"There is no power equal to a community discerning what it cares about.”
--Organizational consultant and author Margaret Wheatley
Holy Conversations is a discernment process that the Church Council of Kessler Park United Methodist Church approved to help members answer three questions: Who are we? What is God calling us to do? Who are our neighbors?
The Holy Conversations Team consists of Michael Van Amburgh, Chuck Bealke, Jeff Chandler, Allison Garza, Bob Heard, Nell Lind, Cindy McSpadden, Missi Mulligan, Bill Nelson, Amy Palmer, Norlynn Price, and Eugenia Williams.
Discernment is a challenging process. Attempting to determine what God is calling the church to do is a humbling gift and responsibility. Team members have taken on this process with prayerful diligence while going through several wilderness experiences. This two-year process is an ongoing journey to discover how Kessler Park United Methodist Church of Dallas will respond to the world around us as we seek to make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world.
The challenge the team continues to be aware of is the fact that the role of the church in society for many individuals and families has changed. The attractional model - “If you build it, they will come” - was sufficient during a time when the cultural heritage and family habit of worshipping together each Sunday was the norm. That is no longer the pervasive culture in America; church is no longer the central focus of people’s daily lives. While more than 80 percent of Americans claim to belong to a religious denomination, and between 60 and 75 percent identify themselves as Christian, only 9 percent of Americans said their faith was the most important thing in their life. (More than 45 percent said family was paramount in their life and 17 percent said money and their career were most important, according to the 2008 American Religious Identification Survey, conducted by Trinity College in Hartford, Connecticut.)
The Holy Conversations team believes the response to that cultural change can be met by a Kessler Park United Methodist Church that provides temporal and spiritual care to its members and neighbors not only at the church buildings, but by a dedication to mission work that goes where people in need are found.
The team is confident that through the small group conversations currently being held and those that will be held with community leaders, we will get an understanding of how we can align ourselves with what God seeks to do in and through us. In my nearly two years as your pastor I have discovered that this church has been blessed with gifts and abilities that equip you to be bold, if you choose to do so.
The Holy Conversation team continues to covet your prayers in this ongoing journey. They seek your input. I invite and encourage you to attend one of the small conversation groups being offered. What we hear will help us as we continue to ask: Who are we? What is God calling us to do? Who are our neighbors?