Monday 16 May 6:30 p.m. Diocesan Clergy Conference Session 1

Bishop’s comments – We have been told that the clergy of this Diocese are not all on the same page. I am not really sure what this means; but I know it is not a good thing.

So, let’s open ourselves to the process of this conference and cooperate with the process.

Janet MarshallJanet Marshall Director of the Centre for Church Development and Leadership in the United Church of Canada

worked with Congregations, Dioceses and Presbyteries for over 25 years.

Theme  of our time together = change leadership, what’s happening, who are we in all of this, how can we find our feet in the midst of such profound  change

Tonight: What’s happening anyway? What’s going on?

Tomorrow a.m.: work with fable – “Our Iceberg is  Melting” – John P. Kotter how do complicated organizations make successful change

Tomorrow evening – relationships of trust. What does it mean and what do we need to build the kind of trust we need for the collegial relationships that are essential

Wednesday a.m. – 8 steps of change and essential tool box in business of ministry and change

This evening

begin by dividing into groups according to years of ordination to answer question: What are your hopes and expectations from this time together.

Report back from discussion:

1.senior group (my group) – hoping to come away enthused energized and hopeful about our role dealing with the frustration and for some the disappointment with our Synod that did not make any decisions and puts us in a place where we risk of losing momentum. There is a need for us to be energized to give leadership at a critical time. And we don’t have a lot of time, many in our parishes are over 90 years old. How much longer is our current membership going to be with us. We need to get enthused.

2.would like to go home energized, feeling more competent in our ministry. Grateful for time to reconnect with colleagues. Hoping to learn something new. Where is the sense of mistrust? Sense here it is not with our colleagues. Maybe more between laity and Diocese.

3.hope to renew bonds of friendship with colleagues and hopeful of ways to feedchurch outside of tinkering with machiner

4.hope, aside from deepening our fellowship, to build on other things we have learned, not to reinvent what already know

5.open-minded about what hope to happen

6.how we work with diversity. We have always been a diverse group of churches which have been able to hold together extremes. We need to reestablish that and hold together within our diversity. How do we work together genuinely beyond our parish boundaries with neighbouring parishes to collaborate?

Janet Marshall

Bring me up to date on the story. What’s the story of change here in the diocese of BC

What’s going on?

What’s ending?

What’s beginning? What changes are we seeking?

What the they asking of you as leaders?

How would you describe the change you are being called to?

Responses:

We have a wave of aging population and there is a fear of managing all that while at the same time we are being told that children and youth need to be our focus. We are in that in-between place.

Wheat’s ending is an attitude that the church is dying.

There is a high level of trust I have in my colleagues here. There are more people than I can count who I could call in the middle of the night and ask for help to guide me through a difficult situation.

Two things I have noticed: here there is a tremendous openness and willingness to change. And I don’t see the same degree of competitiveness in this Diocese that I experienced in my last church situation where everyone was competing with each other.

There is  a shift in our thinking around missional, missionary, international relationship, there is a beginning in our thinking about our relationship with the First Nations people. We are thinking changes but finding various levels of discomfort with change

What’s ending is our primary evangelism based on demography. We are still coasting on that in some ways; we’re still riding that massive baby boom wave. What’s beginning we don’t know yet.

What’s ending is the divisiveness. There is not any less disagreement, but we’ve figured out how to get along with each other. One reason for this is that people who didn’t want to get along have left.

There is a lack of competition. People come here and they don’t care about their career; they just want to get on with doing church.

What’s beginning is how do we be a de-colonoized church when most of us who here were raised up in that colonial culture?

We spend a small percentage of our time doing liturgy and we spend the rest of our time doing other stuff in a cultural form that is unique to the church and these forms have ended but we are holding on to them desperately.

We are beginning to ask how can we let go of that culture which has ended. How do we let go of this culture that new generations don’t want?

One thing that has ended is that congregations in most Anglican Churches are no longer deeply intertwined with wealth and power. But that is not how this church was originally set up. But it is the reality that we live now.

Janet Marshall

In Toronto, collegiality is much more the order of the day than it used to be. Clergy collegiality is on the rise because if you don’t have each other in all this you are in trouble.

One of the major moments of change recognition with my United Church gang was a moment when they realized that they no longer had the ear of the powerful people in their neighbourhoods. They were not sitting anymore at those tables of power. They were only one of many voices in a patchwork quilt of conversation.

This is what I’ve been noticing – this is the “what’s going on list?”:

Multicultural, pluralistic, secular, post-colonial world – you are living in a context that is highly ambivalent if not hostile towards religion.  There’s a huge burst of energy that lies on the other side of the realization that you really have nothing to lose.

Who are you becoming as a Diocese in a very context rooted way?

Change in attitudes – generational. Different ways generations respond to institutions. The expressions of church we are working with now were shaped by the generation of people who came home from the war and created order out of chaos – this is the 80 and 90 year olds of our congregations they created the institutions we now know. Before the war if you wanted to play ball you went to the ball park and played.

Next generation 60-75 year-olds – their job is to hold together those organizations that were created after the war. And it is nearly killing them. But they are doing everything in their power to keep it going. They are part of the group called “the dones.” They’re not angry at the church they’re just tired of keeping things turning over.

Baby-boomer generation – they are institution destroyers. This is the first cohort who got up on Sunday morning and said, “Church or ball? I think I’ll go play ball.” This is the first generation that didn’t stay with the same institutional employment their whole life. They are choosing to do other things. Baby-boomer clergy are telling their bishops, “After my retirement, I’m out of here.”  This is creating a human resources crisis in some Dioceses. This generation is just not interested in institutions. They’re not picking up all the work.

Millenial/Gen-Xers 35-40 – Institutional Ignorers. They just don’t see us. We’re just not there. The challenge is to get their attention in the first place. They are just not interested.

The under-30 crowd are slated to be the next institution builders but they will not build them the way they have been built in the past. They may be more altruistic, turning their back on poor environmental habits of generations above.

We are losing the duty generation (everybody over 60 and 65) – we are going to lose the generations that have been motivated by duty. We rely right now on the duty generation.

Spiritual not religious

The good news about this is that there is a new spiritual awakening happening. They are hungry but not for the menu we’re offering. We just have to learn what it is that we need to be doing and how.

Filter of credibility/ trustworthiness = experience

Anglicans have the whole package, we just don’t know we’ve got it: shift in culture especially among young people to filter that which is credible and trustworthy through our lived experience, not rationality. What people are looking for is the idea that they can enter something that can hit more than one sense at the same time. (Brian McLaren)

Experience of mystery and the holy is important. The idea of getting out there and doing something is important.

Institutional gifts and baggage

Some of the gifts we have as Anglicans are: liturgy, the way we can flesh out and enrobe experience with wisdom, good conversation, history, and decent theology.

Baggage – properties. Most churches these days have buildings they can no longer afford.

Comment:

The multi-cultural one – I don’t think we see ourselves that way. We are not seeing that. In our church we are all white.

Comment:

I hear from young people all the time that religion is the cause of the violence in the world. They know nothing else about religion or church, but they are absolutely convinced of this one “fact” in their minds.

Comment:

There is a loss of Christian memory in society. We have two generations now who have never darkened the door of the church.

Response:

People look to us to see how much we are actually living into the Scripture. How much does it become the authentic way of our lives?

If you’re not talking about your faith, showing how it’s making a difference in your life, it may not be that great a faith.

To be, so to speak, an ordinary average Anglican, to be an ordinary average Anglican diocese, to be an ordinary average Anglican bishop, now involves you in thinking about, planning for, and involving yourself in, some quite extraordinary and, on the face of it, sometimes rather un-Anglican bits of new life. (Rowan Williams)

We are in a critical time of transformation in the church. There is a window of opportunity here.  There is a huge amount of energy that sits right here. God is always out there ahead of us calling us into interesting places

I believe we are on the road on two different streams and 2 complementary streams:

Attractional – we are going to see there are going to be churches much like the ones we see now doing things differently but continuing in many ways as they are now. They are centres of excellence. They do the Anglican parish thing beautifully.

Missional – church that is looking out into the world. Developing program to resource

Both/and – we are on a path to both/and.

Most of us weren’t trained for this. This is new and different for us being asked to lead a church into very different shapes.

Where’s your fulcrum? (Stephen Croft – the three dimensions of ministry):

Diakonia  Presbyter Eipscopae – each has different expressions

For the most part, most of our priests were formed out of the model that leaned towards very strong pastoral hearts.

What’s happening now is that you are being asked to behave more in the episcopae functions, being asked to lead more.

Younger clergy talk about being called to a ministry where they had to learn to do the pastoral thing but they did not get any energy from it.

If you are a person in ministry who will drop everything if someone comes into your office and cries or moans or bleeds, you are going to have a lot of trouble leading change.

If you are going to lead change you need to know that people are going to cry, moan, and bleed. This is a huge challenge.

Comment:

I see the need to lead change, but the crying and the bleeding is right in my face. Having a revolution on your hands is not a fun place to be.

Comment:

When I worked in the Diocesan office, it seemed that my job was to upset people. But, in a parish you are there to love the people. But it is hard to lead change when you know that those three people sitting right there, are going to be gone if you make this decision. It is hard to make that change. It is hard to be all things to all people.

Comment:

We are caught between two models of being church. There is so much pressure to keep the pastoral care model while we are being told we need to do so much community outreach work. That balance is impossible to maintain.

Tomorrow morning

Begin by taking a look at who each of you are as leaders in change. Begin to get a wider view of all the different kinds of leadership styles and characters that are needed in order to create change that sticks in a highly complicated situation.

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