Text of Missional Moment delivered Sunday May 20, 2012 at Peace Lutheran Church
I’m Nancy Nagel, chair of the Missional Steering committee. Other members of
this committee are George Mckee, Susan McKee, Marsha Posz, Randy Ridenhour, and Pastor Aimee Appell. I would like to speak with you this morning about our congregation’s missional vocation, and what we are learning about ourselves, and ask for your participation in continued discernment during the next step of that process.
The process of corporate spiritual discernment is one we learned through our participation in the Partnership for Missional Church. Though that 3-year process is over, the skills and habits that we learned through it continue. It is our goal as a congregation that we are always working together to discern how God is calling us to use our particular gifts and abilities, and where God is calling us to act.
You may have participated in these kinds of discernment events in the past, or
you may be new to this process. Either way, you are an important piece to this
Last June and July, Pastor Aimee led workshops to help discern our individual
spiritual gifts. We discovered the most common gifts in our congregation are
1st Place -Music,
2nd Place – Healing,
Tied for 3rd Place – Artistic Creativity, Craftsmanship, and Voluntary Poverty.
I’m sure it’s no surprise that Music is a gift at Peace Lutheran since this
congregation loves to sing often and sing loudly. There were some individual
surprises and some confirmations of what we suspected about ourselves.
The Missional Steering committee gathered, assembled all this information and
pondered it. As George, our resident cynic reminded us we asked “So what? “Or
to use the language of the Partnership for Missional Church we asked “What is
God up to here? “This led us to seek further conversation with the congregation.
In August of 2011 we gathered as a congregation for more spiritual discernment
around the question
“How has God equipped the saints at Peace Lutheran Church for the work of
Key themes that emerged from this event were that this is a congregation that is
deeply rooted in God’s Word, through Scripture and the life of worship, and that
because of this, the congregation is equipped to take risks and build bridges into
the community for the sake of the gospel. The Missional Steering committee
sat with these themes for some time over the fall months, working to develop a
missional vocation statement. What came out from this process is this statement.
“Bound by Christ to break boundaries.”
This is the message on the large banner in our narthex.
This spring, we again gathered for discernment, this time around the above
missional vocation statement. We began with prayer and then turned to guided
conversation around the statement based on Scripture, personal experience, and
our life together. In particular, we focused our discussion on the question
“What boundaries is God calling Peace Lutheran Church to break in the future?”
Again, the Missional Steering Committee recorded what was said, read and re-
read the comments, and distilled them into several themes. The MSC heard:
1. An affirmation of our missional vocation statement concerning boundaries
– this is who we are.
2. Relationships with each other within our congregation, to God and to other
denominations are a starting point for breaking boundaries.
3. We are confident God will lead us to the boundaries God wants us to break and God will set the boundaries that should not be broken.
4. We don’t know where we’re going but we are going there together.
So now what?
Throughout this past year we have developed a picture of who we are at Peace
Lutheran. We’ve discovered our deepest gifts and passions. One definition of
missional vocation is “Where your (Peace Lutheran’s) deepest passion meets the
world’s deepest need.” Many of us are involved in the world around us and in
our immediate community. We see some of the world’s deep needs, hurts, and
brokenness. I invite you to share those needs with the congregation, to complete
the picture of our missional vocation at Peace. Please write your answer to the
question of what boundaries God is calling Peace to break and what deep needs
you see in the world on the cards provided and pin them to the banner. We will
start building a picture of the world’s needs and where Peace Lutheran and those
I encourage you to participate in this discernment process. It is important that
we hear from as many people as possible, whether you have been attending here
for many years, or only a few weeks. Our goal is to listen to the Spirit through as
many and as diverse a group as we can. The more individuals who participate,
the more productive and innovative our conversation will be, and the better able
we will be able to put our results into action.