Mission & Ministry Blog

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Communication #4 from the Strategic Plan Implementation Group

The Strategic Plan Implementation Group met on Thursday January 26, 2012 and once again had a very full agenda.  The Group spent much of the day discussing Human Resource goals as laid out by the Strategic Plan and prepared two documents to forward to the Diocesan Executive Staff as recommendations and the basis for further discussion.  One document dealt with recommendations about the recruitment and formation of clergy while the other made recommendations about the Selection Process that is used to discern God’s leading in the appointment of new rectors.  As these documents and recommendations are further refined more information will be forthcoming to the Diocese. 

The Group heard reports from the Director for Mission and Ministry, a sub-group preparing recommendations regarding the establishment of new scattering grounds and columbaria and a sub-group looking at guidelines for Grants and Loans. 

Some of the highlights of the Director’s Report were:
  •  The Bishops, Archdeacons and Executive Staff of the Diocese have agreed to spend a day in June learning in more depth the Natural Church Development program so that it might become a significant driver of Congregational Development in the Diocese. 
  •  The Clergy Day held January 19th was an opportunity to begin sharing with the clergy some of the aspects of the capital campaign called “Renew.”  It was communicated to the clergy that the campaign would benefit the parishes significantly and that parishes would have the opportunity to develop their own “case” to be attached to the Diocesan and National cases.  Clergy were encouraged to initiate this process of case development locally during the coming weeks and months. 
  •  Plans are progressing for the Four Lay Leadership Days with the previously stated goals and agenda for the day still in place.         
  • Discussions are being held in a variety of places around the Diocese with regard to reorganization of parishes and partnerships in ministry.
The Sub-Group reporting recommendations about future Scattering Grounds and Columbaria was quite concerned both about the liabilities these created for parishes as well as the pastoral need they met.  They concluded that new Scattering Grounds should not be established as they were impossible to decommission.  On the other hand they recommended a possible way forward for parishes wishing to have a columbarium.  Their recommendations are being forwarded to Diocesan Council by SPIG. 

The Sub-Group reporting on Guidelines for Grants and Loans expressed concern that there were only vague guidelines for the dispensing of grants and for the governance of the Huron Development Fund.  They prepared a new draft canon for the Huron Development Fund that will now be sent to the committee on Canons and Constitution for consideration and modification as needed.  


  1. The announced themes of the two documents are crucial; they give me hope. I trust that they will be distributed here in their entirety a.s.a.p., and that this hope will not be disappointed.

  2. " [1]...recommendations about the recruitment and formation of clergy... [2]...recommendations about the Selection Process that is used to discern God’s leading in the appointment of new rectors."

    Actual practice of the bishops in creating lay pastorates for potential ordinands strikes me as a simple and wise way of addressing both the formation and the selection/discernment issues. It's a practice that fits well into a kind of apprenticeship model, which only makes sense when the goals to be realized have to do with not only academic competence but with call, charisms, and character. After all, the 'proof' is in the 'pudding', and what better forum for checking out the 'pudding' quality than a lay pastorate? If I'm not mistaken this practice would also be very cost effective. God knows, and history certainly attests, clerical collars shouldn't come easy.



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