Keith's church Discovery Center ministry

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Keith's church Discovery Center ministry

Postby William Thornton » Sat Apr 29, 2017 10:09 am

Keith mentioned this in another comment that he is the Founder of The Discovery Center.

It may surprise him and my other mod/lib friends here that I like the idea. Were I in the area, I'd likely (OK, certainly) not find Weatherly Heights to be my choice for a local church but I'd make a visit and some of the Discovery Center offerings look interesting.

Since Keith is the Founder, perhaps he would indulge a few questions:

1. This is your church's ministry. Is it in the budget or funded by a designated gift? Paid staff?
2. Why did you find it necessary to have a separate board of directors? To involve non church people?
3. I'm intrigued by the logo, the Star of David with a swirl. Is this some image that has a history or one that was created just for the DC? The obvious Jewish symbol, stylized, but no obvious Christian symbol. I'm not understanding the thinking. Just curious.
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Re: Keith's church Discovery Center ministry

Postby Jim » Sat Apr 29, 2017 11:24 am

William Thornton wrote:Keith mentioned this in another comment and mentioned that he is the Founder of The Discovery Center.

It may surprise him and my other mod/lib friends here that I like the idea. Were I in the area, I'd likely (OK, certainly) not find Weatherly Heights to be my choice for a local church but I'd make a visit and some of the Discovery Center offerings look interesting.

Since Keith is the Founder, perhaps he would indulge a few questions:

1. This is your church's ministry. Is it in the budget or funded by a designated gift? Paid staff?
2. Why did you find it necessary to have a separate board of directors? To involve non church people?
3. I'm intrigued by the logo, the Star of David with a swirl. Is this some image that has a history or one that was created just for the DC? The obvious Jewish symbol, stylized, but no obvious Christian symbol. I'm not understanding the thinking. Just curious.


I would like to know the difference between self and true self.
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Re: Keith's church Discovery Center ministry

Postby KeithE » Sat Apr 29, 2017 5:34 pm

William Thornton wrote:Keith mentioned this in another comment that he is the Founder of The Discovery Center.

It may surprise him and my other mod/lib friends here that I like the idea. Were I in the area, I'd likely (OK, certainly) not find Weatherly Heights to be my choice for a local church but I'd make a visit and some of the Discovery Center offerings look interesting.

Since Keith is the Founder, perhaps he would indulge a few questions:

1. This is your church's ministry. Is it in the budget or funded by a designated gift? Paid staff?
2. Why did you find it necessary to have a separate board of directors? To involve non church people?
3. I'm intrigued by the logo, the Star of David with a swirl. Is this some image that has a history or one that was created just for the DC? The obvious Jewish symbol, stylized, but no obvious Christian symbol. I'm not understanding the thinking. Just curious.

Just saw this, I’ll answer all later tonight. Have to leave now.
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Re: Keith's church Discovery Center ministry

Postby KeithE » Sat Apr 29, 2017 10:57 pm

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William Thornton wrote:Keith mentioned this in another comment that he is the Founder of The Discovery Center.

It may surprise him and my other mod/lib friends here that I like the idea. Were I in the area, I'd likely (OK, certainly) not find Weatherly Heights to be my choice for a local church but I'd make a visit and some of the Discovery Center offerings look interesting.

Since Keith is the Founder, perhaps he would indulge a few questions:

1. This is your church's ministry. Is it in the budget or funded by a designated gift? Paid staff?
2. Why did you find it necessary to have a separate board of directors? To involve non church people?
3. I'm intrigued by the logo, the Star of David with a swirl. Is this some image that has a history or one that was created just for the DC? The obvious Jewish symbol, stylized, but no obvious Christian symbol. I'm not understanding the thinking. Just curious.


1. Yes it is a church “mission” (meant for people outside our doors). It began in the Long Range Planning Committee of which I am the Chair as a means for (1) ministry development and (2) adding to the church membership. But members are invited as well, thus it is a “ministry" as well. It is not in the budget this first year and hopefully we be self-supporting. Startup costs (advertisement, classroom supplies, easels, some teacher renumeration, a computer/display system, pre-bought books) were born by myself and two other friends. We charge students $10/class (to the Discovery Center operating fund) plus a renumeration to the teacher cost per student (that has ranged from $0 - $70 depending on teacher wishes), and any cost of books/materials. No paid staff - I do most of the class ideas, finding teachers, advertising, opening doors each night, ordering books, collecting fees, etc. We also have a good friend who has paid for scholarships for those who say they need help. Right now I have $600 in the operating fund and we hope it will be self-sufficient in the future as I learn the most cost-effective way to advertise.

2. The Board of Directors was suggested by our Minister who said 'Keith, you do not want to take on the grief yourself when someone objects to the class offerings’. On the board, we have David our pastor to represent the church, our Adult Committee Chair, our Stewardship Committet Chair to perform an auditing function, one member at large from our church, and two members at large from the Community (one of which is Christian and one a non-Christian). I have not yet finished writing the charter of th Discovery Center or the Board of Directors.

3. I found the logo online. It says to me, that though we may all have a different viewpoint (points of the star), we can all reach inward to join hands for ministry. And I have spoken to meaning of the logo to attendees and the church; everyone seems to like that. Yeah, it does have a Jewish flavor to it, but I like it anyway. We are intentionally interfaith in nature.

We have easels up for people who want to (1) see special speakers, (2) have ideas for book clubs and (3) have an idea for ministries. So far we have one lady from St. Thomas Episcopal that expressed interest in ministry to shut-ins. I teamed her up with two ladies from our church who have recently started such an endeavor and a Lutheran Pastor who said their small church went through a discernment process about what their church should be and ended up with ministry to local lonely people. I believe they have had one or two working sessions.

Our first set of classes that started Feb 27 are given in the attachment. We cancelled the Dave Ramsay class because the teachers did not approve of the prosperity gospel aspect of that material nor the idea of leaving estates to ministries (Dave Ramsay says it should be left for your children complete with a “Constitution” on allowable ways to spend it). We had a total of 48 attendees for the classes that started in late Feb About 1/2 from our church and 1/2 from without).

The classes that will start in the Summer are
(1) Introduction to Islam and the Quran (by our local Imam),
(2) Christian Theology for Beginners (Part 1) (by Rev Laura Lemley who I believe Timothy knows),
(3) Heaven and Hell Across the Faiths (by Rev Michael Bowe)
(4) Grasping the Enneagram (by Rev Frank Broyles)
(5) 3 one night sessions on An Introduction to Spiritual Direction (by Rev Dr. Robert Ferrell)
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WHBC Discovery postcard2.jpg
Last edited by KeithE on Sat Apr 29, 2017 11:55 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Keith's church Discovery Center ministry

Postby KeithE » Sat Apr 29, 2017 11:32 pm

Jim wrote:
William Thornton wrote:Keith mentioned this in another comment and mentioned that he is the Founder of The Discovery Center.


I would like to know the difference between self and true self.


Frank Broyles taught a class he called "Nautilus Composite" but is repeating it as "Your Best Life”. It uses several different personality tests to determine what would satisfy your inner yearnings, and what ministries you would be good at. 10 people attended the first class (all 8 that have returned their after class surveys to me, have had very positive things to say). Frank wrote a 75 page tailored report for each student. I plan to attend the one starting this Monday night which will be a shorten version of the class.

To Frank and myself, one's "true self" includes latent talents/yearnings/motivations that you didn't know of before the class. Frank originally wanted this line to read “Discover your Capacity for Ministry and a Flourishing Life”. That was too long for the brochure.
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Re: Keith's church Discovery Center ministry

Postby William Thornton » Sun Apr 30, 2017 6:48 am

Thanks. Pretty ambitious.

"Your best life" - intentionally copying Joel Osteen?

Gift assessment? Are you using a tool?

I'd be curious if anyone doesn't look at the logo and think "Jewish" first.
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Re: Keith's church Discovery Center ministry

Postby KeithE » Sun Apr 30, 2017 8:35 am

William Thornton said:
1. Thanks. Pretty ambitious.

2. "Your best life" - intentionally copying Joel Osteen?

3. Gift assessment? Are you using a tool?

4. I'd be curious if anyone doesn't look at the logo and think "Jewish" first.


1. Yes it has been challenging to establish the program. Keeps me busy in retirement doing something positive.

2. I sincerely doubt it. It was Frank Broyles's choice of the title for his second class along this line. His whole title is Your Best Life: Releasing Your Capacities for a Life that Flourishes

3. Frank told me that he had 15 different “tools” that he can use in personality testing. One of those tools is the biblical "spiritual gifts”. Here is his website Nautilus Endeavors which is a late career “business-ministry” move he is making. I think he used 5 of the personality tests in his first class at the Discovery Center which he called "Nautilus Composite" - a seven week class (not sure if Spiritual Gifts was one of them). He will use only three in his repeat class "Your Best Life" which is only three weeks long. I know he uses Myers-Briggs as one of his "tools". He is admittedly using the Discovery Center as a trial ballon and I could not be happier. He got married for the first time at about 60 years old (probably 3 years ago). Although he is Presbyterian (PCUSA) minister he officially serves as my son’s “mentor” in the UMC church as well as being an interim preacher at a Korean baptist church. His wife was the Director of Children's Ministry (half time) at my son’s church (Epworth UMC) but she just resigned because they are moving to the Smoky Mtns area on or June 1 where she has a family cabin awaiting in the “deep woods". But they are getting a Condo in Hunstville and Frank says he plans spend weekends in Huntsville in the near term (he is well known among Huntsvillian churchgoers and urban planners - good fiends with Mayor Tommy Battle who just announced he is running for Governor). Thus we have moved his second class "Your Best Life" to Sunday night. They had been planning to move to Connecticut where Frank and Rhonda both had employment opportunities, but I think they fell through. More than you ever wanted to know.

4. That was my first thought as well, but I can honestly say no one else has made a similar comment. I am open to other logos, but Iike this one for the reasons I already have said:
It says to me, that though we may all have a different viewpoint (points of the star), we can all reach inward to join hands for ministry.

We intend to be interfaith and find ministry partners in those circles (ambitious goal, not yet realized)

Although I have tried to get a class on the Hebrew Bible (or merely the Torah) with the Orthodox Rabbi in town, he has dragged his feet so far. The Rabbi at the Reformed Synagogue says she is on sabbatical this summer and may be more amenable to teaching at a later time (I'll talk to her this Fall about a February 2018 class). But I suspect we will be mostly Christian (more mainline than fundamentalist, although I have left and will continue to leave a poster and several brochures at conservative churches).

We plan an Introduction to Islam and the Quran staring this July after Ramadan.
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Re: Keith's church Discovery Center ministry

Postby William Thornton » Sun Apr 30, 2017 11:45 am

The Osteen question was strictly TIC.

I know that the personality tests and gifts inventories, including some that combine both, are mainstream but what I've read classifies them as very soft science and not data driven as to outcomes. I'd bet that if you dug deeply into it you would not have a high degree of confidence. That said, many are true believers in them including a lot of employers.
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Re: Keith's church Discovery Center ministry

Postby Bruce Gourley » Sun Apr 30, 2017 7:27 pm

Your new ministry sounds great, Keith. It seems to be a very helpful and timely way of reaching out beyond your church's membership.
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