In 2021, several members of Saint Anne’s participated in a SWOT analysis, to identify strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats for the congregation. One weakness listed at that time was “lack of flexibility,” but after this past Sunday, I feel confident in saying that the Saint Anne’s community is quite flexible!
Dozens of members gathered during the Sunday school hour to hear our parish survey results. While we had hoped for Sally Ulrey to present, she unfortunately tested positive for Covid on Saturday and was unable to join us. Thanks to the flexibility of our community and the ever-prepared Buddy, we met anyways to go over the results for ourselves. The results were impressive and there is plenty to celebrate, as well as lots of energy to plan for the future. After discussing the survey, we decided to engage in another SWOT analysis to get a snapshot of where we are in 2023. This is crucial information as we look ahead to new ways to engage in the coming year.
Fortunately for us, the fun doesn’t stop here! Sally has rescheduled her visit and will be with us on Sunday, September 17 at 9 AM to answer any questions about the survey results and to look at next steps for initiatives.
As I think of our shifting plans and the responsiveness of our community, I am reminded of Paul’s journey in Acts 16. Although there were several places he thought he would visit, the Holy Spirit kept directing him elsewhere. Attentive to where he was being called, Paul remained flexible in his travels and ended up in Macedonia, where he met and converted Lydia to Christianity, making her the first Gentile in all of Europe to convert.
So much good can come from approaching situations flexibly and with grace for one another. However, that does not mean we will completely abandon planning here at Saint Anne’s! To that end, please RSVP for our parish picnic on Sunday, September 10. Your response will help us plan how much food to buy and prepare. And don’t forget we will serve donuts this Sunday, September 3! We look forward to seeing you for all the fun ahead in September.