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People of God called St. Paul,
Read the Listening Campaign Report first. Here, I’ll focus on “What next?”
At the Listening Campaign Brunch, Jeannette Klare was adamant we use this report to take action. “Are we just going to put this report on a dusty shelf, or are we going to do something?” Jeannette asked this, and I didn’t even slip her any cash before the meeting!
Of all five suggested next steps, Jeannette is most passionate about reducing homelessness in Clinton. So she agreed to set a date and host a meeting of people who are interested in the same thing.
The story, Stone Soup, is the example I shared at the brunch. In that story, the main character is not a master chef. Instead, he goes door to door with a stone and says, “I’m making stone soup. Will you help me?” And the people say, “I don’t know how.” And he answers, “Well, what do you have?” And they say, “carrots” or “tomatoes” or “celery.” And he says, “Great! That’s an ingredient we need! Get it and let’s go make stone soup.”
Jeannette isn’t claiming to be an expert on reducing homelessness. She’s just bringing her stone—her interest in doing something about homelessness—and asking others with the same interest to come and share what they have.
At that same brunch, several others committed to hosting meetings about the other four suggestions. Below, I’ll share all those meeting topics, dates, times, and hosts.
Come to the meetings you have an interest in. If in your one-to-one conversation with a listening team member, you mentioned your interest in one of these topics, you can expect a personal invitation.
If you’re interested, and you can’t make that date and time, be in touch with a host!
What can you expect at these meetings? Expect them to take about hour. Here’s a sample agenda:
After taking action, we step back and reflect on what we learned. Then based on this, we take action again, then reflect again…act, reflect, act, reflect…and so on. This is called the Action-Reflection Model.
The most important challenges in life don’t come with instruction manuals. Trial and error is the only way humans learn. It’s also the only way congregations make progress on their toughest problems.
Jesus’ ministry ended in failure—the cross. And right there, it also began again. In other words, it’s okay with God if we don’t get it right the first time. Jesus says, “Follow me!”
Thanks be to God.
Pastor Clark Olson-Smith
715 South Third Street, Clinton, IA 52732
at the foot of the south bridge