In the 1980's, I had a woodworking business called Soli’s Wood Shop. I even had a tag line: Putting YOUR ideas to work. I considered it my job to help the customer take what they imagined, give it form, and then make it for them. I was a facilitator, a design partner, and builder.
For 25 years as a parish pastor, I also helped people put their ideas to work. However, in ministry, the ideas weren’t about cabinetry but related to matters of faith, family, relationships, and community. My parish work led me to Dialog Works.
Dialog Works is all about using the tools of dialogue to bring ideas, plans, and change to life. We believe the Spirit, working through conversations and relationships, shapes our futures.
In October 2020, Dialog Works was incorporated as a non-profit. Our mission is to serve small congregation who are facing sustainability issues. We have committed ourselves to walking with these congregations, facilitating conversations, helping resolve conflicts, and partnering with leaders to move in the direction they sense the Spirit is leading. Our job is to put the small congregation's ideas to work.
These are tough times for small congregations. The COVID-19 crisis continues to take a toll on small congregations, especially those congregations who were struggling before the pandemic. The need for us to work together and discover the Spirit's leading is substantial. To address this need, Dialog Works has launched two projects.
Two Dialog Works projects
Grassroots Connect is a project with the goal of contacting 25 small congregations to learn about the effects COVID is having on the parish. This project combines the discovery of what is currently happening in congregations with reaching out and building new relationships with congregations.
Specialized Training Initiative is a project designed to equip parish leaders with the skills and tools needed to minister and lead in congregations facing sustainability issues. This project is currently being developed in partnership with Wartburg Seminary in Dubuque, IA. An Advisory Board with members from four Midwestern states is helping shape the training. We hope to offer training modules after Easter of 2021.
There are several ways for you to take part with Dialog Works.
If you are involved with a small congregation facing sustainability issues, we would like to hear about your situation and explore with you how we might work together. Email Peter to set up a time to talk.
If you are interested in Grassroots Connect, we are looking for volunteers to be part of the Discovery Team. Team members will reach out to congregations and interview congregation leaders. Volunteers will receive training and a small honorarium for their work. Click here to sign-up and to learn more.
If you are interested in Specialized Training and wish to be notified when the classes are available, click here to be notified when the modules are being offered.
Your support of these projects and Dialog Works is important. Please consider making a gift to help provide training, services, and support for small congregations.