Vision 2020 Report Reading and Discussion Guide

A guide for receiving and discussing the Vision 2020 Team report

Grace and peace to you in Jesus. We, as the Vision 2020 Team, recognize that with this report our work is largely over for now and your work is just beginning. We know that everyone has deep and valid feelings about the future of the RCA and about the work we have done—we have those feelings ourselves. We are asking for you to take our work and use it in your own reflection and discernment as you prepare for General Synod 2021. We hope you are able both to make space for personal reflection and to create discussion forums with your congregations, leadership teams, and colleagues.

Would you please consider a few suggestions for interacting with this report?

1

We hand this over to you now with a mixture of gratitude, love, hope, fatigue, and concern. Please remember that we are human beings who have done our best, and we are committed to praying for you and for the RCA as we all take on this next phase of the work together.
2

Please accept our work as the result of a genuine process of discernment. We didn’t get everything right, but we did sense the presence of God in our work, and we worked hard to listen to God’s guidance.
3

We know that we couldn’t say everything. If you notice something is missing, please consider that we probably thought about it, but it didn't make the final edit for a number of reasons (length being the biggest factor). We conducted interviews with dozens of people and spent hundreds of hours discussing the issues that they presented to us. Something may have been discussed at length and may have deeply influenced us and still not be explicitly named in the report.
4

We are acutely aware that not everybody will be happy or comfortable with everything that is being proposed. Even our own group did not always agree. Please understand that as a group we tried to discern God’s best for all involved and with an eye on the future of the RCA and God’s church, over our own individual preferences.
5

We have a strong value around the discernment of God's will taking place within the faith community. Although the recommendations have now been made, please still consider yourselves to be part of that discernment, as we all reflect and offer feedback throughout the coming year. We value your opinions and look forward to a year of community prayer, listening, asking questions, considering new ideas, speaking the truth in love, and ultimately planning together for the future of the RCA.
6

We recommend the discussion prompts below to you for your reflection and your discussion, both individually and in groups.

The Vision 2020 Team

Eddy Alemán, ex officio
Charles Contreras
Diane Smith Faubion
Barbara Felker
Thomas Goodhart
Brian Keepers
Kristen Livingston

John Messer
Christa Mooi
Don Poest, ex officio
Rudy Rubio
Marijke Strong
Scott Treadway
Imos Wu

Vision 2020 Team report discussion prompts

  • Pray for the Spirit of God to be present to you as you read and reread this report.
  • What do you affirm? What did you appreciate, and where did you feel your own interest sparked?
  • What resistance do you feel? Where do you feel disappointment, anger, or anxiety?
  • What is confusing or missing? What do you wish were different? What else do you want to know? 
  • How will you respond? How will you “speak the truth in love” in response to this recommendation? What will you say and do? What will you not say and not do? 
  • What is your prayer for the future? For those who will continue to be part of the RCA? For those who will leave? For the church of Jesus Christ in the world?