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Discerning Our Next Steps

A Note from Our Pastor
There will be no worship this week.  As we move into the next phase of our discernment process, we are considering new ways to worship together.  Please watch our FaceBook page for information about our worship schedule going forward.
We have completed the first part of our discernment process; We have had some very difficult and productive conversations.  Our next step has to do with capacity development.  We will be exploring and asking what capacity is available to us as we seek to do the work God is calling us to.
And what exactly is that work that God is calling us to do?  We believe the Holy Spirit is leading us to explore ministry with and for the LGBTQ+ community.  Presbyterians have many open and welcoming congregations, and the believers at Argenta Presbyterian is interested in building a community from the ground up that is developed and led by the LGBTQ+ community.
In our discernment process so far, we are clear that this future ministry in Argenta is going to require more people than those of us who are currently active in the life of the congregation.  So, the next step in the process is to identify folks willing to join us in our mission and to discern what they are willing to do to help us with our mission.
Over the next few months we will be putting our efforts into discerning interest, support, and capacity for this new ministry.  In order to do this we will be doing several things.  The most notable is that we will change the frequency of our worship.  And our worship will be highly participative reflecting on scripture, assessing progress toward our new ministry, praying for this new ministry, and discussing next steps.  We hope that this will happen on a monthly basis to begin with.
We are currently in the process of identifying partners in this ministry, and we have asked for a commission of the Presbytery to help us in this next step.  We will be making contact and developing relationships with members and leaders of the LGBTQ+ community and also building relationships with business leaders in the Argenta community and exploring relationships with Ferncliff.  If you would like to be involved in this part of our discernment or if you know of folks we need to be in contact with please feel free to reach out to us.  (501-374-7677/argentapres@gmail.com)
It is a bit of a messy time in our faith community, but the creation of new things is just that way sometimes.  Despite this messiness there is much excitement and enthusiasm about the future!
My task as pastor is to make sure we are obedient.  The word “obedient” comes from the Latin and Greek words which mean to listen or to hear.  Obedience is not about following rules.  Our listening has already led us to break a pretty hard and fast rule regarding weekly worship.  This was not easy but we feel it is obedient.  As we discern what it means for us to be obedient at this time and place we covet your prayers and your participation with us as we move forward.  The next steps are not at all clear and sometimes seem impossible.  So, whatever you can do to help us in our obedience and our discernment would be appreciated.
One of the most frightening things about moving into the future is how to pay for this.  If you are excited about our future you can contribute as a one time gift or make a weekly or monthly pledge to help us move forward.  You can also make a contributions to our offset the needs of our building.  Here is a link if you would like to help us financially.
Thanks to all of you for the large and small ways you support this community and I hope you will prayerfully consider how you can help us in next steps
With Joy and Gratitude
J. Michael Vinson

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