Dream, Discern, Direction--Parish Mission Discernment

Dream, Discern & Direction audio from Nov. 2 can be found on the forums page.  The documents discussed are:

Presentation by Rev. Wilma Jakobsen

Presentation by Sue Bryson about parish survey results

Mission Covenant Overview (Handout)

Mission Covenant in Detail (Handout)


Previous Events/Meetings:

Also see the monthly Views for updates on the Dream, Discern, Direction effort!

  • Wednesday, February 26th, 7-9pm: Pictures and Pillars (compilation of themes from Pictures and Pillars)
  • Friday, March 14: 7:00 pm to 9:30 pm, spiritual preparation for Parish Afternoon (contemplation of  Faith-based Quotes)
  • Saturday, March 15: 12:30-5:00 pm, Parish Afternoon, a professionally facilitated time of sharing and listening. Lisa Heft was our facilitator.
  • Sunday, March 16th: At the Adult Forum, Bruce LaFetra gave a summary of the Parish Afternoon. You can see his presentation here
  • Monday, March 23rd: 7-9pm, Mission Discernment Committee. Mike Landis presented an overview of the St. Jude's Profile 2012 and the parish meetings that went into it. We also split up into sub-groups to tackle the information gathering tasks listed here
  • Monday, April 7th: 7-9pm, Mission Discernment Committee. The different information-gathering groups reported back on progress and the Committee discussed "norms" (Saint Jude's culture) identified by the Parish Afternoon
  • Wednesday, April 23rd, 7-9pm: Mission Discernment Committee. The different information-gathering groups reported back on progress and the Committee discussed the multiple meanings of "Community" and "Journey of Faith"
  • Wednesday, May 7th, 7-9pm: Parish Evening. We had over 25 people participating in an evening led by Wilma, Ian Greensides, Becky Smith, and Carolyn Bowker. Using tools and techniques from the Diocesan Kaleidoscope's training, we explored how we could make our favorite ministries operate in a more relationship-oriented way 
  • Wednesday, May 14th, 7-9pm: Mission Discernment Committee. We reviewed the summary of the Elizabeth Drescher report "Inside Out to Outside In" and discussed what that called us to in our mission.
  • Wednesday, May 28th, 7-9pm: Mission Discernment Committee. We reviewed the Parish Day Book of Proceedings and summarized it into different categories here
  • Wednesday, June 11th: Mission Discernment Committee. Sue Bryson presented a summary of the Online Survey responses (all 165+ of them!) to the Committee
  • Wednesday, June 25th, 7-9pm: Mission Discernment Committee. Ministry Roundtable reports.
  • Wednesday, July 9th, 7-9pm: Mission Discernment Committee. Ministry Roundtable reports.
  • Wednesday, July 23rd, 7-9pm: Mission Discernment Committee. Kris gave a summary of a discussion she held with youth at a Youth Group Lock-in and we did a second review of Sue's summary of Parish Survey results.
  • Monday, August 11th: "Money and St. Jude's" Roundtable: A small group of interested Vestry members and other parishioners discussed St. Jude's attitude towards money and how we talk about it. There was general agreement that we feel more comfortable supporting tangible causes (internal or external) rather than less-tangible ones like the endowment fund.
  • Wednesday, August 13th, 7-9pm: Mission Discernment Committee. We heard  summaries for roundtables about Santa Maria Urban Ministry and for Haiti/St. Patrick's School, and also for an initial discussion with Wilma. The committee reviewed Draft 1.1 of the Mission Covenant and made suggestions for changes and improvements.


Dream, Discern, Direction is our 2014 Parish-wide process to prayerfully and thoughtfully discern where God is leading the St. Jude’s community. It is based on learning the needs, hopes and dreams of the Parish within the context of the many strengths and rich history of St. Jude’s and then listening for God’s guidance.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What is Mission anyway?

A: Mission is the answer to the questions "What does God want St. Jude's to be now and in the future?” and “How does God want us to behave?"

Q: When did this Mission Discernment start?

A: With the start of her second year as St. Jude’s Rector, Wilma started engaging parishioners in discussion about our mission in Fall of 2013. We started prayer and discernment through Morning Prayer, Quiet Days, and Diocesan-provided Kaleidoscopes’ training. In February 2014 we formed a Mission Discernment Committee.

Q: What is the Mission Discernment Committee?

A: The Committee was chartered by the Vestry at the Vestry Retreat on February 9th, 2014. It’s a group of parishioners from diverse backgrounds and experiences at St. Jude's who will prayerfully discern what God is calling us to be and do. The Committee is co-chaired by Bruce LaFetra and Jeffrey Pugh and includes the following people: Kris Austin, Carolyn Bowker, Carlos Estrada, Ian Greensides, Margot Jacobsen, Bruce LaFetra, Lauren Minkel, Jeffrey Pugh, Mason Razavi, Becky Smith, Sherry Snow, Steve Stolarik and the Rev. Wilma Jakobsen. Howard Hill (Senior Warden) and Rev. Beth Parab (Associate Rector) are invited ex officio.

Q: When will the Mission Discernment Committee be done?

A: The goal is to report back to the Vestry in September 2014

Q: What will the output of the Committee be?

A: The Committee expects to write a Mission Description, a one paragraph description of God’s call to us, supported by several pages of explanation and guidance for the Vestry to consider when contemplating how our ministries and programs support the Mission.

Q: Isn’t this like a Strategic Plan, Corporate Mission, or Vision Statement?

A: Not really. The Vestry is responsible for policy and the strategic plan. But we expect the Mission Description will help inform the Vestry’s decisions about what our plans should be for the next 5-10 years.

Q: How can we take on more when I feel we’re doing too much already?

A: Mission discernment will guide the Vestry in focusing and coordinating our worship, programs, ministries, and efforts. We hope that St. Jude’s will be able to make an even bigger impact in the world when we share a clearer vision of where we are trying to go.

Q: How do I get my voice heard?

A: There will be multiple continuing Parish evenings and Parish Days for you to share what you are hearing as God’s call. The first ones are Wednesday, February 26th, 7-9pm and then Friday evening / Saturday afternoon, March 14th/15th. We expect monthly events ongoing.

Q: How will the Committee work?

A: We expect to use both existing and new information and input, such as:

  • Previous feedback from parishioners (e.g. St. Jude’s Clicks Parish Survey, Search Profile)

  • External observations (e.g. Inside Out to Outside In by Elizabeth Drescher)

  • Facilitated workshops (e.g. Kaleidoscopes training)

  • Prayer (e.g. Feedback from those who have been praying and listening at daily morning prayer)

  • Ministry review: what motivates you, how does your ministry fit in St Jude’s?

  • Parish Days (opportunity for anybody who wants to give feedback)

  • Small group discussions and gatherings

  • Direct input from parishioners through email or face-to-face feedback

After informing ourselves better we expect to spend significant time in prayer, study, discernment, and discussion before drafting the Mission Description. There will be further opportunities for parishioner commentary on this work and we expect all meetings and discussions to be public to St. Jude’s.

Q. How can I find out more?

A: Email or call Bruce LaFetra (bruce@lafetra.com, 408-839-1317) or Jeffrey Pugh (jdpugh2@gmail.com, 408-316-2311)


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Whoever you are, wherever you are on your journey of faith, you are welcome here.