THE DISCOVERY

JOURNEY

THE DISCOVERY JOURNEY: OUR DISCERNMENT WALK

Discernment is a process by which a religious group comes together to seek God’s wisdom and guidance through many different avenues, including prayer, study, Scripture, listening to others (thus listening sessions and surveys in our congregation), and other spiritual practices. Our goal is to help our congregation understand better “Who We Are” and what we think as a whole and in parts around theology and governance of The United Methodist Church.  

To have a spiritually based process by which to lead our church through a particular season of its life together. Our goal is to help our congregation understand better “Who We Are” and what we think as a whole and in parts around theology and governance of The United Methodist Church. 

A religious group that comes together to seek God’s wisdom and guidance on specific topics through many different avenues, including prayer, study, Scripture, listening to others (thus listening sessions and surveys in our congregation), and other spiritual practices.  

No. The Discernment Team is the body that creates the processes by which to learn about (i.e., research) thoughts, feelings, and beliefs on the above mentioned topics. A report is then compiled of all the data collected to help the congregation then interpret it. Possible recommendations may come from the Team, yet any recommendations or actions must come from the Administrative Board. 

Through prayerful research, our goal is to listen to our congregation to better understand how varied we may or may not be on these topics. To help our congregation understand better “Who We Are” and what we think as a whole and in parts around theology and governance of The United Methodist Church. With the postponement of General Conference and many sister churches in our own denomination disaffiliating, we desire to more fully understand the theological pulse and desires of our congregation in order to faithfully determine the future. Another way to understand it would be that the goal is to do prayerful research through listening to as many of our congregation members as possible to understand how varied or not our congregation might be these topics.   

Questions will be asked such as:    

  • Imagine CUMC in the future, can you see yourself working alongside someone who disagrees with you on theology and governance of the church in order to achieve the mission and vision Christ has given us?   
  • What are the three (3) most important non-negotiable values for CUMC?   
  • What are your hopes and concerns for the future of CUMC?  

The following qualities have been our guide: deeply prayerful, proven leaders of our congregation, the gift of discernment or wisdom, and humility or the ability to lay one’s own desires aside to fully listen to God’s leading.   

  • 12 nominees that were vetted by the Leadership Council and Vision Team, and approved by Lay Leadership.
  • 3 nominees from the floor of Administrative Board  
  • 3 pastors  
  • The Leadership Council & Vision Team spent late March and most of April praying over the people in our congregation, asking God to put 10-12 names on their hearts with the above qualities.  
  • All names were then submitted to the Senior Pastor who compiled one list and sent it back out in early May. The list was in alphabetical order and listed next to each name who many different people might have lifted them up for consideration and prayer.  
  • May was then used to pray over this list of 63 names. By May 20th, 10-12 names were again submitted directly from to list to help enforce exactly who God might be lifting up.  
  • The week of May 23rd, the list was narrowed down a top 12 with 8 alternates.   
  • Consideration was taken to have representation across our three worship services, age, and gender.  
  • The next step is for the 20 names to be submitted to the Lay Leadership Committee for consideration before being presented to the Administrative Board for affirmation.  
  • To better ensure representation from the entire congregation, 3 additional nominations will be taken from the floor of Administrative Board. Potential nominees must be present to be nominated by an Administrative Board member.  
  1. Amy Bradham
  2. Mike Brewer
  3. Preston Carpenter
  4. Clayton Davis
  5. Betty Edmunds 
  6. David Jackson
  7. Kerry Johnson
  8. Bob Konsowitz
  9. John McCarty
  10. Jessica Nichols
  11. JD Peeples – Laity Co-Leader
  12. Kit Poe
  13. Susan Smith
  14. Eric Ware
  15. Mark Younger
  16. Pastor: Eddie Bromley
  17. Pastor: Tondala Hayward
  18. Pastor: Deborah Suddarth – Pastoral Co-Leader

Leadership Council:  

  • Administrative Board, Chair – Marie Delockery  
  • Board of Trustees, Chair – Matt Morgan  
  • Finance Committee, Chair – Don Gary  
  • Lay Leader – Jessica Nichols  
  • Past Administrative Board, Chair – Bill Daniels  
  • Senior Pastor – Deborah Suddarth (also on Vision Team below)  
  • Staff Parish Relations Committee, Chair – Bob Vornbrock  
  • Treasurer – John Sammons  

Vision Team (Staff)  

  • Executive Director of Family Life – Melanie Duncan  
  • Executive Director of Operations – Blaine Tooley  
  • Executive Pastor of Discipleship & Missions – Tondala Hayward  
  • Executive Pastor of Worship & Witness – Eddie Bromley  
  • April-May – Leadership Council & Vision Team pray over possible Discernment Team members   
  • June – Discernment Team members invited  
    • First Discernment Team meetings began   
  • July – Web-page finalized and launched to have discernment information plus links to pertinent information the congregation needs to know as we move along this journey   
  • July into August – Discernment Team meetings, including prayer time, study, information gathering, planning for further steps in the process (see August & Sept/Oct)   
  • August 28, 6:00-8:15, Poplar Sanctuary – Church Wide Educational Meeting – Speakers from the district or conference to share the latest from The United Methodist Church, plus a representative to speak on the Global Methodist Church. Other groups may be represented as we sense the need or desire from the congregation.   
  • September & October – Online Survey & Listening Sessions conducted in all Sunday school classes and groups plus additional times to meet for those not connected to a group   
  • November & December – Discernment Team compiles information and learnings from Listening Sessions and surveys   
  • Late January 2023 – Discernment Team report at a Church Wide Informational Meeting   
    • This report will guide the Administrative Board on next steps. 

We aim to provide resources to help assist in providing knowledge about the discernment process. 

What’s Happening to the UMC

QUESTIONS?

We have a team available to address questions and concerns that you might have. They can be reached here:
discernment@colliervilleumc.org