FUMCWA Thrive Team

Since March 2022 the following church members have participated in The Examen(ed) Church (a two-year fully funded program promoting congregational vitality based at Marquette University): Pastor Sam, Karen and Tom Bolton, Bonnie Chesky, Laura Molleson, Barb Sorenson, and Deb Semrad. This team is called a “Thrive Team.” The team has learned a spiritual practice for reflection called the Examen. The Examen is a prayer practice that helps us process our day by guiding us in reflecting on key moments when we may have been moving toward or away from God’s best for us. The team then began applying that same reflective approach to thinking about their personal experience of church and the early difficult days of the pandemic. The team meets regularly to share their experience of practicing this prayerful reflection. The team has been trained to move from personal reflection to group reflection. In 2023, the team will continue to apply this practice of reflection as they dig deeper into the questions of the church’s mission and values, how the church understands and ministers in its context, and what Christian practices are central to the church’s embodiment of its mission. The team is supported in this process through workshops at Marquette in addition to regular monthly resources to guide their reflections. Later in 2023, the team will share the practice of the Examen with the congregation in order to incorporate this into the church’s life going forward. The team and the church leadership and the congregation will then discern some concrete action to take based on the reflection and discernment process. The team has learned a great deal and is very grateful to be part of this journey as they work together and continue to live out the mission of the People of God.