The Consultation met a total of five times at different sites around the nation, and at the time of this reporting, the dates are scheduled for December 8-10, 2005; March 26-28, 2006; June 25-28, 2006; January 14-16, 2007, and May 9-12, 2007.
Participants presented papers to one another a) on what works and what does not work well within discernment and decision making in their traditions and settings (local, regional, and national); b) biblical, historical, theological, and practical perspectives regarding what sorts of things tend to work well in terms of congregational discernment; c) applying particular approaches and reporting ; and d) reflecting on potential ways forward within the church across traditions and particular settings.
These presentations prepared the way for Phase III, involving the publication of our findings. Members of our Local Resource Committee were invited to our first Consultation meeting and made presentations of helpful substance. Other authorities were brought in along the way, making presentations on subjects of their expertise: Luke Timothy Johnson (discernment in biblical perspective), Leonard Sweet (signposts of discernment), Shannon Craigo-Snell (a theology of discernment), and Ruth Haley Barton (the spiritual transformation of the leader).