New mayor challenges Erie to imagine future

For the first time in twelve years, today there is a new occupant on the fifth floor of Erie City Hall. Joe Schember took the oath of office as Erie’s new mayor and issued a challenge to those witnessing the inauguration and to the citizens of our region: imagine a different future for Erie.

According to reports, the mayor encouraged some group visualization:

“I’d like you all to just close your eyes for a minute and imagine these things, first Erie is a city with unlimited high tech family sustaining jobs, our children and other graduates of our local universities stay in Erie to work, and raise their families.”

“We have a world class downtown where people live work and play, where innovators and entrepreneurs create new businesses.”

“Every city neighborhood is safe and welcoming, where children play and neighbors know and help each other.  Our handling of the record December snow is a great example of how we can work together as community.”

“Imagine families with young children moving to Erie to be a part of our great public school system.”

“Imagine that every city hall employee works tirelessly and creatively to serve Erie residents and businesses.”

“Imagine our larger region pulls together, there’s no more turf protection, no more silo mentality, we now collaborate as one for the good of this region.”

“Finally, we are a city that lives the American Dream, a city where age, race, ethnicity, religion, heritage, gender, sexual preference and even which side of State Street you live on does not matter any more. We all respect and value each other, we work together for the good of all.”

This is new territory, folks. Such optimism and inclusiveness can only foster hope and buy-in to the new leader’s vision. Even the concept of a vision is a definitive change for the city.

I can see it…can you?

Congratulations and God’s speed, Mr. Mayor.

#Erie Discussion – What was your holiday #Erie thing?

From Facebook:

GLS16: Wilfredo De Jesus – Stay the Course

We have a culture that drifting, how do we lead in a time of fear. We are afraid and concerned. The church is divided.

You don’t drift upstream, it takes effort and intentionality.

To stay the course, we must establish True North. It never changes. The Word of God is true north.

Ps. 119:11 – I have hidden your word in my heart

The church has always been at odds with culture:


  1. Accommodation – they don’t judge
  2. Oppose – anger and fear
  3. Withdraw – issues are two complicated

These responses are wrong, we lose our identification as children of God

4. Engage – John 17:13-16 we are not of this world. Follow the example of Jesus and engage our culture, move toward the marginalized. Salt & light=love & truth

The church must bring good to the picture, the world must see good.

The church is not going to drift with culture, but we need to engage it.

The remedy:

  1. Know who you are, our identity as the church. Don’t let anyone else define us. Acts 20:24-our identity is in Christ
  2. You need to watch the undercurrent. We belong to another King.
  3. We must keep coming back to God’s perfect plan. We will waver, but we need to constantly make adjustments and corrections to stay on course. Make a new commitment-repentance Acts 3:19

GLS16: Horst Schulze – Creating an Organization of Excellence and Efficiency

What is your thinking when you start a new company:

  • What industry?
  • What market segment?
  • How will I be successful.

You have to be more sufficient for the customer and more efficient than the competition.

Great leadership is needed.

In order to achieve excellence, you need hospitality.

How good are we with hospitality?

Leadership cares and involves people. We align people and bring them with us to a desired future that benefits all concerned.

Invite employees to an honorable objective, meanwhile you align them behind the values of your organization. Point to excellence. We hire them to fulfill a dream not a function.

  1. No defect
  2. Timeliness
  3. People that care

GLS16: Danielle Strickland – Leader Interrupted: Getting It Right

How do we go from good leadership to spiritual authority. The story of Gideon. Judges 6:11-24

Do not be afraid.

Gideon enters into shalom – the rightness, the wholeness and goodness of God

God finds him stuck in insecurity

True humility: agreeing with God for who you are

Go in the strength you already have

God made us good

Gideon played the tape – I’m not the right person, I don’t have the right skills, or gender.

We have to stop the tape and accept who we all ready are, come into the shalom or the center of God.

True dependency: agreeing with God for who He is. The continuum is from self-sufficiently to codependency

We need to navigate the continuum until we reach the Shalom of God

GLS16: Cloud, Niequist, Hybels – Leadership Illusions

Tough for leaders to stop, take out a journal and enter into self-reflection and find out how you are doing.

We are taking actual time to reflect.

Illusion #1: we can take ever growing amounts of speed and keep your soul growing. Reality: at some point we lose connection with God. We go too fast for the people in our life. We lose touch with recreation, our physical health.

We need to flatten out the speed at some point, and institute new spiritual practices.

The Power of the Other

Leadership is dependent on who you are connected to.

Map of the leaders’ world:

  • Corner 1 – no connection – we are born with a chip that needs connection
  • Corner 2 – bad connection – leaves us feeling that we are inferior, bad, a loser
  • Corner 3 – fake good – we connect to something that’s addictive
  • Corner 4 – real connection – relationships that operate that lets our needs be known and there is someone there that can meet our need. God says “come home to corner 4”

Illusion of achievement

Shawna: Present Over Perfect – I believed the myth that you are what people say you are.

Satisfaction audit

If we could take 10-15 minutes a day to evaluate: Is the story of my life the right story, with the right people at the right place?

God loves to mend and restore…to make ALL THINGS NEW!

GLS16: Bishop T.D. Jakes – One-on-one

Note: Bishop Jakes presented so much wisdom in such a short period of time that I barely caught all of his main points. Get this talk if you are able. The essence of the interview by Bill Hybels was to discuss all of the new ventures the Bishop has launched, including a record company and a daily talk show. They talked about why.

Find the common denominator of what God called you to do.

Burnout-the problem of not being challenged.

When you encounter haters, you might be on the right track. Resist them to pass the test.

The great commission is not about coming but going, insert yourself into the culture.

You can find the people that can help you to fulfill your dream.

To manage multiple initiatives, you need to touch everything

Everybody gets tired and overwhelmed, but you may need to restructure. It’s not where you want to go is not the problem, but you need to have the grace to let things go so you can do the new thing.

There are people who are hungry for the things that church people take for granted; be in the marketplace.

As horrendous as the issues in our country right now, it’s like a fever that alerts us so that we give it attention.

Systemic racism is greater than “do I like black people” or “do I like white people,” but it is the exclusion of people in the solution.

Criminal justice system cuts people off at their knees trying to rebuild their lives, often because of the quality of defense lawyers available to the poor.

The church needs a strategy for love, to be intentional.

The Second Wind: reimagine yourself, own your own future, become creative again, not just consuming. We were created, by a Creator to be creative.

We need to know that we are gifted with gifts, what are you going to do with it? God has given us more than our life shows.