November 30, 2021
Dear First Presbyterian Church of Palo Alto Community,
We are embarking together on a process of reflection, renewal, and transformation of how we are called to be church in the next phase of our community’s journey. Grounded in a deep commitment to the Christian faith, we have a proud history of being at the forefront of progressive Presbyterian witness. The question that now lies before us is, “In this increasingly divided, inequitable, and disconnected world, how shall we tell our particular Gospel story in the future?”
The task force on “Envisioning our Future Together,” first introduced to the congregation in a July letter, has been meeting regularly since June. We’ve created a plan to come together as a full congregation and in small groups, for deep listening to each other and the Holy Spirit, to imagine and implement new ways of living our values in the world.
During and after worship on January 9, the congregation will meet as a whole to kick off this process, followed by a series of three small group meetings over the course of that month. These groups will reflect on Sunday sermons by Bruce about structural, cultural, and programmatic possibilities for the future. We urge every participant of the First Pres PA community to participate throughout the month of January either in person and/or on Zoom.
Please fill out this brief survey to indicate your interest in participating and help us structure the small groups to meet everyone’s needs.
In the spring, we will begin experimenting with new forms of being church. We will try out programs, services, and activities that could move us toward becoming the church God calls us to be, with space to reflect and iterate on these changes. A few months after that process begins, we hope to be prepared for discernment and engagement with Bruce regarding his continuing leadership into this co-created future.
We are beginning an exciting, transformative path together. We hope each of you will participate in this important process of discernment.
Task Force on “Envisioning our Future” — Edie Irons, Mohan Iyer, Evelyn Wong, Jessie Rodriguez Nordlund, Dave Thornton, Susan Chamberlain