The Visioning Team

There’s an interesting story about the passenger pigeon; remember them? ‘Martha’ died in the Cincinnati Zoological Gardens in 1914. She was the very last passenger pigeon. A century earlier passenger pigeons darkened the skies with their vast numbers. What happened? At first, scientists and environmentalists thought it was due to low birth rates or extensive hunting. You’ll be surprised to learn the real reason passenger pigeons became extinct is their preoccupation with family.

Yes, I know. This sounds impossible, if not improbable. Passenger pigeons were monogamous, they shared parenting, they were gregarious, and they faithfully passed on to generations the value of friendliness. All good qualities. How could those kill you? Easier than you might think. Their gene pool became weak because they didn’t welcome unattached birds; they spent their time focused on themselves. Passenger pigeons were so gregarious they would nest in the same tree, often on the same branch, which would often collapse under the weight. Their heritage of family loyalty didn’t make room for adaption to their environment. They were also vulnerable to hostile environments because they would cling together even in the presence of danger. Remember the term ‘stool pigeon’? Passenger pigeons were so gregarious that one ‘stool’ pigeon could be tied to a string over a stool and all the other pigeons would swarm around. A clever hunter would only need one pigeon in order to kills dozens. (Thomas G. Bandy, Moving Off the Map: A Field Guide to Changing the Congregation)

Moral of the story? We, in the Christian church, are in the midst of a radically changing cultural environment and we can’t do church the way we’ve always done church. Our Executive Council has approved a process and appointed a Visioning Team to help us help ourselves out of this rut. The end result will be a clear purpose and mission focus.

Will it take energy? Yes. Will it challenge us? Yes. Will it be worth it? Absolutely. Yes!

This will be a well-thought out congregational process. Everyone will be involved! STAY TUNED for more information. The Visioning Team is in the planning process.

Pr. Barb

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