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  Northwest Mission District Meeting Report
March 24, 2007


Following opening prayer by Rev. John Goddard, the attendees(approx. 40) introduced themselves

  1. PROGRESS REPORT ON BISHOP SEARCH:   Candace Jones and Rev. JonDavidson discussed the process, status and future plans for the Bishop search. The process has been excellent, including 17 enthusiastic focus groups, in developing a desired profile, which will be placed on the Diocesan web-site as primary access, though the DESERT SPIRIT will also include the text. There was both unanimity on most issues and some differences among the groups as to the content of the profile. Who we are as a body in the whole Diocese is key. The profile will be announced nationwide and to every diocese and seminary to assure to achieve optimal recruitment of candidates. The profile text includes overview of the Diocese, results of the focus groups, sacred spaces/places-Nevada's pictorial land=space & worship.

The selection process will include solicitation of essay questions to candidates, telephone interviews, first cut in May, then telephone interviews, June visits to their parish, and mid-July final candidate decision. Nevada parishes will be kept informed all along the way, via DESERT SPIRIT and parish bulletins. There will be no nominations from the floor, but a special advance petition process will be in place. This selection process needs  to be one of prayer and discernment.                                                                                      

2.   YOUTH ACTIVITIES;   Rev. Karen Johanns and Deacon Kathy Hopner,  who are leading  joint  youth ministries at Trinity, St. Paul's and St. Stephen's,  discussed a variety of events, activities and seminars related to children and youth, including a March seminar on child abuse. For youth ministry to achieve its goal to attract youth it needs to teach and inspire youth with the Biblical mission and how we act that out in our lives. Youth program emphasizes how important these young people are , helping them with their problems and lives and the world. How this is to be accomplished is through our Biblical foundation, building on through related stories, and how these work in their lives, emphasizing our traditions such as baptism and the eucharist, relating scripture stories. Karen and Kathy urged all District parishes, though maybe small, to think how they can initiate this concept, perhaps using available educators in their community to assist in start-up.

3.   NEW SOUTH RENO CHURCH:   Rev.  Laurie  Chappelle, who has spearheaded the development of a new mission church, named St. Catharine of Siena, described the new parish at the Manogue High School chapel in South Reno, where three services have been held to date, including an attendance the first Sunday of 102 people and 58 and 52 the next weeks at the 11 a.m. service. Youth are pitching in with creative ways. This southwest area comprises 35,000 people, 40% of whom are now potential church goers.

4.   “THE HOSPITABLE CHURCH”-ATTRACTING PEOPLE TO THE CHURCH IN THE POST-MODERN SOCIETY”:   Rev. Jim Beebe presented a challenging seminar on the concept of the modern church and how society now sees and reacts to the church, its teachings and methods for attracting and relating to its membership. In the post-modern age we now live in, people speak a different language: they are motivated by their experiences, stories, and how we experience life, less than by reasoning , rather dealing with reality. Churches need to reinvent themselves to relate to people. Perhaps our credo should be “I'm a follower of Christ” instead of “I'm a Christian”. How to reform the church culture may be via”total ministry”. Evangelism is a caring culture, i.e. life style. Rev. Beebe offered 8 suggestions to transform and attract people to the church:

        1.  Lay team development

       2.  Change role of vestry-outreach vs business

       3.  Tell stories

       4.  Laugh

       5.  Travel

       6.  Let people be who they are

       7.  Offer identification that can't be bought

       8.  Don't put down other religions

Jim will share the text of his presentation with today's group.

5.    NWMD STEERING COMMITTEE VOLUNTEERS:   Since some Steering Committee members have served for 2 or more years , volunteers were requested from the member parishes. Connie Skidmore will continue for St. Patrick's, Ruth Ann Edsall at St. Peter's, assisted by Lisa Young, will continue.  Shelby Thistlewhite at St. Stephen's, Margaret Bouzek at St. Paul's, Ben Turner at St. John's, and Carol Mayr at Coventry Cross will be contacted as to their interest in continuing. Phil Gillette from Trinity wishes to terminate as Secretary to NWMD, and will recruit his replacement.

6….FUTURE MEETING AGENDA TOPIC SUGGESTIONS:  Topics suggested are Diocesan Council & Standing Committee agenda items; Nominations; Commission on Ministry procedure changes; Delegates to convention topics; and Brainstorm session related to Rev. Beebe's seminar.



  1. Suggestion to hold 2008 Diocesan Convention in 2008 to be explored. Need to get date and place early.
  2. Need to get UTO Chairs replacement for Bill & Sharon Scott.
  3. TEC (Teens for Christ)-at Trinity Memorial Day weekend.
  4. St. Stephen's is sponsoring an ecological-friendly initiative to support local vegetable and fruit growers, and additional bird watching experiences , thereby emphasizing nature and God.


May 12-St. John's     

    August 25-St. Peter's

Rev. Laurie Chappelle offered the closing prayer.