Reimagining Church

Thriving Congregations Initiative: New Models for the 21st Century

A Glorious Mystery

By Jane Chick

When I first heard about Reimagining the Church and that our church (Zion Episcopal, North Branford) was applying to be a part of it, I thought “fantastic!”. We’re a small church that has so much spirit and love and we do our best to share what we have with anyone who needs a helping hand; yet we could use some help with getting that out past the red doors. 

Then I learned that Zion had been chosen to be one of the churches to participate, that we would have a third year seminary student to mentor us and help us identify our gifts and then develop a plan to use those gifts to better serve God and our neighbors. Spectacular! I was thrilled to be a part of this wonderful opportunity and more than ready to take a new path in my faith journey. 

When the first dates were set for us to begin, I had family commitments that prevented me from attending the first workshop and our group’s first gathering, so I felt somewhat disconnected from the process. Then we had to develop our group norms, which seemed to be taking forever, and as I listened to the conversations during these meetings, I was feeling like we were never going to move past the way things have always been done at Zion – I was discouraged. 

Then we attended the second workshop with Tyler Sitt and I was in awe. In awe of Tyler’s devotion to Jesus, his community, his overwhelming spirit. And that spirit seemed to permeate our group; I could feel a unique Zion spirit coming alive within all of us. I couldn’t wait to meet again and see where this renewed Spirit would take us.

During the next few gatherings, we each took turns sharing a personal Zion moment, a time when we knew this was where we belonged. Everyone spoke from their hearts and I think we all listened deeply. These were sacred moments, and as I reflect on those moments it brings tears to my eyes, the power of the Spirit overtaking me.  

And now I can’t wait to see where the Spirit will take us over the next six months. To steal a quote from the movie Shakespeare in Love, “How will it turn out? I don’t know; it’s a mystery!” A glorious mystery indeed!

Image |  Sies Kranen on Unsplash