Discernment Team Underway


As I wrote about in last week’s post, I attended the Worship & Music Conference in Montreat in late June.  One of the classes I attended was led by renowned pastor and professor, Roger Nishioka.  The class was advertised as a preaching class, but had many connections with general congregational life.

In this class, Roger shares that there are two qualities that are needed in the church today: resilience and imagination.  Authors Andrew Zolli and Ann Marie Healy define resilience (in their book of the same name) as: the ability of an individual or an organization to maintain their core purpose and integrity in the face of dramatically changing circumstances.  Roger argued that in order for congregations to live into this resilience, it would require imagination, creativity, and an openness to the movement of the Holy Spirit.

Starmount Presbyterian Church has certainly endured its fair share of change and transformation over the last few years.  Not only has it endured a change in pastoral leadership, but it also faces the changing dynamics of the larger culture in which the nature of church participation has shifted. However, while circumstances around us may be changing, our desire to be a congregation that is faithful to our God-given calling is as strong as ever.

I am excited to share with you some of the ways that we as a collective body will be attempting to learn more about our core purpose in the coming months and discovering some priorities that might align and direct our work over the next few years.  The Session has been studying these issues over the last year and we are now ready to expand this conversation to include the broader congregation.

A “Discernment Team” has been formed in order to facilitate these conversations.  The members of this team are: Current Elders, Slade Lewis and Ginger Walton, and at-large members, Kevin Kattmann, Linda Anderson, Steve Blackwood, Steve Royal, Frances Gallagher, Laura Hunt, and Betty Wade.

It might be helpful to think of the work of this group as a continuation of the good work that was conducted by the Transition Team a few years ago.  Using the findings of the Mission Study as a foundation, the Discernment Team will now focus on identifying strategic goals or priorities that will direct our work moving forward.  Like with the Mission Study, this process will require input from the congregation so that we might discern a true collective vision for what God might be calling our congregation to focus its energy and resources on in the next 2-3 years.

The Discernment Team has just begun its initial meetings, and I am excited by the collective energy and wisdom of this group.  In the coming months, you will begin to hear about ways you can participate in this process.

I am excited about the future of this congregation, and I hope that you are too.  Please join me in praying that God may grant us ears and hearts to listen for our collective calling as a church, and that we may have the courage to be faithful in that calling.

In Christ,
Charlie Lee



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