Dada

E. Resources
1. I wish others were willing to see the benefit of serving the Lord; teaching Sunday School, greeting, singing, cleaning, etc.
2. An ecumenical congregation – join resources with the rest of the Christian Community
3. More resources used for community outreach
4. Prayer wishes list for prayer needs with names and condition
5. Willing participation

F. Education/Scriptural Knowledge/Psychological Training
1. Maybe we could learn a greeting – just good knowing in Laos, Korean, etc. Spanish
2. I wish more people would read/study before Bible Study
3. Have young people Bible Study session in home of members (parents)
4. More participation from members in the Bible study.
5. We absorb and share God’s word and grace in our lives
6. To see an organized trip/tour (studied, thought-out, with a NAC minister tour guide) to the Holy Land. This trip could be done every few years – not NAC sponsored but fundraisers could be available for those in financial distress…to walk where Jesus walked, to experience his journey. What a hands-on learning experience… what an opportunity for spiritual growth/understanding.
7. Education & training for leaders and ministers
8. Sunday School concurrent to service
9. I wish that we as a congregation would begin our decision with thinking of what would please CHRIST, then choose to do it.

VII. MATCHING WISHES AND STRENGTHS

VIII. LIMITATIONS AND REALITY CHECK
A. Ranked least limiting to most limiting
1. My own opinion
2. Indecisiveness
3. Time
4. Self
5. Inertia
6. Lack of Focus
7. Self-limitations
8. Procrastination
9. Few Tools/Knowledge
10. Unequal Power Source
11. Community Concerns
12. Leadership Change to hurt someone
13. Existing Division
14. Inbreeding/nepotism
15. Participation/Lack of workers
16. Finances/Financial Restraints
17. Lack of Joy/Patience
18. Fear of Change
19. Personal Conflict
20. Past Baggage
21. Hopelessness
22. Judgmental Attitudes
23. Participation
24. Feeling unsafe or insecure
25. Weariness
26. Limited by West Coast Perception
27. Traditionalism
28. Financial Structure is located back East
29. Individual Obstructors
30. West Coast/East Coast mentality
31. Elitist Attitudes
32. Reluctance to show praise in worship
33. Back channel communication (indirect communication)
34. Upper Administration closed-minded
35. Male centered
36. Tradition entrenchment
37. Lack of feeling of worth of charity without ulterior motives of leaders to support charity solely to increase membership
38. Burn-out
39. National church policy
40. Lack of cooperation
41. Removed decision making
42. Fear of backlash
43. Need for approval
44. Obstructionism
45. Conditional C.U.P.
46. Space
47. No paid staff

B. Attitudes & Mindsets
1. Need more of:
Tolerance
Leadership receptivity
Critical Thinking
Compassion
Social Awareness
Christ-Driven
Willingness to Help
My brother is as good as I
More working with other churches
Positives
Can-do/Willingness
Patience
Ecumenicism
Approaching more boldly
Cultural awareness
Christ-like thinking
Child-like

2. Less of:
Exclusivity
Superficiality
Euro-centric
Elitist attitudes
“That’s not apostolic”
Policy driven
Judgmental
Too much work
Apathy
Negativism
Passiveness

C. Issues/Action
1. No input in vision around administrative issues – created vision initiative area
2. Flexibility – Contemporary vs. Traditional Worship
3. Fear of Backlash

D. Red-Tag Issues
1. Church Policy
2. Financial Restraints
3. Removed Decision making
4. Fear of Back-lash
5. Male centered leadership
6. Traditionalism
7. Conditional C.U.P.
8. Elitist attitude
9. Reluctance to show praise in worship
10. No paid staff

IX. IDENTIFICATION OF STRATEGIC INITIATIVES
A. Create a local praise band
1. Date: Jan. 2007
2. Assets: Gifted (musical) youth
3. Limitations: willing participants

B. Picnic Concerts in church yard
1. Date: Summer 2006
2. Assets: local musical talent
3. Limitations: parking

C. Quarterly Newsletter
1. Date: Summer 2005
2. Assets: Writers/ talent to do the work
3. Limitations: lots of work; past fall-out from administration
4. Volunteer Coordinator:

D. Childhood Education
1. Date: May 2005
2. Assets: Good teachers; dedicated youth; Fuller Seminary
3. Limitations: willing participants
4. Volunteer Coordinators:

E. Marketers/Lobbiers
1. Date:
2. Assets: many gifted marketers
3. Limitations: the people we are trying to influence
4. Volunteer Coordinator:

F. Library Funding
1. Date:
2. Assets: Creative people who can develop funding activities
3. Limitations: time

G. Convene group to address red-tag issues
1. Date: June 2, 2005
2. Assets:
3. Limitations
4. Volunteer Coordinators:

H. Senior Needs List for household chores
1. Date:
2. Assets: People with talent and time
3. Limitations: if no one admits that they have needs

I. Food Supplement Program
1. Date:
2. Assets: existing core of youth, good teachers, congregation to staff
3. Limitations: not to follow through in continuing program

J. Youth/Senior interaction
1. Date:
2. Assets: Talented youth
3. Limitations: none

K. Community Supply Center
1. Date: Dec. 2005
2. Assets: talents, space, generosity
3. Limitations: community concerns
4. Volunteer Coordinator:

H. Extracurricular Activities (chill-lax)
1. Date:
2. Assets: loving group that enjoys being together
3. Limitations: getting people to connect

I. Quarterly Guest Services
1. Date:
2. Assets: Good cooks, receptive neighborhood
3. Limitations: possible low attendance

J. Monthly Contemporary Worship Service
1. Date: Jan. 2006
2. Assets: Power point capability, access to praise music
3. Limitations: permission
4. Coordinator:

K. Day care for 0-4 yr. Olds during service
1. Date: Jan 2006
2. Assets: parents, space, professional staff, willing workers, children can stay for Bible study
3. Limitations:
4. Volunteer Coordinator:

L. Basketball Hoop
1. Date:
2. Assets: Have hoop, space
3. Limitations: Keep ball in yard, storage
4. Volunteer Coordinator:
X. SETTING PRIORITIES AND PLANNING FOR ACTION

XI. REVIEW AND WRAP-UP
========== Ende des Zitats =============

"Laura" antwortet:
========== Beginn des Zitats =============
I liked the brainstorm. :) Great stuff there!
Under "Vision for an Ideal Future", instead of this one entry in the 70th position "Christ Centered as Foundation", I'd do my best to put it in first place. Both on paper and on the hearts of the congregants. Followed closely by #89 Christ in every vision.
[... some text ommitted, GG001]
Last thoughts...I imagine your congregation is quite unique NAC-wise. It's awesome what you all are doing in the community, how you are changing even the perception of the church there. It's awesome that guests can see the light there, feel the warmth there, and feel so welcome. They may even want to join. But then, again, I imagine the NAC "apostle" in the picture. The NAC doctrine. The NAC's unbiblical teachings about the necessity of these middlemen. And it's there that Christ in your congregation becomes eclipsed. I wonder... how is that reconciled? [...]

Sorry to end on somewhat of a downer. I do share in your vision. I do. It's exciting! It's refreshing! It serves souls and glorifies Christ! [...]
========== Ende des Zitats =============
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Beitragvon GG001 » 12.01.2006, 18:50

http://p072.ezboard.com/fnacboardfrm22. ... D=59.topic

I am in the process of creating a seven-year attendance study (1999-2005) for my local congregation in the Washington, D.C. metro area, and among my findings, have found that the average attendance for all services (Sunday and midweek) has declined by an average of 6.56% per year, while the average decline between Sunday and midweek attendance is 59%.

In my analysis and recommendations, I have created a partial list of questions, both a broad and narrow focus, that I believe the NAC leadership must ask to address this consistent decline. I would like the Board to assist me in compiling these questions, so that they may be an accurate and thought-provoking tool for leadership. (For anaylsis purposes, RSS are Regular Sunday Services and RMS are Regular Midweek Services)

My questions so far:
BROAD FOCUS
• Is organized religion and regular attendance at worship services of less importance to families and individuals? If so, why?
• Do families and individuals have less time for regular attendance at worship services? If so, why?
• Is regular attendance at worship services essential for a good relationship with God and Jesus Christ? If not, why?

NARROW FOCUS
• Is the physical location of the NAC not convenient for attendance? (too far to drive, takes too long with traffic, work, etc.)
• Does the physical condition of the building prevent attendance? (inconsistent HVAC, height of altar, altar acting as barrier between ministers and congregation, large empty spaces in sanctuary)
• Are the service days and times inconvenient?
• Do NAC services provide families and individuals with useful spiritual substance?
• Are NAC services relevant to my individual / family need? (children’s worship, youth worship, contemporary worship)
• Do aspects of the NAC services discourage families and individuals from attending on a regular basis? (music, ministers, service style, lack of bible use)
• What percentage of attendance to RMS is directly tied to a service-specific responsibility? (minister, choir)
• Have members with consistent RSS attendance but not RMS attendance been asked why they attend on Sunday but not midweek?
• Is there another NAC activity that would be better attended during the week?
• Have all members been asked what they would like to see improved and/or changed in NAC services? If so, what were they? If not, why?

Thank you all for your feedback, input, and assistance.
==================
Hey Tom!

Does the "study", which shows a decline in attendance, reflect individual's attendance or total congregational attendance? (Were individual's attendance tracked?) What core from 6 years ago still remains? Are the numbers skewed in any way by relocations either to or from your congregation? Deaths?

Is lack of attendance due to former attendees leaving the fold or is it due to declining interest/lack of drawing power or commitment?
Will you be polling ex-members for their added insight?
==================
Deaconess --

The study is focusing solely on total congregational attendance, broken down into local members, (not OC's as they are a random occurence), guests, and total service attendance. I do have individual attendance information, but I'm not in a large congregation and I wanted to focus solely on service-wide parameters.

At first glance, a good portion of the decline is individuals and families moving out of the area. Another reason is individuals and families are moving further away from the physical church building as housing prices in this area increase and subsequently the only affordable housing is further north and west of the D.C. area.

A good many former members who no longer attend are still in contact with me or someone else in the congregation that they were close to and their reasons for no longer attending have been repeatedly brought up to our acting rector; I chose to leave them as separate issues for this study.

The questions I raise may seem obvious, but I'm trying to get leadership to see that declines in attendance may be due to the individual and famiy situations, the NAC itself, or some combination. For too long, the "blame" has been set squarely on the shoulders of those attending the church, rather than the church itself. All I'm trying to do is show the big picture.
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Beitragvon Wiwi » 13.01.2006, 17:34

Auf der anderen Seite des großen Teiches...

... hat man mich sehr erstaunt angesehen. Und geschluckt, dass ich mit Bart, rauchend und das Bier nicht verabscheuend, VS bin. Nachdem man das verkraftet hatte, war dann alles OK und ich wurde sogar zum Ämter-GD eingeladen! Mit AP Freund in Cali / Columbia. War echt schön! Habe mich auf Deutsch von ihm verabschiedet, ihn schien's nicht zu stören. 1998.

Mein Englisch ist nicht so prickelnd, verstehst Du mich auf Deutsch? Sonst versuche ich, das mal zu übersetzen.

Übrigens: Michael Kraus, der Paulus des 20. Jhdts, lebt nicht mehr.

Hasta luego
Wiwi
Wer nicht mit der Zeit geht, muss - mit der Zeit - gehen
Wiwi
 
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Wohnort: somewhere over the rainbow...

Beitragvon GG001 » 13.01.2006, 19:56

Bier trinken: kein Problem, das koennen die ATs dort auch gut. Rauchen: auch o.k. (ausser wo verboten). Aber ein Bart: heaven forbid!
Siehe dazu (extremely heavy stuff!) http://p072.ezboard.com/fnacboardfrm5.s ... D=32.topic


Gruss, GG001
Zuletzt geändert von GG001 am 13.01.2006, 20:05, insgesamt 1-mal geändert.
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Beitragvon Wiwi » 13.01.2006, 20:03

GG001, hier nochmal öffentlich: Dein Schlußsatz ist bemerkenswert!

Ansonsten: Abide with me, fast fall the eventide... oder so ähnlich, ist schon zu lange her.

Bin "damals" im Hannover von BAP Steinweg in's Amt gekommen. Ich ärgere mich noch heute, dass ich damals noch keinen Bart und keinen Fernseher hatte. :lol: Ich wäre quasi eine lebende Versuchung gewesen :lol: :lol: :lol:

Wiwi
Wer nicht mit der Zeit geht, muss - mit der Zeit - gehen
Wiwi
 
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Wohnort: somewhere over the rainbow...

Beitragvon NAKTIVER » 13.01.2006, 22:36

wiwi... du alter revolutzer! *tzzzz....* :wink:

rauchen, biertrinken, fernsehen...

... und dann auch noch ein bart...

...

... da schütt' ich vor schreck fast mein hefeweizen um... :lol:
NAKTIVER
 
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Beitragvon Wiwi » 13.01.2006, 23:39

Nee, weißte, Revoluzzer wäre nun ganz falsch. Obergefreiter reicht vollkommen aus, immerhin einen Winkel mehr als Adolf. :lol:

Wiwi
Wer nicht mit der Zeit geht, muss - mit der Zeit - gehen
Wiwi
 
Beiträge: 564
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Beitragvon jab » 14.01.2006, 07:21

unser vo hat nen knopf im ohr *grins* :D
jab
 

Beitragvon Wiwi » 14.01.2006, 07:54

Nein, wirklich? Da versinke ich ja vor Scham im Boden *ggg*

Moin zusammen und nen schönen Tag!
Wiwi
Wer nicht mit der Zeit geht, muss - mit der Zeit - gehen
Wiwi
 
Beiträge: 564
Registriert: 14.07.2005, 20:37
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Beitragvon jab » 14.01.2006, 08:12

:D
auch einen schönen tag :wink:

gruss
jab
jab
 

Beitragvon GG001 » 15.01.2006, 12:17

http://p072.ezboard.com/fnacboardfrm22. ... c&index=48

In an attempt for our church to become more user-friendly for members of the community, has there ever been consideration to use titles for administration brothers that are easily recognizable? One of the first responses raised by "churched" friends is, "Tell me about your pastor." Consequently, I skip the NAC phrase of "Rector," and move on. Do people today know what a rector is? Do WE know what a rector is? The dictionary does, "a member of the clergy in charge of a congregation..." - Latin meaning ruler, leader. (I don't need to bring up what other word "rector" sounds like.) Pastor, however, is a much gentler sounding word. Even it's Latin roots refers to shepherd, feeder. Wouldn't the term Pastor be so much nicer to use in the United States, especially if our church leadership hopes to move away from a leadership style of constant directive, focusing more on things of spiritual significance delivered in a loving, caring way?
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