What dreams would God have us dream together? Where is God calling us to be, and where are we, the Diocesan church, called to invest the resources which have been entrusted to us? Our Diocese has embarked on a consultation process with all the parishes, a process of gathering and sharing information, conversation, prayer and collaborative decision making.
The process comprises four stages:
1. Generating a Parish Profile (by October 2021)
2. Analyse & work with Parish Profiles (by February 2022)
3. Gather with ‘neighbours’ and build proposals (by August 2022)
4. Submit recommendations to Synod (October 2022)
St. John’s has assembled a team to represent our parish in this initiative. Our first step in preparing the Parish Profile in Stage 1 is to prepare for an interview with a team from the Diocese which will focus on the current physical plant,
community and church-based uses of the parish buildings, other community involvement and potential initiatives or partnerships. This will be done using the answers to these five questions:
• What is the single most important thing you would like our diocese to know about your parish/congregation?
• What are your ministry priorities, and how are these priorities lived out in your decisions, activities and use of your resources?
• In what way does your parish/congregation serve the wider community; how are you engaged with the local community beyond your walls - outreach, events, partnerships?
• What are the challenges to accomplishing the work you’ve described, in terms of finances, building status and human resources?
• Are there ministry opportunities you are aware of and what would you need to engage in them?
This is important work and your SPMC team would like your input. To this end, we will hold a Parish Town Hall meeting to discuss these five questions. The Town Hall will include the use of breakout sessions (small group sessions) to facilitate the exchange of ideas. There will be one member from our SPMC team in each session to take notes. The Town Hall meeting will be recorded but only the audio portion will be kept to facilitate the synthesis of ideas. By the end of the summer, prior to meeting with representatives from the Diocese, we will share the results of this activity with the Parish. Please join us for this Town Hall and help us generate a Parish Profile that will communicate who we are, the strengths that we bring to Diocese, our challenges, and our vision for the future.