What Are You Doing This Year?

Join us for this year’s Book Study Challenge.

The Rev. Dr. Canon Steven R. Rottgers One-minute read.   Resources

During my 32+ years as a parish priest, I’ve watched many a New Year’s Resolution falter and fail within days and weeks of its initial formation. I’ve since adopted a KISS attitude by keeping intended hopes, plans and goals for a New Year to a healthy list of 1-3 items.

I’ve seen the same format playout with Congregations and their hopes, plans and goals for a New Year and Vestry leadership become overwhelmed with well-intended lists of 12-15 points. Ignoring the basic Pareto (80/20) Rule, many frustrations and dashed expectations replace the initial hopes, dreams, plans, and goals.

For this year, 2018, I’m encouraging all clergy, vestries, book clubs, laity, and leadership of all sorts to consider a simple yet transformative path. It’s in the form of a Book Study Challenge. There is no hard “Start” date and no hard “Finish Line” for this plan, yet it does depend upon a thread of commitment on an individual or congregational level to just “Do It!”

Here’s The Plan

  • Gather a group of your choosing such as a Sunday Forum, Book Club, Friendship Circle etc. that will commit to a regular time frame to read and gather to discuss the appointed reading material. (Weekly, bi-weekly or monthly.)
  • Commit to agreed assigned segments/chapters to be read for each period.
  • The Scriptural Reading List is to be from the New Testament Book of Acts (The Good Book Club has a Lent/Easter program reading the Gospel of Luke and the Book of Acts that would be an option for use)
  • The Co-Reading Text for the Epiphany-Lent Segment of the year is: Beating the Boundaries — the Church God is Calling Us to Be by The Rev. John Spicer, Rector of St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church in Kansas City.
  • The co-reading text for the Easter-Pentecost Segment of the year is Cultivating An Evangelistic Church by The Rev. Canon Stephanie Spellers and Ms. Carrie Boren Headington.

The discussion/study outline is simple for all to participate and be heard

  • What point, thought or idea interests me from the assigned reading of Acts and/or the Co-Reading material?
  • Why does that point resonate with you and perhaps is touching a Passion or Interest?
  • Is there a possible crossover from being just reading material too seriously needing to be studied/explored further and perhaps initiating a plan to make it a reality in your life or the life of your congregation?

An Invitation

Finally, we invite you to come with your group and share your insights, applications or ideas at the Summer Church Summit, Calvary Episcopal Church in Sedalia on Saturday, August 25th, 2018.

Canon Steve is Canon to the Ordinary with The Diocese of West Missouri.


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Gary Allman

Gary Allman is the Director of Communications at The Diocese of West Missouri

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