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Thanks for sharing this, Chad. It looks helpful and well organized. Like you, I've found it helpful to lean on the four questions. I don't have a document to share, though, still developing a process. It was particularly interesting to see your description of what it means to be a Worthington CRC church member - we've been working on the same sort of profile here at Faith in Burlington ON.

I noted on p.19 of your doc that applicants will be asked at the elders meeting, Share your story. Do you help applicants ahead of time to craft their story? If so, what's your process, and what resources have you found helpful? I'm looking for a structure or set of questions to guide their story-shaping that is intuitive and easy to follow, but still productive and rich for forming a story they feel excited and comfortable to share. 

  • One thing I've tried in the past is to outline the four building blocks of faith (as described on Thrive website) and invite them to share something about how God has  brought people and circumstances into their lives to shape them in each category.
  • I've also tried a post-it note exercise in which they spend time in prayer, then jot down on a post-it note any memory or person that the Spirit brings to mind. Then there are follow-up tasks to organize the notes and shape into a coherent narrative. 

Do you have something else to suggest? Thanks!

I'd like to focus on Gratitude. Our congregation has been exploring what it means to be united in Christ even when we disagree, and it struck me as I started preparing for our Thanksgiving service (Oct 9 in Canada) that gratitude can help us grow in unity together. No matter how deeply we disagree with one another,

- we can still give thanks to God WITH one another, for the gifts he's bestowed on all of us;

- we can still give thanks to God FOR one another, for the ways we each contribute to the Church;

- and we can still give thanks TO one another for specific acts we've seen that strengthen the Body or bless us personally.

Gratitude is God's gift to help us "until we attain unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God" (Eph 4:13).

We're going to distribute blank thankyou cards at our Thanksgiving service, and I'm committing right now to sending one of those cards to a congregant each week until Christmas. Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!

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