Wednesday 14 May 3:00 p.m.

Our afternoon sessions was taken up with comments from Bishop Logan followed by a question and answer period in which clergy were asked to raise any question at all.

My account of this session is posted with the Bishop’s permission. But it is important to bear in mind that it is my record of comments and conversation that went quickly. So these words are my representation of what I heard and may or may not be an accurate representation of what actually took place. I apologize in advance for any misrepresentation that occur in this account.


Bishop’s Comments

This is an important time for us as a Diocese. We are engaged in a major culture shift.

As I travel around the Diocese I get a sense of expectation and hope that things are going to be different in the Diocese. Things are going to change over the next few years.

I see people working really hard at change. But I often see this hard work going in the wrong direction. We are often working on incremental change; these are good things, but not adequate. The change we need is transformative change. Incremental change won’t fundamentally change us. Resurrection isn’t incremental; it is transformative change.

People want the tools to make real change happen. Lot’s of us are depending on choral change to make things happen. But this will not bring real change.

Two groups have been working in this process: The Vision Implementation Team and the Financial Feasibility Team.

In 2010 we decided as a Diocese that funds from disestablished parishes should go into a New Wine fund. We now see that the Vision Implementation Team and the Financial Feasibility Team need to come together to form a third entity that will begin to discern what New Wine looks like. This will be the Vision Fulfillment Journey.

We are on a journey. This is not the end. This is a journey to do some intentional work. “Journey” is what we are about.

Fulfillment is going to be brought by God.  We need to be listening and working with God.

I hope the Regions in our Diocese will look a their particular context and plan ministry together in light of that context.

I am convinced that Regional Ministry is important.

Examples: The Diocesan Anglican Church Women are moving away from being a Society. The want to make Anglican Church Women Regional so we can gather together in ministry for women.

The reality is that in some parishes there are not the resources available to get us out of this tailspin. It i only when parishes gather together that we have the necessary resources.

Youth ministry needs to be looked at Regionally.

The Education For Ministry program needs to be considered Regionally.

We are traveling together. When we travel apart we are vulnerable and at risk. When we travel together we are greater than the sum of our parts.

Safe Church Program is being changed. We are talking with our insurers about having a training program that reflects our faith tradition.

I am concerned about clergy continuing education. I want to support you in your favourite spirituality. But I want you to develop a continuing education portfolio that reflects the needs of your parish and that can demonstrate its anticipated value to your congregation. What do you need in order to help your parish in parish development?


Question and Answer

Q: The proposed position for a Ministry and Mission Officer – is that full-time or part-time?

A: We don’t know yet. The Regional vision gatherings named a number of needs which we put together in 3 basic staff positions. We are not sure yet how that is all going to come together.

Q: In reference to Regional Ministry has any thought been given to campus ministry?

A: We have folk who ask why the Diocese is only funding campus ministry at UVic. I am asking whether University ministry might be something that can be supported Regionally.

Q: How do we hold each other accountable for funds that are raised for Regional ministry but are funneled through one parish?

A: I am sorry the Diocesan Treasurer is not here. That is an important question.

Q: D we have any involvement in the National Elders Conference that is coming up on the Peninsula.

A: Last time we had many people involved. This time I am not sure we are so involved. I’m sure we have a lot of people who would like to be involved.

Q: What are the next steps you see for the next step in the journey towards Reconciliation with First Nations People.

A: The Cathedrals across the country have a plan for 22 days from the end of May to ring their bells on 3 Wednesday afternoons at 2:00 1,100 times to remember the murdered and missing aboriginal women.

Everyone is going to Ottawa for the “last” Truth and Reconciliation Commission. But it will not be the last gathering.

Q: Whatever happens with the Safe Church program, I hope it will not involve a further burden of work for parish volunteers. And, what is happening about the experimental “Liturgy for the Islands”?

A: The “Liturgy for the Islands” was released into the Diocese for one year. The Liturgical Commission still exists and will be sending out information seeking feedback.

Q: Is there room for further discussion around addiction and recovery?

A: Gordon is very willing to be a resource and wants to help us. He is available to come to Regional gatherings.

Q: We used to have clergy spouse gatherings for a support system. Is there any thought of reviving that?

A: There was a very informal support group some years ago. How do we create support for spouses? I think this is important but am not sure how we do it. That is something that is on my heart.

Q: Can we support the Bethlehem Retreat Centre?

A: We are among the investors trying to raise funds so that it can continue. It has been running in the past years at 20% capacity.

Q: There is growing homelessness in Victoria. Is there any training for us in how we can be most helpful?

A: There is lots of expertise in the Victoria region. Our Place and other agencies are great resources. It is a real issue in our Province where money goes and where it does not go.

Q: Is any work being done on Shared Ministry?

A: I have been talking with people in Shared Ministry. We have 3 shared ministries in the Diocese. It is time to step back and see how we do Shared Ministry. We need to see its importance but clarify what we are doing and how we are doing it.

Q: How has this first 15 months as bishop been for you?

A: Every day is different and I am never bored. I am constantly encouraged by you. There is I believe a new vision for our Diocese. I am overwhelmed by the leadership of wardens I see in parishes and by other lay people. There are so many people willing to serve.

I don’t see a dying church. I see a lack of resources but I see people willing to work hard and to keep this Anglican expression of faith alive in these Islands.

Q: Can you be any more specific about the kind of transformative change you see ahead for the Diocese?

A: The Vision team has worked very very hard on a short timeline. I don’t want to lose the momentum we have. Something will be posted shortly on the website for response and feedback to see if we are heading in the right direction.

Q: Are there any issues for General Synod about which we need to be having consultation in preparation.

A: Obviously a main issue is the Marriage Canon and we have been consulting about this.

Q: What is happening about summer camps and youth ministry?

A: Steven is working hard to get Day camps up and running for the summer. We are not in a position as a Diocese to run Day camps. Steven is working on the 3 outward bound sort of camps we have had in the past. But I am not sure there is enough time to pull it off.

It seems to me that, in relation to Youth and Family Life, we need viable and healthy parishes that are open and ready to welcome children and youth. Ministry for youth and family life begins with the congregation being welcoming and open to children. We need to create a culture where children feel welcome.

We need a Diocesan staff person who can come in and help us create parishes that are welcoming places for children. We work to bring but we are often bringing in live chicks and putting them under dead hens.

Q: Do we have an active Social Justice Committee?

A: Yes.

Q: I am curious about Fresh Expressions and planting new churches.

A: It would be wonderful if we could plant new churches. But what does new church look like? We are having a difficult time getting to those who don’t want to come in here.