Lake Forest Park, Washington
To foster connection among the members of a multi-site church by participating together in common at-home worship practices, a sermon series delivered by pastors from throughout the multi-site church, and Benedictine prayer practices.
Provide a brief summary of the purpose and goal of your grant.
Our goal was to vitalize our multi-site church during the COVID-19 pandemic period. We focused on reading the same Bible passage, listening to the preaching from various pastors on-line every month, and we planned a 3-day Benedictine prayer retreat.
What questions have you asked about worship in the past year? List at least two questions that have generated theological reflection and have helped shape your project.
Pulpit exchange among pastors seems work well. How can we encourage deeper one-ness among multi-site congregations at the lay-member's level? Practically we need to take one step at a time. This year we have successfully had aa preaching exchange so that each congregation can know each pastors 'voice' well. How can we promote the oneness of church members in the various locations? When we are free to share our own weakness as well as good news with other congregation in our multi-site network, we may say we are close one more step toward each other.
In what ways has your project engaged your congregation so that it impacts the worship life and habits of the congregation?
It is hard to get used other pastors other preaching than the lead pastor. Last year we invited 7 different pastors to preach once a month from all over the world in our network. (Michigan, Arizona, Korea, Malaysia). Because they could preach multiple times, our congregation could get used their their preaching in tune, habit, voice tone, gesture, sermon structure, etc. It opened our ears to listen God's voice through different personalities. Also it gives chances to the lead pastor, Bomsu Kim, be a listener without preparing weekly sermon. Pastor Kim can reflect on his preaching from when we was a listener, when he could clearly and freely listen God's voice that was heard from the another pastor’s mouth.
What criteria have you used to evaluate your plan to foster vital worship?
- Feed back of sermon - The pandemic was a challenge for all of us, but the worship grant let us do somethingdifferent in timely manner. We expected worship and longed to meet other pastors every month. The feedback was always good.
- SNS sharing - Members voluntary sharing the work of the day while using the meditation book on ourchurch SNS. The words echoed.
- Feedback from pastors - They were also encouraged by meeting the congregations. They could share theWord and prayer topics with us.
- I created 60-page booklets for the retreat. (Rule of the Benedict and the prayer passage following theprayer schedule for Thurs. and Fri. in Korean) We found the Grail version psalm was ready in Korean language in 2019. What a perfect timing!
What issues have been your greatest challenges (or challenging opportunities)?
It was COVID. We had planned the Benedictine retreat for a year. We arranged to visit a Benedictine monastery that is one hour away, and it would give us chance to meet monks and join their prayer meeting. But it failed a year ago due to the COVID restriction. We changed to go to a Christian camp ground for the retreat. I printed all the booklets for the retreat. Two weeks before the retreat, we got the news that the monastery had opened. We cancelled the camp ground and reserved the monastery. However a week later, the monastery is closed again due to COVID. We have to change the place to my house. On the morning of the first day pastor Bomsu Kim got COVID! We had to cancel the whole retreat. We tried our best but it was not His plan.
What would you like to share with other Project Directors?
We planned and tried our best with pray and faith. However sometimes God has another plan for us. Be flexible. Do not be stressed when things are not going as we planned. Please remember that He will give us better things.