Guest Blogger, the Rev. Vincent Black, reflects on EYE Mission Planning Team discernment process

VincentToday I welcome guest blogger, the Rev. Vincent Black, Canon for Christian Formation for the Episcopal Diocese of Ohio. Vincent is a member of the Episcopal Youth Event (EYE) 2014 Mission Planning Team and played a key role last weekend in helping us begin to discern the shape of our work. (That’s Vincent in the foreground on the right.)

Thank you, Vincent, for writing this summary of the discernment process we undertook.

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A big part of the first meeting of the mission planning team involved discernment: discernment of gifts, discernment of how to best utilize our gifts, and discernment of a theme and scripture passages to guide EYE 2014.

We spent time discussing how we understand discernment in the Episcopal Church to involve three agents, God, others, and ourselves. We also discussed the fact that what we discern is not always what we like or what we want but rather what we are called to do.

In that light we took a personality assessment to help see the different strengths and weaknesses of the members of the group. We created skits to emphasis the strengths of different personalities. We listed the three subcommittees needed for the planning team.

We prayed as a whole group and then wrote down first and second choices concerning which subcommittee we felt called to. After the youth wrote their choices on an index card and exited the room the adults again prayed over the cards asking God for guidance. The youth were divided and all got either their first or second choice. All the adults agreed that the youth seemed to be in the right subgroup and the way the youth reacted indicated that they felt they were where they belonged!

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