Friday, January 21, 2011

Property Task Force 2.0

Last night the second round of our Presbytery’s Property Task Force met at the offices of Chain of Lakes Church. The first round of the Property Task Force identified some properties in our geographical area that would suit the long-term needs of Chain of Lakes Church. The charge to the second round of this group is to bring a piece of property and a viable funding plan to our Presbytery for approval.

In the Presbyterian Church the wider Presbytery historically purchases the property for new churches. The local congregation then holds the property in trust for the Presbytery. The local congregation is then responsible for paying for the buildings on the property.

Last night I shared an opening prayer for the group. As I prayed I shared that I felt like Abram going off on a journey. We don’t know exactly where we are going or how we are going to get there, but we trust that God is present to us and is leading us every step of the way. The new tagline of our Presbytery is “fearlessly following the Holy Spirit into a changing world.” This Property Task Force will test our Presbytery’s willingness to live into this tagline.

I don’t believe that a piece of property or a building is ultimately important for a congregation. What ultimately is important for us at Chain of Lakes is that we live fully into the Purpose Statement which God gave to us. However I do believe that a piece of property poorly chosen and/or a building poorly designed can hamper a congregation for decades.

At the end of the meeting last night I experienced this wonderful appreciation for the connectionalism of the Presbyterian system. We did have four people from Chain of Lakes at the meeting, and we had three people (and three others who didn’t attend) who are from the wider Presbytery. The three people from outside of Chain of Lakes who attended last night were fully engaged and invested in the conversations we held. They weren’t present to help their local congregations or to receive any benefit for themselves. They were present to help a new, forming Presbyterian congregation. They represented the best of who we are as Presbyterians.

Abram fearlessly followed—I think we can too!

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