by John Armstrong
It is spelled, “C-h-a-r-r-e-t-t-e,” it is pronounced, /SHəˈret/. The Oxford dictionary defines a charrette as,“a meeting in which all stakeholders in a project attempt to resolve conflicts and map solutions.” Wikipedia defines it as,“an intense period of design or planning activity. The word charrette may refer to any collaborative session in which a group of designers drafts a solution to a design problem.” So, now that you know what a charrette is, why is this the topic of a Pastor’s Pondering? Faith Church is going to participate in a charrette in November. Representatives from a company called “Building God’s Way” are going to come meet withthe Strategic Planning Committee from 7-9PM on November 10th,11th, and 12th. Those meetings will focus on needs assessment, initial design (interior), and final design (interior/exterior) respectively. The Strategic Planning Committee has taken pains to make sure that all the major areas of our church’s ministry are represented by people deeply involved in those aspects of the ministry. You may be asking yourself, “Why are we doing this now?”First of all, our church has been blessed by God with a growth trend in new people coming and in the birth of covenant children. We praise God for both. When the Lord blesses you, He has a way of challenging you as well. We are indeed challenged,evenin this time of pandemic when we are not using the facilities as we used to, we are still finding ourselves short on space. Our space requirements have continued to increase for years now and we are frankly severely limited in the amount of things we cando with our current facility. We need more educational space for Sunday school classes for all ages. We need more restroom facilities. We need more dedicated fellowship space. Those are existing needs. If we continue to grow, which we are praying for, we will also need increased worship space. Your elders are committed to trying to avoid having to go to multiple worship services. The reason for that is the tendency for multiple worship services to create multiple congregations. We are one body hereat Faith and we want to guard that as we seek to worship God together.The Lord has chosen to drop an ever growing mission field literally right at our doorstep. Historically, we have been what I have called a “regional” church because we have membersthat commute long distances past many other churches to come here. There is nothing wrong with that, and there is no doubt that we have struggled at times to try to reach out to our immediate community without much success. We are praying and mobilizingfor a different outcome as the community grows around us. We want to be a church that reaches across the street and even across some state lines. As I say that, I’m mindful that if the Lord continues to bless us with growth, there is a limit to what we can do at this location on Yellow Springs Rd. There may come a time when we will need to birth a daughter church in the surrounding area. However, that is a conversation for a later time. For now, I would ask you to please pray for the Session,and the Strategic Planning Committee and the several additional folks that will join in the process of participating in this charrette. May God be glorified in this process and may He grow and bless His church here at Faith Reformed in Frederick.