A Progressive Peace and Justice Congregationrainbow
1151 Massachusetts Ave, Cambridge, MA 02138
(617) 864 9275



Opportunities for Active Involvement in Chronicling OCBC’s Past and Shaping its Future Directions

There has been a lot of anticipation and curiosity about what will be coming from the OCBC Transition Team (TT). As many of you know, the TT is focused on helping the congregation reflect on who we are, what our mission is, and how we might effectively move toward that mission. These activities will in turn help the congregation make a more informed decision about its next pastoral leader who can help them realize their future mission.
Consistent with the Baptist tradition, the TT has designed a number of activities that will provide “hands-on” opportunities for OCBC members and friends to contribute to creating our future. In the spirit of transparency, we share the following activities and timeline:

Name of Activity Description Timeframe
Survey An information gathering process (through electronic and paper survey) designed to recruit hosts and designate times for the House Meetings (see description below). House Meeting hosts will open their residences and supply refreshments for each meeting. Aug. Return by Sept. 2, 2012
Host/Facilitator Recruitment for House Meetings (described below) Hosts, facilitators and recorders will be needed for each House Meeting. The facilitators will be responsible for helping participants address key questions (to be developed later). Following the House Meeting, the facilitator and recorder will summarize their findings and send it to the TT in order to generate general themes/activities. Mid to late Aug. 2012
Facilitator/Recorder Training Both facilitators and recorders will receive an orientation on the House Meeting process so we can ensure a uniform approach to each meeting. It is important to emphasize that while we will be asking the same questions for each meeting, each facilitator will be free (and encouraged) to use the presentation style that is beneficial for them. Early Sept. 2012
House Meetings The House Meeting is the core method of getting information from OCBC members and friends. Each OCBC participant will be asked to participate in one House Meeting. The following areas will be covered in the House Meeting (actual questions to be developed later):
  • What attracted you to OCBC? What keeps you coming back?
  • What is your vision for the future of OCBC? What activities would define this future scenario?
  • How do you see yourself participating in these activities?
Each House Meeting will have between 8-10 participants in addition to the facilitator and recorder. As mentioned earlier, the results of each House Meeting will be recorded and aggregated to outline key themes. These themes will also be combined with the information gathered by the Structure and Staffing Assessment Group (SSAG) in 2011.
House Meetings:
Mid Sept. to late Nov. 2012.
Data compilation:
Dec. 2012 to Feb. 2013.
Testimonies A series of personal narratives at worship services that will help the congregation understand how OCBC has shaped the spiritual trajectories of individual members as well as how these members have invested their talents within the church. This will be a key opportunity for OCBC members to share their stories Fall 2013. Actual dates to be determined
Wall of History A half-day event geared to tell the story of OCBC through contributions from members and friends. Efforts will also be made to chronicle this history so that all have it as a reference point as we outline the future direction for the church. To this end, there is an emerging opportunity to develop a church historian and/or history committee to support chronicling efforts. Mid Jan. 2013

As indicated, further details will be developed as this process moves forward. As we are moving forward, all activities will be communicated to members and friends through various church media outlets, including the weekly program, the website and blogs from Rev. Hess. We look forward to sharing this journey of exploring our motivations for participating in OCBC, exploring our history and shaping our future so we can select the pastoral leader that can help us write the next chapter of this great institution.

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