Most members of the call committee at Christ Lutheran Church, Nashville, Tenn., come directly to church from work for their meeting.
Early on, a parishioner who wasn't on the committee decided to feed them, organizing others to take a turn at being "caterer" of the week. The committee gathers for a meal — with no talk of the call process. Then, on to business in a room across the hall.
Delmer Chilton, assistant to the Southeastern Synod bishop, said, "At first I was intrigued by the practicality of this plan (no grabbing fast food on the way to the hotel for me tonight), but as I [listened to] folks talking and laughing and sharing prayer concerns, I realized how important this pre-meeting time was to the actual work of the committee. Sacred work flows out of Christian community and Christian community flows out of sacred work. Being together for that meal every week helped ... them get to know each other at a deeper, more personal level and led to a level of trust and intimacy necessary for their work."
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