At Riverside’s Semi-Annual Meeting in June, the Leadership Team shared that we would like to update the congregation on our facilities’ discussions every month. Our goal is to keep everyone in the loop and to provide an opportunity for your feedback.
The Leadership Team has been working through a book entitled, “Pursuing God’s Will Together” for the past several months and has used our prayer and discussion times to think about our process for discerning God’s will about our facility needs. This past week we spent time discussing “holy indifference.” “Holy indifference” is a gift given by God, which allows us to move beyond what we want and to a place where we can be open to whatever God may want. Jesus sought God’s will in this way in the garden. (Matthew 26:39) Our goal is to set aside our egos, personal opinions, and personal preferences about our facilities so that we can desire God’s will together – nothing more, nothing less, nothing else. This takes self-awareness and intentional prayer. The Leadership Team is committed to this and we ask you to be as well.
Are you indifferent to anything but the will of God? Ask God to search your heart and give you self-knowledge about where you might be attached to anything other than God’s will. If you are indifferent, thanks be to God. If not, don’t judge yourself; just notice it with compassion. If you are willing to do so, ask, what needs to die in me in order for the will of God to find room in my life? What do I need to let go of in order to be “holy indifferent” and to receive some new gift of God?
The Leadership Team has continued to gather information from our Children’s and Youth Ministries about their current facility usage and their needs into the future. We have also talked with other ministries and learned more about other facility limitations. As we have done this, we have also heard many things that people appreciate about our current facility.
In recent weeks we have also identified an existing facility that could potentially meet our space needs and provide adequate space for future growth. We are in the process of identifying a firm price on this property to see whether it would make economic sense to present to the congregation as an option. We continue to keep our eyes open for other existing buildings that might be suitable too. If you have any ideas, please let us know.
We are also examining the potential cost of constructing a new facility. To get helpful numbers involves identifying our space needs and working with architectural and building professionals to give us estimates of what a new building might cost.
As always, no decisions will be made without congregational conversations and discernment. We covet your prayers and ideas and will continue to keep you informed. If you have any questions or input, please do not hesitate to contact the Riverside Leadership Team at [email protected]
Riverside Leadership Team
Source: Barton, Ruth Haley. Pursuing God’s Will Together: A Discernment Practice for Leadership Groups. Downers Grove, Illinois: InterVarsity Press, 2012. Print.
Other helpful documents:
Recap of January 2013 Riverside Congregational Meeting