The changes made “on paper” with the passage of a revised Canon 10 during the November 2012 diocesan convention are becoming a reality, as the diocese’s executive council (EC) works to pioneer new ways of working together.
Five representatives elected from each deanery – dean, sub-dean, two lay reps and one clergy rep – have already participated in two two-day sessions aimed at establishing more participatory, transparent, and accountable ways of engaging in the EC’s work. The December EC retreat established the five workgroups called for in Canon 10 – structure, finance, Christian formation, congregation development, and management. A January strategic planning session brought together EC members with officers and other leaders around the diocese, to clarify strategy and target specific goals. Next month’s Good News will feature a more complete report on that gathering.
In the coming months, the EC workgroups will be contacting ministries, committees, and organizations around the diocese, building connections between them and the EC workgroups. A web-based system for receiving and distributing periodic reports from each of those groups is being designed, so that information about the work of our diocese can be readily available to all the people of the diocese. In the meantime, the workgroups are also engaging in specific tasks for the EC – securing member lists and job descriptions for each ministry group, drafting by-laws, designing formation opportunities, surveying compensation of clergy and lay employees, and planning for diocesan fund development efforts, among other tasks.
This new way of engaging the EC in the work of the diocese is designed to support people across the diocese as we discover new ways of “being church” together. Key outcomes will be improving the connections among ministries in the diocese and focusing diocesan resources on supporting congregations and ministries. Stay tuned for further developments.