From Bishop Pile:
Grace and peace to you in the name of Almighty God, Father, Son (+), and Holy Spirit!
The 3-D Task Force has been discussing and making preparation for Fall Conference Meetings for several months now. The vision and hope is that together we will begin addressing your identified concerns of thin spirituality, challenged vision for mission, and narrow understanding of stewardship within the lives of the people and congregations of the Allegheny Synod. It quickly became evident to the the task force that the focus of our emphasis would be working to deepen our faith life through the seven faith practices of worship, prayer, study, encouraging, inviting, serving, and giving. I am hoping by now that your Conference Dean has previously announced the date of your specific conference gathering and you, in turn, have reserved that night in your calendar and have begun inviting congregational members to attend with you. This email is intended to give you information to assist you in INVITING AND ENCOURAGING congregational leaders in your congregation to participate. By the way, if you are not able to attend your specific conference gathering because of a conflict I would urge you and your people to attend one of the other conference gatherings.
WHAT: Fall Conference Meeting
WHO: I am asking YOU to identify 3-5 people who would be excellent persons for discerning how best to utilize the 3-D emphasis in the life of your congregation/parish. In other words, who are those leaders who would invigorate you and help you inspire others around this work of deepening individual’s and the congregation’s life of faith? Please, engage them and encourage them to attend. If you have more than 5 who want to attend … be sure to have them come! HAVE EVERYONE BRING A BIBLE!
Clearly God goes deep for us each and every day as his grace and mercy are showered upon us. However, as I stated in the September issue of The Lutheran Letter, “If our spirituality, that is, our worship life, our commitment to delving into Scripture, and our engagement in the other five faith practices of serving, inviting, praying, encouraging, and giving are no longer priorities for us, the result is a faith that is thin and without foundation and substance.” We are not then likely to gain direction and focus for our lives, nor will we experience much growth.
So what we are planning is a gathering that we pray will inform, challenge, and motivate us together in our lives of discipleship in the name of Jesus.
THEME: Go Deep, Gain Direction, Grow Disciples!
TIME: Two hours (see conference meeting schedule below)
AGENDA: We will begin the evening with worship and Biblical reflection time. That will be followed by the powerpoint presentation focusing on God’s abundance in our lives. Congregation/parish groupings will be invited into conversation at the conclusion of the powerpoint presentation. The latter part of the evening will involve using one of the suggested Bible and faith practice studies within your congregational grouping. We will conclude with a presentation of a general time-frame for the use of the material beginning with the powerpoint presentation in Epiphany and the study material in Lent and early Easter 2013. Part two of the emphasis will occur next spring as we gather in conferences to share our experiences from the study and our plans for moving forward.
Southern Somerset Conference — Monday, October 15 at Mt. Calvary, Lavansville – 7 pm
Altoona/Upper Juniata Conference — Monday, October 29 at Christ, Claysburg – 7 pm
Johnstown Conference — Monday, November 5 at Mt. Calvary, Johnstown – 7 pm
Northern Somerset Conference – Wednesday, November 7 at TBA – 7 pm
Nittany Conference — Thursday, November 8 at Pine Hall – 7 pm
Bedford Conference – Monday, November 19 at Trinity, Bedford – 7 pm
Clearfield Conference — Thursday, November 29 at St. John, Clearfield – 7 pm
The goal of the 3-D Task Force is to cultivate a climate within the lives of disciples and congregations of this synod to go deep in Christian spirituality through a daily, purposeful journey that opens us to God in our lives, so that in experiencing God’s abundance in our lives, we feel compelled to engage God and one another.
Tim, Lynn, and I look forward to sharing an evening this fall with you and several leaders of your congregation and have each person attending BRING A BIBLE!