You may have noticed St. Andrew’s clergy, parishioners, and staff walking around recently with a book called Canoeing the Mountains: Christian Leadership in Uncharted Territory. Written by a Presbyterian minister and seminary administrator with 27 years of parish leadership experience, Canoeing the Mountains challenges church leaders to develop new and different strategies from what worked years ago when churches were full and Sunday mornings were sacrosanct. The author compares the experience of Lewis and Clark—who were completely unequipped to tackle the Rocky Mountains and yet somehow managed to find a way through—with the situation of the Church today, where leaders tend to keep trying old strategies in this new and unfamiliar territory.
Our staff and vestry have begun reading and discussing Canoeing the Mountains. On May 11, three clergy and three parishioners from St. Andrew’s attended a diocesan conference led by the author, Tod Bolsinger. Two of those parishioners, newcomer Dawn Edquist and longtimer Al Roby, have graciously agreed to facilitate a summertime discussion of Canoeing the Mountains, which comes complete with a study guide. The study will be held between services in the Parish Hall from 9:15 to 10:15 from June 16 through July 28, with a break on July 7.
In many ways, this book and the conversations it generates pick up on some of the work we began a year and a half ago with our Being and Becoming discussions. Now as then, I would love to have everyone who is interested take part in this crucial conversation so that we can learn and think and grow and pray together. Canoeing the Mountains is available on amazon.com for about $16. I am happy to buy the book for you if that would be helpful; just let me know. I hope you will join us on those Sunday mornings in June and July!