Brave Work, Tough Conversations, Whole Hearts

This is my fourth vestry experience, one which I did not seek.  I was asked to fulfill the last year of a vacated term.  After a little arm-twisting, I agreed.  I am glad I did, because in this current vestry, I am experiencing three characteristics of exceptional leadership that Brené Brown defines in her book, Dare to Lead:

Brave Work | Tough Conversations | Whole Hearts

This vestry is indeed doing “Brave Work.”  It is developing a revised mission plan and vision for our parish.  It is nourishing God’s call for us to build a new facility to better serve ourselves and the community we serve.  It is strengthening our outreach programs to effectively minister to others as well as our own parish.  As our rector is on sabbatical, the vestry is working to see that our parish continues to run smoothly.  We are also supporting plans for the best St. Francis Day Celebration ever!

All of this brave work is accomplished through “Tough Conversations.”  Brown call this, “rumbling with vulnerability.”  A rumble is a discussion, or meeting defined by a commitment to be vulnerable, humble and respectful of individual differences and opinions.  We listen with the same passion with which we want to be heard.  As a result of an effective vestry retreat prior to beginning our work, we truly value the God-given gifts each brings to the rumble. 

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This is a vestry committed to the courage of leading with our hearts.  Check out our pictures in the hallway outside of the Parish Hall.  You will see the faces of young adults, fairly new Franciscans, and some old timers, like me.  I find it energizing to listen to the enthusiasm and new ideas of our new members.  They are indeed our future.  We are able to rumble with respect and admiration for we have the courage to love as Jesus loves and to respect new ways of realizing God’s call.

Pope Francis continues to request prayers for his ministry.  So, do we!  Please pray that the vestry’s work will rumble with courage and engage our whole hearts in the ministry of this parish.

Barry Jenkins