Tips for Churches in Liminal Times
Acknowledging that we cannot fully know what our ministries will look like, Ronald Culmer and Christine Hides share tips for short and long-term planning in ministry, even when it’s difficult to plan or plans change.
Starting with the premise that growth requires faithful grounding and a roadmap, we spend time talking about how to come up with your plan. And then we talk about the opportunities this COVID-time offers us and how we might pivot our plan into new realities.
- Checking in Podcast with Susan David – Fear, boredom, grief, confusion—we’re all feeling … a lot right now. How do we cope with our heightened emotions during this global pandemic? Susan David—a psychologist at Harvard Medical School—is here to offer us strategies.
- How to Lead When You Don’t Know Where You’re Going course through Luther Seminary August 6, 13, 20, 27, 2020
- How to Lead When You Don’t Know Where You’re Going: Leading in a Liminal Season book by Susan Beaumont
- Leadership Without Easy Answers book by Ronald Heifetz
- Ministry Planning with a Startup Mindset, from Northwestern’s Kellogg School of Management:
- Naming Anchor Problems by MaryAnn McKibbon Dana
- Naming Your Why
- Launch! Faith Formation Playlists from Vibrant Faith
- Planning Calendar for 2020-2021 from Rows of Sharon, blog by Sharon Ely Pearson
- Teeter Totter Planning: What to be curious about, Part I: The shape of future by Christine V. Hides
- What Now? A creative tool to help congregations make decisions in the age of COVID-19 from Rooted Good; a fabulous website that enables congregations to work through the processes as
- Mighty Networks and Padlet are productivity systems some churches have adopted to be consistent with the systems being used by local schools. Kay Humbert provided a link to RLC VBS@Home 2020 as an example.
- Switcher Studio was mentioned by Ron in his work with worship video.
Ron’s Information on Radio Transmitter
First things first: The device I use can be found here.
It’s the Signstek ST-7C FM Mini Radio Station. It’s around $150.00. I purchased two just to be safe.
They are really easy to use but the biggest caution I have is this: Under no circumstances, do not turn on the device without having put in the antenna. Otherwise it will fry the circuits and all you will have is $150.00 worth of junk!
The device is really easy to use! After getting the antenna in place, simply attach the appropriate microphone (Note you’ll need a small lapel microphone) plug in the device (It likes to be grounded so I place my one the ground) and turn the knob to the appropriate FM bandwidth. The range is 88.1-108. Note, that 108 places you near what aircraft use. And you want to make sure you are not broadcasting on a frequency that a local radio station is using. We use 107.9.
At St. Clare’s we have a covered patio and that’s where I set-up. My expectations are clear: Stay in your cars and be safe! For those who want to give a check, we place a table near the edge of the parking lot with a basket…we’ve also considered using one of those Catholic plates that have a long pole!
The fidelity of this device is really good! To quote one parishioner: “It sounds like you are sitting in the car next to me.” All your parishioners have to do is tune their car radio, or any portable device that gets a radio signal and that’s it! I had one elderly person tell me she was afraid it wouldn’t work…and it worked!
This is a lifesaver for those who can’t or won’t go online.
The Reverend Ron Culmer is married, a graduate of The Church Divinity School of the Pacific, and a student at Bexley-Seabury’s. A fifth generation Episcopalian, and a priest in his twenty-sixth year, he loves the flex point and synergy where innovation and collaboration meet.
Ron is the Rector of St. Clare’s Episcopal Church in Pleasanton, California (The San Francisco Bay Area). He’s a community organizer and co-founded Genesis of the Tri-Valley, a faith based community organizing group through Gamaliel whose accomplishments include ensure that more ten thousand young people have bus passes for the next five years in Alameda county.
Christine V. Hides is the Director of Christian Education at Kenilworth Union Church, parent of teenagers, and author of the website, Bless Each One. A commissioned deacon in the United Methodist Church, Christine is called to develop faith formation resources that nurture imagination and participation in God’s vision of peace and justice.
A frequent contributor to Building Faith, you can find Christine’s past articles here.