Churches are living beings (“the body of Christ” I Corinthians 12:27). Living beings are not tidy or predictable. At times they inevitably operate in ways that may seem poorly planned. This slightly anarchic quality in churches makes it vital that the leadership hold firm adherence to the underlying principles that guide the life of the community.

4. While we seek to be responsible and efficient in our organizational life, and recognize absolutely the need to exercise careful stewardship of the resources entrusted to us, we do not operate primarily on the basis of rules, regulations, precedents, standards, prescribed formulas, or long-range plans.

We are willing to embrace a certain amount of chaos and aim to relax in the face of the inevitable confusion that comes when we are honest about the limitations of our knowledge and vision. We understand that we do not always know absolutely and certainly what is the best way forward.

In the face of uncertainty, we seek to embody in the conduct of our organizational life, Paul’s conviction that “the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and of death” (Romans 8:2)

We acknowledge the need for structure but seek to avoid allowing the structures of our institutional life to imprison the free moving of the Spirit who has set us free.

  1. We do not want to operate from a sense of scarcity or allow our choices to be decided by fear or panic.

We want to start from “Yes” and only move to “No” when it becomes clear that a certain direction is not likely to be fundamentally life-giving.

We do all that we can to avoid fostering negative energy and hope to be together in ways that generate reconciliation and healing in our community and the world.

We want to accept and nurture the creative offerings and gifts of all members of the church. We want people to feel free to offer themselves in ministry, but never to feel any sense of compulsion or demand to participate in any way. We subscribe to Paul’s dictum that, it is “for freedom Christ has set us free”. (Galatians 5:1)

  1. We do not operate primarily from a product/results based orientation. We seek to discern the goals of our community that arise naturally from our life together as God’s people.

We are a relational organization that seeks to start from a basis of connection and unity. Hence, if possible, we seek to avoid divisive votes and hope to conduct ourselves in ways that allow everyone to willingly move in a common direction.

We aim to avoid the abuse of power, the use of enemy-formation, or any methods of manipulation or coercion in a determination to exert our will over others or to “get the job done”.

  1. We believe the Spirit speaks through all people and so Parish Council’s first responsibility is to listen deeply to one another, to the parish, and to the world in which we seek to bear witness to the loving presence of Christ.

We try to pay close attention to what is actually going on here and now and cooperate with the energy of the moment as it is manifesting among us and in the world in positive ways.

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