Tuesday 17 May 2016 Diocese of BC Clergy Conference Session 3 Janet Marshall

We are all part of the Diocese and how we think about that tells us something about what we think about that.

We often separate ourselves out from the centre piece and define ourselves as not part of that centre piece.

What do good relationships look like?

I’m going to ask you to look for two other people who have a card that corresponds to the one in front of you on the table. Cards have on them an A B or L.

What would a strong sense of “us” between parishes and Diocese look like?

What would need to happen to build the trust to make this happen?

Person with A on card speaks in response to these two questions without interruption for 5 minutes. Person with B card summarizes what they heard. If they get it right, they then speak for five minutes. Person with L then summarizes both and probe what has been said for 5 minutes. Then in 20 minutes we will swap cards and you will do it again in a different threesome

Responses to “What goals will help you rebuild trust?”:

1.goal of Bishop as primary as primary carrier of the gospel, able to call people to trust in Christ and then to extend trust to Christ’s church

2.coming to a common language – we were encouraged at synod to use language of parish, Synod Office and Diocese is the whole of all of the “we.”  When we talk about Diocesan office, there is either a lot of them or none of them. Listening circles in each parish.

3.can we link parishes with one another across our geography just to hear what is going on in the other parish and to pray for each other?

4.a good goal is to have good communication – but more emails and posters may not do this but better relationship between clergy and people and have honest and meaningful conversation. How do we do group work? We tend to create monochrome groups. What would it look like if we brought groups together around a particular specific task?

5.embrace the gospel and the joy in what we do and respond well to each other in care when we hear extreme cynicism in our colleagues. Listen well. Be willing to talk to each other and not slip into slippery slope of negativity. It is this room here that has that responsibility. We need good communications. WE have a responsibility to make sure we are getting the right information

6.communication means personal relationship. We need to establish relationship between Synod staff and clergy and parishioners. We need to do more intentional collaborative ministry where we actually work together.

7.the responsibility lies with clergy to set the tone and culture. Responsibility of Synod staff is to respond to requests for help when they come. There was floated the idea of a mid-Island Diocesan office to build relationships that overcome geographical distance.

8.talked about having realistic expectations as opposed to unrealistic expectations. We are geographically disparate and there is always going to be that issue. We need parish to parish links, to develop ways parishes can link across the Diocese.

9.two things: 1. change language to “we” 2. when coming out from the Diocese to visit parishes, need to know it is not just because parish is in trouble

10.against standard of a working level of trust need periodic reflection, confession and absolution so our liturgical practice allows us to confess our failings and seek forgiveness and proceed on a regular basis


careful use of language, relationship building, modelling, helping perspectives and behaviours

Imagine one thing you would be willing to commit yourself to in order to get closer to these goals that you have named that you will take on over the next few months