Over the last few months, nearly half the congregation has joined together to talk, pray, and discern how to use the $1.6 million LaSalle received as a part of the Atrium Village sale. As this is happening, we also have formed a “Loaves & Fishes Leadership Council” to carefully consider the input of the congregation and our wider community and move us toward a decision.
The Leadership Council is an 11 person group (see below for names) that will meet over the next seven months to collect and explore ideas, discern, and make a recommendation for the project or projects we believe LaSalle should pursue. Our recommendation will go before the Elder Board, and eventually to the congregation in June.
We anticipate that our work will break down into three primary phases:
- Phase 1 – October through late January: collecting ideas from the congregation and community
- Phase 2 – February through April: prayerfully evaluating ideas
- Phase 3 – May and June: consensus building toward a final recommendation
Our committee was fairly quick to identify those phases and the timeline: it is much harder to figure out how we will accomplish this. We know input from the prayer schools will be vitally important. It has been already: groups have raised a handful of “million dollar ideas” for our consideration, and (equally importantly) have given us words to keep in mind as we consider various opportunities. These words include sustainability, risk, history, justice, and being a bridge.
We’d like to take these ideas and themes and go a layer deeper and a mile wider. On December 7th, following the congregational meeting, we’ll introduce our plan for further engaging the ideas, passions and energy of our church and our wider community.
Throughout the entire process, we’ll work diligently to keep the whole congregation informed. I’ll write this column monthly, and you’ll find regular updates in the Life + Times and bulletin, and in announcements at services. You also may reach out to any of the council members with questions, ideas or concerns.
For me, this process has been a crash course in discernment. I’ve learned that it’s less of a process and more of a lifestyle; that its objective is to desire what God desires; and that a discernment process rarely ends with certainty: stepping out in faith is almost always required. Most importantly, I’ve learned that discernment can’t be done alone. We need you in this process from start to finish. Thank you for being a part of this remarkable point in LaSalle’s history.
Chair of the Loaves & Fishes Leadership Council
Scott Blim – P&F Committee
Amber Johnson – Chair of the Leadership Council
Linda Jones – Moderator of the LaSalle Board
Peg Paugh – Elder at Large
View email addresses for the Council members here.