The purpose of the Participating in Hope gatherings are for the various councils, and congregational leaders of every church in the Synod, to share what God is doing in their congregations and communities, and how they are joining in and supporting this work.
Additionally, it is a way to gather people together from a geographical location, (without having to deal with a business meeting such as at a convention) to make connections, and learn about each other.
There will be 16 different two hour gatherings held across the Synod; each one will be led by two people: either a Synod council member and your conference Dean, or two synod council members.
They will lead the participants in an exercise called ‘Dwelling in the Word’, similar to what Bishop Larry is doing with his monthly messages: read a passage of scripture and talk about your responses to it. This same scripture will be read and pondered on by each gathering across the synod, so we are all focusing on the same message. After this, the participants will be split into smaller groups and together will address a few questions posed by the gathering leaders. When this is done they will their ideas and discoveries with the larger group.
At the end of the event, one of the questions will ask you to discern a bit about what you might see in the future for the Synod. The responses to all the questions will be gathered up and considered by Synod Council when the events are all concluded.
You do not need to prepare anything; just come ready to share your stories and listen to others share theirs.