Mission & Ministry Blog

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Communication from September SPIG Meeting

The Strategic Plan Implementation Group met for the first time after its summer break on September 27th.  The Group welcomed John Mencel to its membership.  The youth representative’s – Gladis Funes – term on the SPIG is up and she will be replaced by the youth of the Diocese in the near future. 

The SPIG is excited about the reception that the Diocese is giving to RENEW.  Many parishes are getting on board and have begun the process of visioning and putting their case together. We are also excited about the appointment of Suzanne Edmonston as the RENEW Coordinator.  With Suzanne’s energy and expertize we expect to see the program advance at a much faster pace. 

As reorganization continues in the Diocese there are new models of being church and of ministry that are emerging.  We are pleased with the development of some Regional Ministries that include more than one priest.  (There are parishes of three and four points that are moving toward regional ministry with one and a half or two priests.)  The advantages of this are that clergy can draw strength from working in a team; congregations can benefit from a wider variety of gifts that multiple clergy bring; there can be more continuity during times of transition and, this presents an opportunity in some cases to re-establish curacies in the diocese by appointing a senior priest and a curate to these ministries.  We are also pleased with the decision of some congregations to let go of their buildings so that they can afford to maintain paid ministry.  Congregations have or are considering sharing a church facility with another denomination or moving to a rented store front location.    We see all these steps as a positive way to face the challenges of today and to move into the future.

Last year the SPIG sent three documents to the Bishops and Executive Staff for their consideration.  The documents dealt with the current selection process used in the diocese, the formation and continuing education of clergy and the skill sets that were considered necessary for ministry in today’s environment.  As a result of these documents several actions are being taken.  Work will be done to connect the selection process more clearly to the Strategic Plan of the parish if it has one.  Many parishes currently have such a plan and those that do not are being encouraged to develop one as a part of the RENEW program.  The Bishop will be appointing a Post Ordination Training Group.  The mandate of the Postulancy Board is being examined by a sub-group from that Board.  Archdeacon Kammerer, Director of Human Resources for the Diocese,  will be attending the next meeting of the SPIG to discuss some of these steps in more detail.

The SPIG is anticipating another Diocesan wide book study to be held during the season of Epiphany.  The Group sees these studies as helping to connect the work of our Strategic Plan with the spiritual nature of who we are.

Following a thorough discussion of the first year of implementation of the Strategic Plan and important directions for year two the following motion was passed unanimously by the Group:  “Recognizing the mutual relationship between congregations and clergy in strategic planning and continued performance development, we wish to place a special emphasis in the Second Year of the mandate of SPIG on a) performance development strategies, b) the role and structure of deaneries, c) a Diocesan Human Resources Review, and d) the relationship of the Archdeacons to this process.”

After lunch the group split into two with the clergy working on the Clergy Day Agenda and the Lay People working on the Agenda for the Lay Leadership Days that will take place in the new year.

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