Thursday 15 May 9:00 a.m.

In our final session yesterday morning Bishop Skelton opened the question how transformation takes place in the church.

She began with some introductory comments:

We need to accept people where they are and always attend to the apostolic core at the centre of every parish – those people who are in leadership and want to move forward.

We aim in the church to create an organism in which it is more likely that people will come to recognize their connection to God.

In our tradition we know that there is a rhythm to transformation. It is gradual; it happens over time. It is way more than the sum total of programs and liturgies.

Think about an iceberg – all the stuff under the waterline: how relationships are working, how we handle conflict. Is money ever talked about?

What is your impact as a leader in the parish.

Transformation is organic. It requires that we focus on it as a process. It is not the same for all parishes. What is the process of transformation in your community?

Sources of Transformation

Important key sources of transformation:

1. At the centre of who we are is Prayer and Worship in three forms:

a. Eucharist – the enactment of the Paschal mystery. Holy Eucharist is at the centre of who we are as a people because it enacts who we are as a people in relationship God and to one another.

b. Daily Office – equipping people with a rhythm for praying through the day

c. Personal Prayer – equipping people to pray in a way that works for them in their lives

2. Study and Learning: in Mind, Heart and Practice – we begin with the biblical basis then we ask: where in our hearts does this resonate? How do we do it?

3. Life In Community: Conversation, Food and Silence – this will not happen without our help

4. Action:

Stewardship – means assisting others in seeing their lives as a gift. Adopting a stance of thankfulness and generosity related to all that we have been given from God. This includes the use of our time, our talent and our money. Included in this is our care for the earth.

Evangelism – being in touch with the Gospel reality of our own lives. Creating relationship with others both within and outside the congregation and organically sharing the Good News of God in Christ with them through our presence, our deeds and our words

Service – offering our time and energy in service to others in need or for the purpose of the common good

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Statements to assess our church community:

1. Our principal Eucharistic liturgy equips people to live their Christian identity

2. We engage in or teach our people a rhythm of daily prayer

3. We help people to learn to pray individually in a style that works for them and their lives

4. Our adult formation equips the whole person to live the Christian life

5. Our children’s formation equips the whole person to grow in Christ

6. We build in times to share food in our life together

7. We provide ways to talk to each other about things that matter

8. The parish has silence as a part of its common life

9. The parish equips its people to be faithful stewards of their time, talent and money

10. The parish equips its people to share the good news of God in Christ with each other and with those outside the parish

11. The parish directly engages in and equips people to serve others

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