By: Edd Norris, Chair, Discernment and Design Team

The Discernment and Design Team has hired a consultant to counsel and guide us in our strategic planning process. Jana Ertrachter is principal consultant and coach at The Ertrachter Group since 1999. She has an MBA combined with more than 28 years’ experience in the private, social, and public sectors including a proven record in the following areas: Facilitation, Collaborative Processes, Organizational Development, and Customized Training/Education.

We have begun working with her and have accomplished the following to date:

• The Steering Planning Committee Chair has been selected – Edd Norris.

• The information gathering process continues. It started with the Holy Listening process which gave us a baseline from which to work. We will be gathering additional information from individuals and other groups in the Presbytery of St. Augustine in the coming months.

• The Discernment and Design Team had a kick-off planning meeting.

• The Steering Planning Committee is being created using a process to ensure inclusiveness and diversity. The first meeting of this group will be October 29, 2015. They will meet monthly.

• Jana attended the Council meeting to ensure alignment around expectations and outcomes for the process.

• The Holy Listening process has given us an excellent baseline from which to work.

Your support and commitment is critical to the success of our work together. We will keep you informed and engaged along the way. It is our goal to report to the presbytery in March with the strategic framing components. Action plans to support the longer-term direction will be created once the strategic framework is approved by the presbytery.