Visioning Workshop January 2021

               June 4, 2021

An inaugural meeting was held on June 4, 2021, to discuss how the Covenant Strategic Planning phase of the Covenant, would proceed.

              April 25, 2021

The Council of Christ Church Gabriola held a Special Congregational Meeting on Sunday, April 25.  The purpose of the meeting was to consider the adoption of the proposed Christ Church Gabriola Covenant  (attached). The Covenant was recommended for the congregation to consider at Council's March 18, 2021 meeting.

The Covenant was adopted by CCG members

A brief summary of the steps taken by the Visioning Team (VT) since mid-2019:

  • The VT created a visual picture of the congregation's personal connections to our community and church by locating ourselves on a giant map of Gabriola, using red yarn to connect us to identified community groups and blue yarn to connect to aspects of church life.  This exercise created a visual picture of a dynamic, multi-faceted church community with strong ties to the broader community.
  • The VT had face to face interviews in early 2020 with 75 church members who gave responses to four questions:
  1. Being part of a church is a conscious choice.  Why have you made church a part of your life?
  2. We cannot know all of the mind of God, but we can get a sense of what is important to God from places like scripture, or life experience and paying attention to ways we are drawn or nudged internally or externally.  When has CCG or any church come closest to your sense of what God would want?
  3. The congregation spent time during the preparatory work naming our connections to the community, individually and collectively.  In what ways can CCG deepen connections with the community?
  4. What is your dream for Christ Church Gabriola?
  • The VT each read all the notes on all the interviews and organized and synthesized the responses into categories with subcategories including all the major ideas people expressed. This was organized by Shelagh into an incredible “mind map” displayed in the church in March 2020 but seen by very few people as the church closed due to Covid.
  • Out of this input the VT came up with nine “provocative propositions” which are “mini-vision statements” that the VT asked the congregation to assess, prioritize, review, and discern as we progressed towards a common vision for Christ Church Gabriola. This was done through filling in an assessment booklet, and attending Zoom meetings in the fall of 2020 with discussions.
  • The results of the printed assessments were collated and reviewed by the Visioning Team.
  • Using the provocative propositions, revised and prioritized according to our survey, the VT felt that there was too much content for a succinct vision statement, and too much value in the content for any part of it to be disregarded. They decided that a covenant between our church community and God would work well as a blueprint to express how we see our church life evolving.
  • The VT brought a proposed Covenant to the November 19, 2020 Council meeting where it was well supported.
  • The VT prepared and gave workshops to congregants in early 2021 so they would understand the covenanting experience, and they provided opportunities for people to send suggestions for changes to the proposed Covenant.
  • The VT made some revisions and presented a final proposed covenant to the March 18, 2021 Council meeting.  The Council decided to recommend the proposed Covenant for adoption at a Special Congregational Meeting to be held as soon as possible.

See 'The Covenant' attached to these announcements.

Visioning Workshop Update January 2021

The Visioning Team has put together a workshop for members of the CCG community to come together and reflect on our proposed covenant. 

The dates are Friday, January 29 at 1:30pm and Tuesday, February 9 at 7pm; both on zoom and both about 60-75 minutes. 

Please RSVP for your preferred date to

Prior to the workshop, please spend some personal time reading and reflecting on the proposed covenant....see attached.


Christ Church Gabriola Visioning Presentation May 17, 2020

Visioning Team: Rev. Karen, Shelagh Huston, Susan Brockley, Owen McCooey, Betty Schultze

CCG's Visioning Presentation Video

Thank you to the Visioning Team for working so diligently to provide us with this information and for the Powerpoint Presentation. ( Owen was instrumental in making the presentation but was unable to be present for its recording)

Join us:

Visionary Report C & Q  Sessions via Zoom (Zoom invitation will be sent on request)

  Thursday, May 28, 10:00am OR  Friday, May 29, 1:30pm


History of the Visioning Process

The Council decided that we would use Appreciative Inquiry as our visioning and planning process.  Appreciative Inquiry “…is a planning process intended to assist the organization to be more effective in achieving its mission and goals.  Appreciative Inquiry does this by focusing upon the organization’s strengths (not its weaknesses), its sources of joy, energy and hope.”

Here is a brief timeline of the visioning process so far:

2016-2017: History of Christ Church Gabriola – Learning the history of CCG was part of the Interim Ministry Process.  Written information about the history was posted on our bulletin board in 2019.

January – February 2018: Learning each others’ stories - This was done in small group settings when Karen first joined us.

March 3, 2019: Karen preached about prayer and the importance of surrounding the

visioning process with prayer.  Then the people of Christ Church Gabriola were given a Prayer Guide to help them learn about different forms of prayer and which forms suited each of them.

May 7, 2019: First meeting of the Visioning Team: Susan Brockley, Betty Schultze, Owen McCooey, Karen Hollis (Shelagh Huston joined later.)

Spring, Summer and Fall 2019: Identifying our connections with the wider community. Owen spoke about this.  A large map was then posted in the church hall, and all were encouraged to tie yarn to show three connections each had within the church (blue) and three connections each had outside the church (red).  Lisa Griffith analyzed and quantified all that yarn!

September 3, 2019: Shelagh Huston, who has experience with the Appreciative Inquiry Process, returned to Gabriola and joined the Visioning Team.

September 29, 2019: In church, we wrote down answers to “What do you like about our congregational life?” and “What do you want more of?”  The Visioning Team read all the responses and grouped them in categories.

October 14, 2019: Report to Congregation by Karen Hollis - A Snapshot of Christ Church Gabriola (history, stories, connections).  This is now posted on the website.

January 7 – February 25, 2020: Visioning Conversations took place.

February 21, 2020: Visioning Team retreat to study and analyze what people had said.

May 17, 2020: PowerPoint report on the Visioning Conversations.  This will be published on the website after May 17.

Guiding Scriptures for the Visioning Process

Every meeting of the visioning team begins with these scriptures and every visioning conversation with the people of Christ Church Gabriola began with these scriptures:

“I have called you friends, because I have made known to you everything that I have heard from my Father.  You did not choose me but I chose you.  And I appointed you to go and bear fruit, fruit that will last.” (John 15:15-16)

“So faith by itself, if it has no works, is dead.  But someone will say, ‘You have faith and I have works.’  Show me your faith without works, and I by my works will show you my faith.” (James 2:17-18)

The Questions for our Visioning Conversations

1. Why have you made church a part of your life?

2. We cannot know all of the mind of God, but we can get a sense of what is important to God from places like scripture, our life experience, and paying attention to ways we are drawn or nudged (internally or externally). When has CCG or any church come closest to your sense of what God wants? Tell me a story.

3. In what ways can CCG deepen connections with the community?

4. What is your dream for Christ Church Gabriola?

5. What else would you like to share?

A Note on Defining Parameters

The Visioning Team is aware that there are many different ways to define ‘vision’.  We are understanding the vision of our church to be a description of who we are and what we do based on our highest aspirations and most valued characteristics – as Karen has been saying, “our essence”.  How we express our vision is our mission.  The ministries that arise from our mission are part of our strategic plan.  This is followed by the tactical planning of our regular (monthly, weekly, daily) operations.

We as a Visioning Team realize that these categories shade into one another as in the graphic below.

Slideshow image


The task of the Visioning Team has been to produce a set of statements which constitute a Vision/Mission document. 


Also, find the following reference documents attached:

Rev. Karen Hollis' Report to Council - June 4, 2018 (after get-to-know-you conversations)

Prayer Guide

Visioning Update - Sept 2019

Report to Congregation - Oct 2019 (snapshot of CCG)

Church History

Visioning PowerPoint Slides

Draft Covenant Document