The Episcopal Diocese of Connecticut

Community Meetings for Discernment of Space

Discovering What God is Up To in the Neighborhood

 A process completed in God’s time.

Pre-work:
  • Survey
  • Zoning regulations
  • Title Search/ Deed Restrictions
  • Appraisal
  • Congregational Communication
1. Planning/Invitations

List of possible participants:

  • Superintendent/school principals/teachers
  • Private school teachers/leaders
  • Town planner
  • Fire, Emergency, Police
  • Senior Services
  • Youth Services
  • Interfaith clergy
  • Librarian
  • Local business owners
  • Mayor/town government/officials
  • Neighbors
  • Social Services
  • Halfway house/rehab
  • Physicians
  • Historical preservationists
  • Open Space/land preservationists
  • Arts community
  • Press/Media
2. Process

Three Questions

  • What are the blessings of this community?
  • What are the challenges of this community?
  • What are the growing trends?
3. Follow Up

Communication with participants/ thank you/ middle of the night thoughts. 
Congregational discernment and prayer:

  • What words/phrases did we hear?
  • What caught our attention?
  • How might “our deep gladness meet the (neighborhood’s) deep hunger?” (Buechner)
  • What is the “highest and best use” of this resource (our property) for God’s Mission?

    [This is a process of prayer and conversation to engage the deep listening done in the community meeting.  Not a vote taking session.  Consensus building. May result in more than one idea to develop and explore.]
4. Next Steps

A. Panel of proposals

  • Individuals and groups with interest in the property submit a written and oral proposal to the congregational committee
  • Site map
  • If there is the possibility for collaboration/sharing of space, a site map is marked showing particular interest in different areas of the building

B. Exploring Options (Collaboration) and Conversations

  • Proposal Considerations:
    • long range plans and development of organization ( where will they be/what is their dream for the organization in 1/5/10 years?)
    • what is the opportunity for congregational service/participation? (Will this be a sale, tenancy or mission partnership?)
    • what if it  (the organization/the partnership/the plan) fails?
  • Weighing practicalities
    • Time. Money. Estimated duration of tenancy. Permits. Investment. Supervision and Oversight. Licensing. UBIT. Property Tax.