Community Meetings for Discernment of Space
Discovering What God is Up To in the Neighborhood
A process completed in God’s time.
- Zoning regulations
- Title Search/ Deed Restrictions
- Congregational Communication
List of possible participants:
- Superintendent/school principals/teachers
- Private school teachers/leaders
- Town planner
- Fire, Emergency, Police
- Senior Services
- Youth Services
- Interfaith clergy
- Local business owners
- Mayor/town government/officials
- Social Services
- Halfway house/rehab
- Historical preservationists
- Open Space/land preservationists
- Arts community
- 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.