Come and See: Building Christian Community Committed to Radical Transformation

Beloved Friends,

It is 2030. Trinity is alive with energy, purpose, and passion. We are a beacon of hope, healing, encouragement, and inclusion in Toledo and beyond. We stand in a beautifully restored and reimagined building; likewise, we stand in a loving, liberating, and life-giving online presence. We are living into our radical welcome and are actively seeking and serving God in all people, responding to the changing needs of our neighbors infused with a spirit of excitement. Ten years ago, we embraced the idea of Trinity becoming a Christian community committed to radical transformation. That transformation is clear within our church, the broader community, social structures, and most importantly, in our lives…

The paragraph above are the beginning words of the final draft of Trinity’s 2030 Vision. They, and the remainder of the 2400-word vision, have been born of prayer, resilience, collective dreaming, and multiple re-writes through conversation, imagination, and collective dreams over the course of nearly 4 years!

For those who are new to this process the short summary description is that crafting this kind of a vision is the process of picking a certain point of time in the future and a scope/topic for that time. Then the process is to write a compelling, strategically sound, documented and communicated narrative as if you are already standing in that future moment describing what you see around you. It is a challenge at first because our natural inclination is to limit ourselves by asking “how could this happen” and getting caught up in those details which curb our ability to dream with God and imagine a preferred future.

We picked 10 years as our timeframe and the ministry of Trinity as our subject and got to work. Here is a brief history of how we got to today. The idea for this project was introduced to the community in October 2017 in a series of all-parish meetings. Then in March 2019, 3 members of Trinity joined me for a 2-day training session to learn this particular method of writing a long-term vision for our community.

As is often the case in “church work” our progress advanced at various speeds with various groups over the past 2+ years to arrive where we are today. We estimate that there have been 158 “touches” -times when members of our community have engaged a portion of this process; 32 different meetings/workshops/writing sessions have occurred in the last 2 years; 6 full draft versions have been written, edited, and re-written moving us from over the longest version being 10,000+ words to the final draft version we have today.

Next steps? It is time to share this final draft version with the whole community to ask for your feedback. To do that we will offer 3 times to come together in the next 2 weeks hoping as many people as possible will join us. The dates and times are on our website. We will also use the sermon time this Sunday to provide a reading of this draft version compiled by members of the community. Once we get your feedback, the final editing group will review and determine any necessary changes before the vestry and I review a final version at the June vestry meeting and then this project will finally be complete and our 2030 vision will be put in place as a guiding light to help us focus our ministry decisions, keep us accountable and inspired, and provide a wonderful tool to share who we believe God is calling us to be in and beyond our walls.

I am so grateful and excited to share with you the work of so many hands and hearts; it has been a true labor of love; come and see!

May you never forget that you are loved,

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