Vital + Thriving: Reports from a Year of Listening
Last year St. Mary’s was invited to be a part of a pilot program in the Diocese of California to discern God’s preferred and promised future for our lives. This process, the Vital + Thriving Initiative, seeks to shepherd as many as sixty Episcopal parishes through a multi-year process of discerning and then manifesting God’s mission in and through our common lives. More information about the Vital + Thriving Initiative can be found at https://www.vitalthriving.org/.
The first year of this process is all about listening; to God, to each other, and the world around us. This listening culminated in three written reports and a fourth summary of these reports presented at our Discerning God’s Purpose event we held at St. Mary’s on Saturday, March 11th. The reports are the Timeline Event Report, the Online Survey and Local Data Report, the Listening Conversations Report, and the Narrative Arc of Each Report. A description of each report is included below with the link to each document.
We invite parishioners to look over the information and continue to prayerfully discern how the Holy Spirit is moving in our midst, challenging and inspiring us.
The Steering Team and Vestry will meet shortly to begin the next phase of Vital + Thriving, the experimental phase. A single area of missional focus to the world around us will be chosen and a Missional Innovation Team will be recruited to prayerfully and practically explore how to faithfully respond. This discernment will be based on the materials below and the information gathered at our March 11th event.
Should you have any questions regarding the Vital + Thriving Initiative and/or the reports below, please contact Rev. David at [email protected].
Timeline Event Report: This report lists the collected responses to the three questions asked at our timeline event in October 2022.
Online Survey and Local Data Report: This report is based on the responses of almost 80 St. Mary's households to an online survey as well as corollary demographic information about the immediate area around us. It includes charts, graphs, and information, and then asks questions for discernment.
Listening Conversations Report: Nineteen conversations were had between recruited leaders and specific demographics of St. Mary's parishioners. The same exact questions were asked of each participant with answers recorded and submitted to the Vital + Thriving Reading Team. The Vital + Thriving Reading Team prepared the report and discernment questions found therein.
Narrative Arc of Each Report: At our March 11th event, these summaries were read to the 40 or so parishioners gathered. Those gathered then divided into small groups for an hour and discerned what might God be calling us to do and to be in the world around us.
Click below to view or download the PDF Files