4/17 Bohm Dialogue — “First Parish in 2030”

“It’s tough to make predictions, especially about the future.” ― Yogi Berra

“Ester asked why people are sad.
‘That’s simple,’ says the old man. ‘They are the prisoners of their personal history. Everyone believes that the main aim in life is to follow a plan. They never ask if that plan is theirs or if it was created by another person. They accumulate experiences, memories, things, other people’s ideas, and it is more than they can possibly cope with. And that is why they forget their dreams.’ ”
― Paulo Coelho, The Zahir

9. Move from revival to relevance: Having suggested 1 to 8, here is the kicker. As a church, it isn’t about reviving or redeveloping a dying or struggling church. It’s about being relevant in one’s community — visibly living out Christ’s presence in your neighborhood. Moving from the mindset of revival to relevance is vital to determining the future of the church. Revival can put the congregation’s focus inward to think about what to do to increase membership, increase tithes, and build the church back up to where it used to be. Relevance is about figuring out the current identity and gifts of the church now and matching that with the needs of the community. Relevance is not about survival, but about recognizing no matter the size of your congregation, Christ is calling you to use your gifts in a particular way for a particular reason. Sometimes, this does lead to a revival of the church in energy, in numbers, and in significance. Sometimes, it means recognizing that the ministry of the church exists beyond the actual existence of your congregation. Maybe it is time to bless other ministries or new church developments with your church building or financial assets. Maybe it is time for the legacy of your church to live on through the ministry of another. Being relevant causes us to not be selfish about what we want, but to also look at what Christ is calling us to do in ways we never could imagine possible.“ — From 10 Ways to Revive a Dying Church by Teresa Cho

“to be fearful of the disease and yet unwilling to pay for the cure is not just to be hypocritical; it is to be doomed. If you talk a good line without being changed by what you say, then you are not just hypocritical and doomed; you have become an agent of the disease” — Wendell Berry

“You never change things by fighting the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete.” — Buckminster Fuller

“Yesterday is gone. Tomorrow has not yet come. We have only today. Let us begin.” ― Mother Theresa

Bohm Dialogue is a freely-flowing group conversation in which participants attempt to reach a common understanding, experiencing everyone’s point of view fully, equally and nonjudgementally. This can lead to new and deeper understanding.

Join us to listen to what others think and to share what you think.  The Religious Exploration Salon is a group that meets 3rd Sundays to discuss various topics in the format called Bohm Dialogue which emphasizes respectful listening and balanced, synergistic sharing. For more details about how Dialogue works, please see this intro.

Everyone is welcome. You are welcome to think about the topic beforehand but no preparation is required or expected — come as you are with whatever thoughts/intuitions you have, ready to listen, learn and contribute.  We next meet Sunday April 17th at 7 pm via Zoom. Past attendees should receive an email with instructions. Or contact Tom Yelton  or Jan Hardenbergh  for instructions on how to join the Zoom meeting or for more information.