Report on Spiritual Retreat on Discipleship

UUMC Spiritual Retreat on Discipleship

January 9, 2016 9:00 AM – 11:45 AM, Trinity Presbyterian Church Chapel

Open meeting with particular invitations to members of Leadership Council, Ministry Team, Administrative Team and Nominations and Leadership Development Team  

Nineteen people attended.

The Order of Events

We opened with welcome and introductions, followed by Morning Prayers.

Nominations of Joel Emery as Co-Chair of the Mission and Social Justice Team, and Sam Jamieson as Recording Secretary were presented by Rev. Diane from the Nominations Team, and referred on for approval at the next Leadership Council meeting.

After taking advantage of the bagels and coffee, we entered into a time of Holy Conversation / Appreciative Inquiry, paring off to interview each other on two questions:

  1. Examining your life, recall a person who showed you what it meant to be a disciple

  2. How is God calling you to grow?

We convened as a whole to discuss and dialog, asking:

  1. What did we discover?

  2. What is discipleship?

  3. What did we dream for ourselves and others?

  4. How is God calling us (individually) to grow?

  5. How is God calling us collectively to grow?

The extensive detailed comments written on the whiteboard follow below the body of these minutes.

We ended with consideration of specific charges to the Ministry Team and Leadership Council (in addition to general consideration of the comments)  in response:

  1. Leadership Council to review Mission Statement and Tag Line comments, with the aim of closing the gap between Tag Line and the full Mission Statement, thoughtful reflection on the Mission Statement in guiding our priorities, and increasing congregational attention to the Mission.

  2. Ministry Team to consider the comments on engaging members in discipleship through missions and service, and encourage higher levels of engagement.

The meeting concluded with Rev. Diane and Isabelle leading us in Baptismal Reaffirmation and Communion and benediction.

Tom Mitchell, Lay Leader (Ministry Focus) and recorder for the retreat


Contributions to the Spiritual Retreat on Discipleship

Encounters that influenced us in becoming Disciples?

  • Adults working with youth
  • Parents
  • Adult role models
  • Seeing good things and imperfections in others
  • Lots of categories of people
  • People who shared stories
  • People who listened to us
  • People we could ask questions of
  • People with open eye, ears, and minds
  • Adults witnessing their discipleship and engaging us in dialog
  • People with passion
  • Ones who know how to live life (In a Christian, moral, spiritual, etc. way)
  • Realizing life is a journey, and that there are many paths
  • People exhibiting humility
  • People who exhibit being fully present

How are we called to Discipleship?

  • To listen
  • To listen to needs
  • To help those who want a community of love
  • Reaching out to those with needs
  • Working for social justice
  • Engaging people in service
  • Interacting with others and connecting
  • Self-reflect on our own service
  • Showing loving-kindness
  • Modeling how to love and serve
  • (Without coercing)
  • Look again at who we are, where we are, what is about us
  • Plant seeds, with patience
  • We are not called to be accountants, but called to be faithful
  • Look to our gifts
  • Reminder that Gifts not equal to Talents

How are we called to Grow?

  • In one-on-one service
  • Be fully present to others
  • Focus on helping the unhoused
  • Go outside our comfort zone in meeting and serving others
  • Use our individual spiritual gifts
  • Grow in our diverse gifts and diverse ministries
  • Lean into ambiguity, instead of pulling away
  • Attend to feelings of being pulled forward without knowing the particulars
  • Grow in group mission, as well as individual mission

What is Discipleship?

  • Something we a compelled to do by God
  • Follow Jesus
  • Serve
  • Have long-term persistence
  • Humility
  • Playfulness and curiosity
  • Study
  • Sharing the message

What is the call to UUMC?

  • Integrate all ages
  • Teach people and excite them
  • Tutoring
  • Flagship ministry
  • Engage international community
  • Help people discern more ministry opportunities
  • Re-look at who we are?
  • Re-dream our mission
  • Recite and remember our Mission often
  • Find a summary for our Mission
  • Deal with the gap between Tag Line and Mission
  • Consider the addition of “We Build Relationships”