Day 3 -- Today I presented my dissertation proposal. I was on the hot seat in front of my colleagues and doctoral advisers for about 80 minutes. Pastor James Bergen was able to make it down from Fresno to show support, ask questions and help me with the presentation. Thanks James!
My proposal was dismantled fairly thoroughly, but a number of elements survived. I’ll now have to work hard at reshaping the eleven-page document and then resubmitting it. In general, I’m proposing to help North Fresno Church begin to think about diffusing the kinds of things we’ve been doing in the church neighborhood into the neighborhoods of individual congregants. We have engaged in such wonderful missional practices on North Fresno Street, we need to understand how members of NFC can engage their own neighbors. My plan is to gather several families from different areas of town and begin some simple experiments with missional practices on their blocks. The practices might include walking and reading a neighborhood, Appreciative Inquiry interviews, lectio divina in their homes, and the practice of hospitality. The actual practices will be decided on by the families who covenant together to participate in this project. One of the outcomes will be a Sunday school class that is taught by the participants. Hopefully that will be a way to pass on what we have learned.
A lot of the details are missing because my next task is to redesign my proposal and fill in the blanks. If you would like to follow my progress or are from NFC and would like to participate in this project just let me know. Say a prayer for me to if you think about it as well.