Reimagining Church

Thriving Congregations Initiative: New Models for the 21st Century

The Voices of the Collective

By Tamara Fore-Ravelo

As a culture, we can often feel stuck in a routine, and finding joy in the same old practices can be challenging. When it comes to reimagining church, however, there is something refreshing about shaking up conventional ways of what worshiping together can look like. In the course of the team working together to support the emergence of a new experience for the congregation as an entirety, we’ve had many laughs in the process. A strong team who values teamwork is invaluable in this process. Teamwork truly does make the dream work because no one person can do it alone. In the church especially, it takes a community of people willing to move forward together. The Dixwell team is incredible. As the facilitator, I have witnessed them disagree amicably and continue to move forward quickly for the good of the whole.

Most recently, the reimagining team at Dixwell held a community gathering where we made space to hear the voices of the collective as we endeavor to progress. Gathered there were the young and the older, the newer members and the longtime members, as well as the pastor. Several people shared their truths, and it was good to hear. During the meeting, one thing that was of significant importance for the team was to remain open as we listened and refrain from judgment. Our intention was to promote connection, growth, and mutual understanding. We felt our sentiments did come across. By facilitating the open exploration of reimagining with stakeholders, also known as parishioners, we discovered this was an enhancement to our ongoing reflections as we continue to think about revitalization.

Once the open church meeting commenced, which we agreed went well, the team met, and we were clear on where to go from there. We are super excited about what God is doing, and we look forward to the happenings of 2023 for Dixwell Congregational Church.

Image | Shane Rounce on Unsplash