The Resilient Church: Past - Present - Future

On May 8-11, Pastor Amanda, Sherry Graham, and Fred Asher attended a retreat/workshop at Camp Spalding in Washington to launch our participation in the Resilient Church Project.

The purpose of the workshop was to meet and discuss with several other churches (small and large) and from different areas of the country the future of the local church and its sustainability as a means of sharing the Gospel as religious affiliation and participation is on the decline in America. With the guidance of two experts - one in the sociology of religion and the other in historical theology - we discussed together what it might look like to be a resilient church in our ministry context in Coeur d'Alene.

Taking into account our individual church backgrounds and histories, we formulated that although we would all like to grow in numbers and attendance, these are not the only markers of a resilient church. Instead, we began to broaden our definition of resiliency by imagining what passing our faith onto the next generation and leaving a lasting legacy in our community could look like.

This retreat was just the beginning of a two-year process led by the Whitworth Office of Church Engagement. As we journey into the next few months of study and consultation, we welcome your questions and input! Please feel free to ask us about the project, the things we are learning, and our hopes for the next two years.
In next week's Messenger, we will introduce our Resilient Church Fellow - a Whitworth student who will be joining us for the summer to participate in the life of our congregation and take field notes that will help inform our church's conversations about the future.

In Christ,

Your Resilient Church Team: Fred Asher, Sherry Graham & Pastor Amanda

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