On Saturday, June 1, several leaders from OlyPres attended a conference with Alan Roxburgh sponsored by the ELCA. I've heard Alan speak often and have worked with him for over two years in The Missional Network. But he said something that surprised me...pleasantly! He shared with over 15o pastors and lay leaders the result of a Lilly-funded study he had done to discover "the key to missional transformation of the church." He said the conclusion is that "the key to missional transformation is the mid-level judicatory." In plain English (for Presbyterian churches like ours) the key to missional transformation is THE PRESBYTERY! When I heard that, I looked across the aisle at Sue Watkins, the moderator of OlyPres, and we gave each other a big thumbs up! We're on the right track! We're even a few steps ahead of a lot of churches out there! Our OlyPres vision and trajectory solidly says that our presbytery is willing to do what it takes to "nurture missional congregations and missional leaders!"
We have much to learn and far to go. But we have started down the road. Led by the Spirit, we will discern together what God is up to in our communities. And we will join God in God's mission. That will change our communities, our churches, and us!