The Roundtable Convenes – is God invited?
On Tuesday, December 5, 2017, the Project Imagine roundtable gathers for its inaugural meeting in Dallas, Texas. Since constituents are underwriting their own expenses, meeting sites are selected according to affordable airfare (usually a hub), suitable meeting property in proximity to the airport by shuttle service, and affordable rates. Negotiations for our next meeting sites are still underway.
General Assembly action created the roundtable as a means of initiating a national conversation about how the many entities seeking to serve the movement can work together. Today, many local pastors are solicited by numerous Church of God-related organizations vying with one another for attention through conflicting calendars and competing financial appeals.
This needed conversation can be described as the pursuit of functional unity across the more than 140 organizations and entities that constitute the Church of God. To that end, the General Assembly passed a motion in June 2017 by an 81-percent vote to create a roundtable and begin this pursuit.
This important dialogue has been labeled Project Imagine and represents an open, creative, and forward-looking attitude toward the future work of the Church of God. We seek direction from the Holy Spirit as we discuss the future calling of the movement. The roundtable consists of twenty-nine individuals representing thirteen different expressions of life and ministry within the movement. The complete roster of twenty-nine participants and the thirteen represented entities are listed below:
1. Bailey, Arnetta, Christian Women Connection
2. Barnes, Rochelle, Lay Leader
3. Clarke, Timothy, Large Church/Ministries Council Chair-Elect
4. Cottrell, Esther, Ohio Regional Pastor
5. Critser, Kay, American Indian Council
6. DeSantiago, Roxie, Lay Leader
7. Dixon, Geremy, Large Church
8. Grubbs, Marty, Large Church
9. Guzman, Michael, Mid-sized Church
10. January, Jerald, Large Church
11. Livingston, Eric, Ministries Council
12. Lutzer, George, Large Church, Canada (Western)
13. Martinez-Garcia, Mary Ann, Ministries Council/Concilio
14. McBroom, Clint, Small Church
15. Merritt, Miki, Ministries Council
16. Miller, Vincent, Ministries Council
17. Myricks, Chuck, National Association Church of God
18. Oldham, Neil, Small Church
19. Perry, Aaron, Mid-sized Church
20. Pistole, John, Anderson University President
21. Pratt, Melissa, Mid-sized Church
22. Rennick, Steve, Colorado Regional Pastor
23. Rudd, H. Gerald, Pastors’ Fellowship
24. Sanders, Cheryl, Mid-sized Church
25. Spooner, Junior, Canada (Eastern)
26. Swoope, Diana, Ministries Council & General Assembly Chair
27. Talley, Doug, Indiana Regional Pastor
28. West, Tim, Texas Regional Pastor
29. Willowby, Nathan, School of Theology
CHURCH OF GOD MINISTRIES STAFF ATTENDING / SERVING
1. Lyon, Jim, General Director
2. Moss, Bob, Project Imagine Executive
3. Farmer, Natalie, Chief Financial, and Operations Officer
4. Shular, Ben, Chief Strategy Officer
5. Whitmoyer, Dave, Project Imagine Logistics
6. Sand, Ben, Outside Facilitator
7. Powell, Jared, Project Imagine Videographer
It’s important to report that I’ve been working diligently to provide the members of the roundtable with materials for spiritual preparation for this event. I’ve written a set of daily devotionals, sent each day, to the roundtable. These are intended as thought-starters and reminders to pray. More is needed than a perfunctory devotional thought and prayer at the start of each day. Instead, we are believing that the magnitude of this work merits intense prayer and preparation in advance of the meeting.
I am asking the church-at-large to engage in intentional prayer for the roundtable as we convene on Tuesday, December 5.
Recent days have been consumed with frenetic activity in preparation for the meeting. As news develops, the frequency of these posts will increase.