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The Listening Project 2017

Help us write the next chapter for Second!

Listening Project 2017 is an opportunity to voice your thoughts about Second’s life and mission. It is a key step in discerning God’s call to us as we transition to new pastoral leadership after Dr. Galloway’s retirement.  It will provide important information to our Pastor Nominating Committee.

All members have been sent an e-mail or post card with directions for taking the on-line survey.  If you did not receive these mailings, or don’t have a computer but want to take the survey, contact John Koppitch, (317) 202-2252 or Gail Barber, (317) 726-5412.  Deadline for completing the survey is next Sunday, March 26.



As you know, our Senior Pastor Dr. Lewis Galloway will be retiring in the summer of 2018. In preparation for his retirement, the congregation has voted to call a Co-Senior Pastor who will serve with him for a brief period of overlap. The Pastoral Nominating Committee has been formed and is busy at work.

Over the next 12 months, our congregation and staff will be working on a number of items in preparation for a healthy transition. The Planning Committee has been working on Listening Project 2017 to hear the congregation’s thoughts and ideas about all areas of our mission and life. The information gathered during Listening Project 2017 will assist the Pastoral Nominating Committee in its search, inform potential candidates about the life of our congregation, and provide important information for a new strategic planning process once the new Senior Pastor is installed.

We need everyone’s ideas, input and prayers. In March, you will receive an online survey. It is vital that everyone participate. We will provide other ways to complete the survey if you don’t have access to a computer. Once we receive the survey responses, we will schedule focus groups with members of the congregation to explore in detail the results of the survey.

In June, we will have a congregational summit to review the results of the survey and the focus groups. At the summit, we will identify changes we can implement immediately and begin work on plans for those changes this year.

In the coming weeks, you will receive more specific information about Listening Project 2017. We look forward to hearing from every member of the congregation as we begin to write the next chapter for Second!

~ The Planning Committee of Session

Listening Project 2017 Purpose and Task Force Members

The Task Force for Listening Project 2017 will develop and shepherd an effective listening process that will engage the congregation in a broad and deep consideration of the uniqueness of Second members’ beliefs, practices, identity, preferences, and vision for our future as a congregation.

Listening Project 2017 will serve multiple short- and long-term purposes, including:

  • Affirming Second’s strengths
  • Identifying near-term opportunities
  • Aiding the Pastor Nominating Committee and prospective candidates
  • Laying the foundation for long-term strategic planning after a new Senior Pastor has been called

The Listening Project 2017 Task Force is an ad hoc working group of the Planning Committee and is comprised of the following members:

Task Force Leader:

  • Anne Nobles

Task Force Co-Facilitators:  

  • John Koppitch
  • Sandra Herron – MiddlEdge Inc.

Task Force Members:  

  • Charles Bolton
  • Kathy Dannels
  • Mandy Ernest
  • Lewis Galloway
  • Steve Haigh
  • Keith Phelps
  • Jim Purcell

The Task Force anticipates the following benefits from the Listening Project 2017:

  • Strengthen ties between members
  • Identify strengths from members’ perspectives
  • Plan for future leadership transitions
  • Spark engagement and ownership
  • Give Senior Pastor candidates current insights
  • Identify concerns and opportunities
  • Identify and act on low-hanging fruit

Project Phases and Timeline

The roughly six-month listening process will unfold as follows:



1: Mobilize
Plan and Organize for the Project

February 2017

2: Understand
Collect Data from the Congregation
via a Questionnaire

March 2017

3: Dig Deeper
Collect Data via Focus Groups
to Deepen Understanding
of Key Audiences and/or Key Issues

April and May 2017

4: Reflect
Explore Implications and Opportunities
from Research Findings

June 2017

Congregational Summit:
Saturday, June 10, 2017

5: Document and Communicate
Synthesize and Share the Results
of Listening Project 2017

July and August 2017

Presentation of Findings:
Sunday, August 27, 2017


How to Prepare and Participate in the Process

We enter this time of listening and discernment with a hope that everyone will engage with energy, vision, honesty and grace. Here’s how you can prepare to participate in this process:

1.      Pray and reflect on our process

2.      Consider the following questions:

  • What makes Second special and unique to you?
  • Where do you see God at work in our midst?
  • Where do you see God calling Second to be drawn more deeply into God’s work?
  • What might Second look like in 5 / 7 / 10 years? How might our vision for the future inform the style and qualities of the Senior Pastor we call?
  • What could we start doing – or do differently – to move Second to the next level of mission impact?

Members of the Listening Project Task Force will share regular updates via worship bulletins, newsletters, posters and other church communication vehicles.