First “Vision” Meeting

Hi, everyone. Last night I had the good fortune and great pleasure of sitting down with the Task Force that we assembled to begin really thinking about next steps for First Lutheran post-Covid. The team, as of this minute, consists of Bob Moody (incoming Treasurer), Nicole Rowlette, Beth Lyons, and Mary Jane Halley. We had a hunch that we also ought to invite Ava Fisher from Prince of Peace, who was gracious enough to join us and add so much to our conversation.

I won’t bore you with all the details, but it was a fantastic first meeting. One of the themes that kept coming up was a desire for our two congregations to work towards some kind of joining up. Official merger would be one option. Another might be the formation of a new congregation with a unique mission. There may be other ways of going about this, as well, but the general consensus was a movement toward a greater representation of what Tulsa’s demographic actually looks like. Rather than a predominantly white congregation and a predominantly Black congregation, there seems to be an opportunity for us to have a single, racially integrated (although I realize that word carries a lot of baggage and we’ll have to find a different term moving forward) congregation focused on:
* gathering
* with good music
* good teaching, preaching
* liturgy
* anti-racism work
* combatting loneliness
* service to the community
* excitement to be church
* invitational AND outward-looking (knowing that we’re already here: it’s those who aren’t yet here that we want to focus on)
* intergenerational leadership

We talked about the history of both congregations, the financial assets and burdens of each, the potential location of a new congregation. I’m being vague about this part right now until we expand the circle a bit more. And that will be our next step, in fact. We have a couple of names in mind to invite to our next meeting, but we’re also interested in hearing everyone’s thoughts. No moves will happen until we’ve had good, deep conversation about this, as well as earnest prayer and attentive listening to the Holy Spirit. The next meeting will take place on Wednesday, October 7 at 5 p.m. at First Lutheran. (Tentatively. It might be a good idea to meet at Prince of Peace, but we’ll make that determination a little bit closer to the date. Keep your eyes peeled and let us know if you’d like to come.)

This is an exciting time to be church in Tulsa!

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