Discernment

By Blair Pogue
St. Matthew’s Episcopal Church in St. Paul, MN has been re-envisioning the role of the vestry over the last five years: inviting vestry members to understand their role as that of a spiritual discernment team.
By Janie Kirt Morris
Getting the right people on board is critical. Janie Kirt shows us the successful system she developed for “Build a Healthy Vestry." Available in Spanish.
By Alissa Newton
Alissa Newton provides three ways to start thinking of vestry service as a vocation.
By Todd Ousley
“Shattering the Status Quo” by Todd Ousley challenges congregational leaders to break out of familiar patterns by entering into an exodus experience as a way to open themselves to get ‘Egypt’ out of their systems.
By Lindsay Hardin Freeman
In preparing this issue, we put out a nationwide call to those working with youth: clergy, youth ministers, vestry members, etc.
By Brian N. Prior
When asked, “When did you know you were called to ordained ministry?” I always begin with the story of Mrs. White.
By Will Thompson
Nuts and bolts issues are more effectively and efficiently addressed when vestries focus first on key questions having to do with discernment and key values.
By John de Beer
How do you understand your purpose as a vestry member? How do you know what God wants of you during your term on the vestry – or in the rest of your life?
By Perry Fuller
The process of making such decisions have enormous capacity to bring together or tear apart vestries.
By John McClung and Mary McClung
How does true spiritual discernment work with nuts-and-bolts issues like vision statements and parish budgets?
By Dorothy Gibson with assistance from Barbara Larson
Given all that energy and the challenges of the time we live in, it feels like a good time to expand the opportunities for lay leadership beyond the church walls.
By Jane Patterson and John Lewis
How can you tell when a ministry is no longer viable?
By Mary Frances Schjonberg
Twenty-five years ago, two churches – one Episcopal, the other Lutheran – came together united by a common mission. Mary Frances Schjonberg shares their story.
By Liz Bartenstein with assistance from Melanie Mullen and Brian Levey
Believing that their role as faith leaders includes encouraging incarnational experiences of faith that connects one’s active civic life to their experience of worship, members of St. Paul’s in Richmond, Virginia asked themse…
By Bob Leopold crowd sourced with members of Southside
Out is where mission happens at Southside Abbey. Bob Leopold introduces us to a community church committed to lifting up hope where that hope has been obscured.
By Miguel Escobar
Miguel Escobar shares a tool that helps vestries and other leadership groups think through the strengths and weaknesses of an idea as a team.
By Blair Pogue
How might a congregation ‘refresh’ it’s spiritual identity, keeping it front and center in all that they do? “Ongoing Discernment: The Way of Jesus” by Blair Pogue shares how St. Matthew’s Episcopal Church keeps Christ at the…
By Greg Syler
“…What you see is simply bread and a cup. But your faith demands far subtler insight: the bread is Christ's body, the cup is Christ's blood. My friends, these realities are called sacraments because in them one thing is seen,…
By Maria Eugenia Giraldo
A common challenge church leaders face is identifying new leaders. María Eugenia Giraldo shares how she became a lay leader and helps us see the signs of a person who is eager to serve.
By Lucy Cabrera Montes
How a community cared for and supported the discernment of one of its members from a teenager to becoming a young adult and how she grew into becoming a leader in the Church.