Our Epiphany process is moving forward! We had our second retreat on June 8 & 9, with a smaller group of eleven church leaders meeting to work with Bill Lawser, our retreat leader. We spent a lot of time looking at the evaluation of our congregation that was created by Hope Partnership. This evaluation looks at where our congregation is and what the needs of our community are. Also, a few in the retreat went out and interviewed community leaders, asking them what they saw the needs of Muncie to be. Participants in the retreat all spent some time writing a future story for the congregation, an example of what the future might be for our church.

These future stories were very hopeful, where we envisioned ministries and opportunities for our congregation. I heard lots of hopes for ministries that reach out to the needs of Muncie in these stories. A smaller group, made of up of Tony Gill, Ann Wolfe, Rev. James, and me, is now at work distilling these stories into one story that we can present to the congregation. We’ll, sometime in the near future, be presenting what we think can be the future story of our church, a direction we’re headed. We’ll also be presenting a capacity plan to go with the story, a nuts and bolts explanation of how we think this story can happen.

I believe Hazelwood Christian Church has a vibrant story ahead of it. I have a friend, Rev. Cynthia Langston Kirk, who says, “Never underestimate the power of a story.” She’s right; a powerful and moving story can motivate us toward a positive future. I’m excited how the Epiphany Process will lead us into that story.

~Jason Jones