Reflecting on 2020 While Preparing for 2021

CGGC Executive Director Lance Finley

By the time you read this, 2020 will have ended! Happy New Year! I think we’re all ready to close the books on 2020.

I’ve spent some time this week reflecting on my own journey through 2020. Remember back in March when we thought we just needed to make it to Easter and then “everything would get back to normal”? It didn’t quite turn out that way, did it? This past month, I came across a tool from Resilient Church Leadership (https://resilientchurchleadership.com): Year-End Reflections: Exercises to Reflect upon 2020. I’d encourage you to check out the webinar and the free download guide. If you haven’t spent some time reflecting on the past year, recognizing God’s presence and work in your journey, reflecting upon your own followership of Jesus over the past difficult months, I’d encourage you to take some time in the days to come to allow the Spirit to help you discern what He wants you to discern from this past year of following our Lord.

Reflection can be such a rich and helpful practice in our spiritual journeys. Where did you recognize God’s presence, His goodness or His grace through the recent past? Where were you obedient? Where did you fall short? Where are you recognizing patterns in your life and what do those patterns reveal? What is the Spirit saying to you as you review your past 365 days? Where are you drawn into praise and thanksgiving to God as you reflect upon His presence and goodness in your life? What are the losses and disappointments that require mourning? Where were the breakthroughs or reasons for celebration?

If you haven’t taken some time to reflect upon this past year and what the Lord might want to reveal to you, I would encourage you to take some time this weekend to do so. There is so much that can be gleaned by looking back and taking note of what the Spirit is telling us to pay attention to, particularly in times like these.

With a new year brings new opportunities as well. Last year at this time, little did we know that most of us were going to need to become much more proficient with Zoom, Facebook live or YouTube. What do you need to do to grow and develop in 2021? Oh, to have a crystal ball and be able to know what I need most in the next twelve months! While I don’t have that crystal ball, I do know of some great learning opportunities coming up that I wanted to put on your radar.

Our friends in the Eastern Regional Conference of the CGGC have three Virtual Theological Series coming up that are all free!

Virtual Theological Study Series: Part 1
Dr. Carmen Imes
Monday, January 25, 2021
11:00am – 12:30 pm EST

Join us online as Dr. Imes teaches ‘Bearing God’s Name: The Old Testament Basis for the Church’s Mission.’ Would you be surprised if someone claimed that the Old Testament Law is foundational for Christian witness? The covenant at Sinai is the key to discovering the church’s identity and vocation in the world. We’ll look at the arc of biblical theology as a basis for our mission as the people of God. (Don’t worry, you can still eat bacon.) Registration is available on the link provided. There is NO COST for this webinar.

Registration 1/25/2021

Virtual Theological Study Series: Part 2
Dr. Vincent Bacote
Monday, February 1, 2021
11:00am – 12:30 pm EST

Join us online as Dr. Bacote teaches ‘Loving God and His World: Holistic Discipleship without Public Idolatry. Christians have always had the opportunity and responsibility to be people of personal piety and public engagement. Together we will consider how attention to Christian beliefs leads us to pursue this fullness of life with God while avoiding the pitfalls often associated with public/political concerns.

Registration 2/1/2021

Virtual Theological Study Series: Part 3
Dr. Sydney Park
Monday, February 8, 2021
11:00am – 12:30 pm EST

Join us online as Dr. Park teaches ‘Taking Up the Cross and Following Christ’. Bluntly put, to love and follow Christ is hard! Especially if we heed Christ’s own definition of discipleship in Mk 8:34-38. Whatever the demands of discipleship, they are outweighed by the glory of knowing Christ and being conformed to him. Come and explore both the demands and rewards of discipleship.

Registration 2/8/2021

For questions or more information on registering, reach out to Colleen Gross at colleen@erccog.org.

Here’s another opportunity for you ladies (I’m excited about the work our own Diane Hakes is getting to do with our friends at 5Q!).

5Q for Women: Beauty in 5Q
Presenters: Diane Hakes & Janita Seinstra
January 8, 2021
10-11AM EST

Do you wish to have Kingdom impact?

Do you desire to have a voice in the body of Christ? 

If your answer to any of these questions is ‘yes’, then join us along with women from around the globe to discover your gifts and to activate your calling in an online group coaching experience. Get to know your hosts and get a sneak peek into the Beauty in 5Q, a new online group coaching experience for women coming in January 2021! This free sneak peek is a one-hour coaching session and is happening on January 8, 2021 from 10-11AM EST. Don’t miss this opportunity!

Please register for this free sneak peek about the Beauty in 5Q through the link provided. If you would like to know more about 5Q please click on the 5Q image to be transferred to their website.

Beauty in 5Q Registration

Future Church Summit
A Guided Planning Retreat for Becoming the Congregation of Tomorrow
Gather in person or online at a time that works for you.

Feb. 19th & 20th (West Coast)
Feb. 26th & 27th (East Coast)

USE the code CGGC10 to receive a 10% discount!

I’m so grateful for our friends at Fresh Expressions. While none of us can predict the future, it’s certainly becoming clear that the future will look markedly different from our past. This is a great opportunity to pull together your leaders and look toward the future.

With the help of some of the best minds (Leonard Sweet) on anticipating what is next, the most experienced practitioners of change leadership (Tod Bolsinger), and great exemplars of courage in mission (Keisha Polonio), members of the FX team will help guide you and your congregational lead teams through a process to help you fully advance through this crisis.

The retreat experience will include a rhythm of teaching input, facilitated team conversations, and local strategic planning around 6 key topics that are vital to the future of the local church. You can find more information about this on the Future Church Summit page. https://freshexpressionsus.org/future-church-summit

There will be two options for participation in the retreat over a Friday evening and Saturday. On February 19-20, the event is oriented toward those in Mountain/Pacific time. On February 26-27, the event is oriented toward Eastern/Atlantic/Central time. Both options are available to any congregation provided you can make the time work for you. Both options will feature the same speakers and content. You have the option of gathering with your leadership team in whatever manner feels appropriate to you–in person or online.

So, start the new year off right. Take advantage of some of the great learning and development available through the ERC, 5Q or Fresh Expressions.

Christ’s Peace,

CGGC eNews—Vol. 15, No. 1

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