Tuesday 13 May 9:00 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.

We began this morning with the suggestion that we need certain “models” through which to examine the church.

Models were defined as “lenses/conceptual frameworks that allow us to look at our parishes, assess them and begin to take action to develop them.”

They are conceptual frameworks through which leaders and communities can look at their parish for assessment, conversation and action. They are the starting point for change, improvement and reinvention. We need to seek first to understand before we attempt to intervene.

Models are NOT: “the truth” – they leave things out. They are NOT expressive of the whole life of the congregation. They are NOT equally useful in all situations. And they are never finished.

We need to locate our communities in the Congregational Life Cycle which begins at birth and proceeds through certain stages:

BIRTH – A founder or founders, an idea, a dream

FORMATION – Identity, Who are we (at the faith level)? What are we here for? Who is our neighbor and how are we related to our neighbor?

HEALTHY – needs ongoing renewal

STABILITY – Fruitful and sustainable ministry, institutionally and spiritually. A time when the elements of organizational life fit together (money, vision for ministry, property, people). This can be a place of health or can tip into feeling stagnant or stale, with growth stalling and new opportunities being ignored. Sometimes experienced as a membership plateau followed by declining numbers.

DECLINE – Numbers fall off, energy declines, fear and blame in the system, confusion, focus on small things rather than central issues.

DISINTEGRATION – Conflict, hopelessness, feeling stuck, internal leaders unable to affect change – needs outside intervention

This model assumes there is a cycle and that we are not helpless in this process. Leaders need to see where their organizations are in this cycle and know how to intervene appropriately at each stage.

We need to find the healthiest part of our organization and focus on that.

Leaders in parish development – by virtue of our position as ordained leaders in the church we emit more light or cast more shadow than most.

As ordained leaders in the church, you see and touch it all. You have a special perspective. So you are the place that holds that learning. You influence the training and equipping of others. Your energy is crucial.

For leaders its about developing your own skills, gaining experience. Don’t hide. Create more dialogue. Access third party resources.

Be self-aware. Do the Myers Briggs Type Indicator test for you and for your parish. Have a typology. See how your Type fits with the Type of your parish.

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Core Purpose of a Parish Church = Gathering, Transforming and Sending. This is the purpose and work of a congregation.

We exist for the transformation of hearts, minds an actions to live our baptismal identity and purpose.

We exit to assist God who is nudging people into a hunger for a life in God and in community.

How can we assist God in gathering people?

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11:30 Eucharist: Celebrant and Homilist The Rt. Rev. Dr. Logan McMenamie Bishop of the Diocese of British Columbia

Chemainus is a community that turned itself around after a time of deep recession. It recreated itself moving from a forestry based economy to a tourist based economy.

Florence Nightingale (this is Florence Nightingale Day) turned around the nursing profession and recreated the way nursing is done. But they say when she returned to England she went crazy.

But was there something crazy enough before that when she was nursing in the Crimea that allowed her to bring transformation?

Is there something crazy enough that allows us to stand against the powers of evil? Are we called to be crazy enough? Are we crazy enough to believe that the message of healing and hope needs to be heard?

Not all the way crazy, but just crazy enough.

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after lunch had a great hour run out along the CP rail lines – very flat – across the bridge over the Chemainus River, then back along the road – not so flat.

 

 

 

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