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Mission Study 2021

April 27, 2021
We are still collecting survey responses. Your opinion matters!
Click here to respond online.

The Mission Study Meetings have concluded. We are now working on summarizing and compiling information.

Mission Study Zoom Meetings Continue This Week of March 22, 2021 – (Last Week)

Thursday, March 25th, 7:pm –   
Zoom with Daphne Jones/Rusty Russ  – 6th Meeting

Sunday, March 21th, 9:30 am – 6th Meeting    
 Zoom with Berta Murray/Bob Gorman
 Zoom with Suzanne James/Donna Trest
 Zoom with Charlie Libert/Barbara Montague
 Zoom with Pastor Laura /Mike Claxton

Mission Study Zoom Meetings Continue This Week of March 15, 2021

Monday March 15th, 7:30pm –
Zoom with Wendy Hughes/Jane Townsend – 6th Meeting

Tuesday March 16th,  7:00pm –
Zoom with Mabel Winslow/Deb Wingfield – 6th Meeting

Wednesday, March 17th,
6:00pm
 –  Zoom with Bill Miller/Don Kauffman – 6th Meeting
7:00pm –  Gather with Susanne Pierce/Ed Carter – 6th Meeting

Thursday, March 18th  5pm –     
Zoom with Betsy Braddock/Dave Green – 6th Meeting
Zoom with Marvin Stackhouse/Ryan Smithwick – 6th Meeting

Thursday, March 18th, 7:pm –   
Zoom with Daphne Jones/Rusty Russ  – 5th Meeting – Canceled

Friday, March 19th  10:00 am – 
Zoom with Dick Wilson/Gail Thomas – 6th Meeting
Zoom with Sally Gunn/Susan Alley – 6th Meeting

Sunday, March 21th, 9:30 am – 5th Meeting    
 Zoom with Berta Murray/Bob Gorman
 Zoom with Suzanne James/Donna Trest
 Zoom with Charlie Libert/Barbara Montague
 Zoom with Pastor Laura /Mike Claxton

Mission Study Zoom Meetings Continue This Week of March 8, 2021

The following Mission Study Group Meetings are Scheduled for this week:

Monday March 8th, 7:30pm –
Zoom with Wendy Hughes/Jane Townsend – 5th Meeting

Tuesday March 9th,  7:00pm –
Zoom with Mabel Winslow/Deb Wingfield – 5th Meeting

Wednesday, March 10th,
6:00pm
 –  Zoom with Bill Miller/Don Kauffman – 5th Meeting
7:00pm –  Gather with Susanne Pierce/Ed Carter – 5th Meeting

Thursday, March 11th  5pm –     
Zoom with Betsy Braddock/Dave Green – 5th Meeting
Zoom with Marvin Stackhouse/Ryan Smithwick – 5th Meeting

Thursday, March 11th, 7:pm –   
Zoom with Daphne Jones/Rusty Russ  – 4th Meeting

Friday, March 12th  10:00 am – 
Zoom with Dick Wilson/Gail Thomas – 5th Meeting
Zoom with Sally Gunn/Susan Alley – 5th Meeting

Sunday, March 14th, 9:30 am – 4th Meeting    
 Zoom with Berta Murray/Bob Gorman
 Zoom with Suzanne James/Donna Trest
 Zoom with Charlie Libert/Barbara Montague
 Zoom with Pastor Laura /Mike Claxton

Mission Study Zoom Meetings Continue This Week of March 1, 2021

The following Mission Study Group Meetings are Scheduled for this week:

Monday March 1st, 7:30pm –
Zoom with Wendy Hughes/Jane Townsend – 4th Meeting

Tuesday March 2nd,  7:00pm –
Zoom with Mabel Winslow/Deb Wingfield – 4th Meeting

Wednesday, March 3rd,
6:00pm
 –  Zoom with Bill Miller/Don Kauffman – 4th Meeting
7:00pm –  Gather with Susanne Pierce/Ed Carter – 4th Meeting

Thursday, March 4th  5pm –     
Zoom with Betsy Braddock/Dave Green – 4th Meeting
Zoom with Marvin Stackhouse/Ryan Smithwick – 4th Meeting

Thursday, March 5th, 7:pm –   
Zoom with Daphne Jones/Rusty Russ  – 3rd Meeting

Friday, March 6th  10:00 am – 
Zoom with Dick Wilson/Gail Thomas – 4th Meeting
Zoom with Sally Gunn/Susan Alley – 4th Meeting

Sunday, March 7th, 9:30 am – 3rd Meeting    
 Zoom with Berta Murray/Bob Gorman
 Zoom with Suzanne James/Donna Trest
 Zoom with Charlie Libert/Barbara Montague
 Zoom with Pastor Laura /Mike Claxton

February 27, 2021Looking under the hood – Marks 3 and 4

And the Word became flesh and lived among us…
With those words, just 14 verses into his gospel, John made clear that God’s love wasn’t theoretical or ephemeral. It was tangible. Flesh and blood real and right there among us.  Alive and vibrant and life-giving!

The church – as a whole and as individual congregations – is meant to be the tangible, flesh and blood embodiment of that same love in our own time.  When we are, the communities we serve experience the church as life-giving, even as the Spirit breathes ever more life and vibrancy into its members. 

It may seem counter-intuitive, but focusing on making God’s love real for those outside the church – for their sake and for God’s glory – is key to bringing vitality to the congregation.

Partly because turning outward reminds us of our own journeys toward the cross and into a deeper relationship with God. And partly because we need everyone engaging their gifts, taking turns in offering leadership, encouragement, care, and elbow grease. 

Making disciples, being authentic bearers of good news, looking outward to what the world needs… we’re only halfway through a list and already that feels like more than any one pastor (or staff or session) could do on their own.  And it should. 

Jesus also modeled how to empower leaders.

This is why Jesus invested in so many people who were learning to follow in his ways. Even as he focused on his core group of 12 leaders who would be the apostles, we read about many others who were sent out to heal and teach. 

As you are out and about, watch for places God might be at work… where we might join in.  

CLICK HERE to watch a video that describes these marks in more detail.


Your Questions Answered

Q:  I missed out one or more of my group’s meetings. Should I go to the next meeting? 
A: Absolutely!  And because the Sunday morning group started later than the others, you can still be part of conversations you missed. Or jump in with any group that is on the session you would like to join. You can see the weekly schedule HERE

Q: I’ve heard and read the word marginalized, talking about people on the margins.  What does that mean?
A: It helps to think about margins we leave on a page. Printers used them to avoid losing content (words or images) on the edges as pages were cut, folded or bound. The same is true for art when it is framed. 

We can think about people and groups or communities (or even cultures and nations) this way, too. There are those who are very definitely “in” and highly engaged and an important part of the whole (in the middle of a page) and there are others who find a way to connect and participate, but aren’t a focus of the group.  

And then there are those who wind up in the margins… they may be unwanted, uninvited or unnoticed. They may have started “in” but found themselves pushed outward, or may have chosen to back off. In strictly social terms, this can be lonely. But it can also be dangerous, Folks who find themselves with no friends or family, with no support system are more likely to be without work, shelter or access to help. 

People are sometimes marginalized for being different from the majority or “norm” in their setting. This can be anything from gender to sexuality, skin color, appearance of wealth or poverty, disabilities that people are uncomfortable looking at or hearing, or the religion they practice. 

In churches, we tend to think that people who aren’t very engaged are just shy or even standoffish.  But there may be unspoken ways that a congregation communicates who belongs and who would be less welcome. Looking for those who are on the edges or in the margins can give us insight into ways we might be more careful about welcoming and supporting all of God’s children. 

Survey Time!
In addition to our group conversations, the mission study will also include information about our community and direct feedback from you and your household.  

The button below will take you to a survey that includes a wide variety of questions. Some will give us a picture of our membership, others will reflect how we see the church and still others are related to pastoral leadership.  

It is fairly comprehensive, so please set aside a good bit of time, so that you can complete it. If you would prefer a paper copy to fill out, please contact the office.  We’ll make sure you get one.  

Survey Link: https://forms.gle/6Xh5vv2dHgq6LdUv7


February 22, 2021 – Mission Study Groups this Week

The following Mission Study Group Meetings are Scheduled for this week:

Monday February 22nd, 7:30pm
Zoom with Wendy Hughes/Jane Townsend – 3rd Meeting

Tuesday February 23rd,  7:00pm –
Zoom with Mabel Winslow/Deb Wingfield – 3rd Meeting

Wednesday, February 24th,
6:00pm
 –  Zoom with Bill Miller/Don Kauffman – 3rd Meeting
7:00pm –  Gather with Susanne Pierce/Ed Carter – Combined 2nd and 3rd Meeting

Thursday, February 25th  5pm –     
Zoom with Betsy Braddock/Dave Green – 3rd Meeting
Zoom with Marvin Stackhouse/Ryan Smithwick – 3rd Meeting

Thursday, February 25th, 7:pm –   
Zoom with Daphne Jones/Rusty Russ  – 2nd Meeting

Friday, February 26th  10:00 am – 
Zoom with Dick Wilson/Gail Thomas – 3rd Meeting
Zoom with Sally Gunn/Susan Alley – 3rd Meeting

Sunday, February 28th, 9:30 am – 2nd Meeting    
 Zoom with Berta Murray/Bob Gorman
 Zoom with Suzanne James/Donna Trest
 Zoom with Charlie Libert/Barbara Montague
 Zoom with Pastor Laura /Mike Claxton

Go and make disciples…

February 19, 2021

Jesus started his commissioning statement by giving his followers the authority they would need, and then made clear what they were to do.

Go – just as they were, with all their faults and their faltering stories of understanding who Jesus was

Make disciples- gather up more people who would also follow Jesus

How? By telling those stories, inviting them to turn from their old lives and live into a new one. Then baptizing and teaching them all that Jesus taught and commanded them. 

Did it work – that commission?  Oh, yes. 
The miraculous start and growth of the early church (as described in the book of Acts) is proof that when we are making (forming) disciples of all ages, they can’t help but share what God has done for them (evangelism). 

Gatherings of Christ-followers became as life-giving as they were life-changing for the ones who were worshiping, learning and then going, as well as for the communities around them 

In what ways are we assuring that disciples of all ages are challenged and inspired to know God more?  And how are we equipping them to invite others into the family of God? 

I look forward to hearing from you and your group conversations! 

The video above discusses the first two facets of church life we’re discussing in groups.

Your Questions Answered

Q:  Why would we talk about “Discipleship Formation”?  Isn’t that simply Christian Education? 
A: Formation goes beyond the traditional bounds of what we think of as Christian Education. We are shaped by all that we experience in life, which means that discipleship can take many forms – a mentoring relationship in the workplace, a strong connection between a scouting troop and the church, families in which multiple generations do devotions together.  

And because we are shaped by where we live, work and play, vital churches also support members’ efforts to learn about the historical and current concerns of their community, then ask “what does our faith call us to do?”

Q: Why are we talking so much about scriptures?  Aren’t we supposed to be talking about the church?
A:  These groups are one example of what disciple  formation looks like – a small group, considering what God has to say about specific topics. God speaks to us through prayer, scripture, and community, all of which are built into the session plans (and your homework… to pray for all of us!).  

What to Expect Soon:
As we move onward in our group conversations, you will also have an opportunity to complete a survey.  Kathy and I will work on having them available electronically and in print. More details on timing to follow. 

February 15, 2021 – Mission Study Groups for this Week

The following Mission Study Group Meetings are Scheduled for this week:

Monday February 15th, 7:30pm –
Zoom with Wendy Hughes/Jane Townsend – 2nd Meeting

Tuesday February 16th,  7:00pm –
Zoom with Mabel Winslow/Deb Wingfield – 2nd Meeting

Wednesday, February 17th,
6:00pm
 –  Zoom with Bill Miller/Don Kauffman – Second Meeting
7:00pm –  Gather with Susanne Pierce/Ed Carter – Second Meeting Cancelled Will combine Session 2 with Session 3 next week.

Thursday, February 18th  5pm –     
Zoom with Betsy Braddock/Dave Green – Second Meeting
Zoom with Marvin Stackhouse/Ryan Smithwick – Second Meeting

Thursday, February 18th, 7:pm –   
Zoom with Daphne Jones/Rusty Russ  – First Meeting

Friday, February 19th  10:00 am – 
Zoom with Dick Wilson/Gail Thomas – Second Meeting
Zoom with Sally Gunn/Susan Alley – Second Meeting

Sunday, February 21, 9:30 am – First Meeting    
 Zoom with Berta Murray/Bob Gorman
 Zoom with Suzanne James/Donna Trest
 Zoom with Charlie Libert/Barbara Montague
 Zoom with Pastor Laura /Mike Claxton

Let’s Learn and Listen Together

February 12, 2021

We’re on a mission… to complete a mission study. This step is a big one on the way to calling a pastor, but I’ve always thought that every church would benefit from doing this work every so often.  

The end goal of a mission study isn’t to write a mission statement. The end goal is actually a document that reflects. Who makes up our congregation. What we are passionate about using our gifts and energy to accomplish. Who lives and works in the communities surrounding us. What needs exist in those communities that God might be calling us to address. In other words, we are learning and listening for our calling, our mission…. the holy work that lies at the intersection of the communities’ needs and our congregation’s gifts, passions and resources.

This work will not only set up the PNC for success, it will help us prepare all the ways we will come together to be the church as the weight of the pandemic lifts. 

I’ve unpacked this a little more fully in this video

Your Questions Answered

Q: I missed out on the first meeting my Care Group did.  Should I just not bother? 
A: No… definitely not! You can jump in for any or all of the remaining sessions with your group.  Or any group for that matter.  You can catch any of the sessions you miss on Sunday mornings (those groups are starting later for this very purpose).  

If your care group’s time isn’t working for you, find one that does.  The master list is here.  

Q: Why are we doing all these group meetings?  Isn’t there a faster or easier way? 
A: My experiences as a member and friend of congregations in transition, and conversations with colleagues in many contexts indicate that faster and easier aren’t always the most effective ways to prepare for a successful search.

I have found that breaking the content into specific areas of study help all of us look more broadly at the work of the church and dig deeper – beyond our own habits and patterns to see and hear what others need and desire.

Even if we could gather in larger groups, I’d be encouraging smaller conversation groups so that everyone has a chance to speak (even the shy ones who wouldn’t in a Town Hall setting)

Q: OK, that makes sense, but how does all this talking  help a PNC get us a pastor?  
Compiling the information from many voices will give us a fuller picture of what the congregation as a whole is experiencing and is hoping for in the future. The report  our current reality, concerns and opportunities. And it will point us to some follow up questions:

  • What new and/or continuing efforts  are members of the congregation willing to invest time, energy and financial resources to pursue (long enough to establish them)? 
  • What kind of pastoral leadership will help the congregation move forward in those mission efforts? 

Those are the big ideas that our PNC will want to communicate with pastoral candidates with clarity and integrity.  Our work of learning and listening these next several weeks will directly and beautifully support their work of discernment, as well. 

Q: Why are we doing this now, rather than after the Pastor Nominating Committee is formed?
A:  Based on our particular congregation in this particular time, the preference of the presbytery’s Committee on Ministry was for us to complete the study first.  

Learn and Listen: Mission Study Groups Have Launched!

February 8, 2021

Our deacons and elders are teaming up to facilitate Learn & Listen small group sessions with members over the next several weeks. These conversations are an important step in preparing a  report that describes who Shallotte Presbyterian Church is today and what work God is inviting SPC to pursue in the coming years.     

We’re hoping care groups can also use this time to get to know each other, so you’ll be invited by your deacon and elder to join them for 6 sessions.

If your group’s  day and time won’t work for you, please note the other options on the schedule below and invite yourself to one that works. Dates listed are for the FIRST session of each group.

Monday February 8th, 7:30pm – Zoom with Wendy Hughes/Jane Townsend

Tuesday February 9th,  7:00pm – Zoom with Mabel Winslow/Deb Wingfield

Wednesday, February 10th, 6:00pm –  Zoom with Bill Miller/Don Kauffman
                                               7:00pm –  Gather with Susanne Pierce/Ed Carter

Thursday, February 11th  5pm –       Zoom with Betsy Braddock/Dave Green
                                                   Zoom with Marvin Stackhouse/Ryan Smithwick                  
 Thursday, February 18th, 7:pm –   Zoom with Daphne Jones/Rusty Russ

Friday, February 12th  10:00 am –  Zoom with Dick Wilson/Gail Thomas
                                                          Zoom with Sally Gunn/Susan Alley

Sunday, February 21, 9:30 am       Zoom with Berta Murray/Bob Gorman
                                                        Zoom with Suzanne James/Donna Trest
                                                         Zoom with Charlie Libert/Barbara Montague
                                                          Zoom with Pastor Laura /Mike Claxton

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