The Future Initiatives Group has been a beehive of activity throughout 2010. The current members, Ann Elizabeth Barnes, Fiona Gold, Cindy Hindes, Carol Kelly, Patrick Kennedy, and Oliver Steinrueck, were joined by two new members, Anna Claire Novotny (Spring Valley) and Eileen King (Washington DC), who has agreed to join us at our next meeting. The group has been meeting twice a year, most recently in Los Angeles, CA and Spring Valley, NY, and has had numerous teleconferences during the year. And like bees in the winter that exchange sing song, much discussion was had, and like bees in the summer, scouts have been flying all over North America searching for nectar. Funny how searching for future directions brings you smack, kerplop into the present. Here is a summary of projects to date. If you have extra energy, ideas and enthusiasm sparked by any of these projects, please get in touch with anyone on the Future Initiatives Group.
• Organizational Structures Much energy this year was devoted to clarifying the structure of FIG and how it collaborates, works with and responds to the Synod, the Regional Board, congregations and affiliates. Many thanks to Robbie Forkish who organized us on Google Docs and set up means of discussing topics on-line.
• Public Faces Survey
We wrapped up our first project, which was a survey that was sent to all congregations in North America. This project arose as a response to the question of how easy/difficult is it to find The Christian Community; are we outwardly visible? Do we present an attractive countenance in our larger communities? How are communities using: telephone listings, advertising venues, the Internet, websites, and signage? If you would like a copy of the report you can e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
• The North American Website The North American Christian Community website is getting a facelift, thanks to a donation from the Boston congregation. Again, many thanks to Robbie Forkish who started this initiative. Jonah Evans, Markus Knausenberger, and Sanford Miller have been working together with a contracted company Intergalactico in order to modernize the site. They are working on structural changes, aesthetics and content. It is a huge undertaking and the group had the opportunity to see the first drafts. An exciting venture – more to come! Also check out The Christian Community on Facebook!
Community Visits Almost all the congregations in North America have been visited by at least one member of the Future Initiatives Group. Members will still visit Toronto, Denver, Chicago, New York and Taconic Berkshire. We are collecting people’s ideas, dreams and visions of the future of the Christian Community Movement. Stay tuned to hear what is emerging out of the current membership. If you have ideas, please contact us.
Traveling Priest Lecture Series Every now and then, an e-mail arrives called TPLS. This stands for Traveling Priest Lecture Series—a very exciting venture funded by the Pamphalon Foundation. Richard Dancey is the first priest to head off on a Southern States lecture tour organized by Lark Bergwin-Anderson of the DC congregation. (Watch for jambalaya recipes and tales of alligators). If anyone would like to write a blog following Richard on his tour throughout the States, please contact us.
• Why not Advertise? Once the new website is up, The Christian Community regional movement will look at running ads in various journals, periodicals and magazines such as Lilipoh, and Evolving News, for starters. The ads would contain a link to the website. We are putting together a proposal for funding.
Music Library A music sharing project! Thanks to Colleen Shepherd’s proposal (a member of the DC congregation), the group set the wheels in motion and Michael Brewer has agreed to help oversee the collecting, transcription and archiving of music together with Colleen. Music for events, festivals and children/youth camps will be shareable between congregations. Perhaps, in the future, there will be the possibility of purchasing camp songbooks on-line. Some individuals have donated to this project. If you are interested in supporting this initiative, please contact a group member.
And deep in the beehive, members of the group are giving great thought to: What is happening in the world? What are people seeking? And we would like to invite you to join us in this exploration.
What are other churches doing out there in the world? What are they offering that gets the most response?
What are the religion and spirituality newsfeeds of the day? What is the spirituality exciting younger people?
Who are the modern American Christian voices out there? Who are Shane Clayborne, Pastor Melissa, Krista Tippett, Parker Palmer and the Homeboy Industries? What is the Soulfest Christian Music Festival?
Write to us: Let us know what you think and feel!
Ann-Elizabeth Barnes, Taconic NY/ Berkshire MA, annelizbarnes@ gmail.com, Carol Kelly, Spring Valley NY, email@example.com, Cindy Hindes, Los Angeles CA, firstname.lastname@example.org, or 10029 Densmore Ave, North Hills, CA, 91-343, 818 893 0668 Fiona Gold, Vancouver BC, email@example.com, Oliver Steinrueck, San Francisco CA, firstname.lastname@example.org, Patrick Kennedy Washington DC, email@example.com, Anna Claire Novotny, Spring Valley NY, firstname.lastname@example.org, Eileen King, Washington DC, Kingeil656@aol.com