“A people seeking to know, love and follow Jesus in serving God’s mission”
May 7, 2012
Dear Council Members,
I am writing to ask you to get ready for the Council meeting Pentecost weekend 2012 by praying for our work together and doing some preparatory reading. As you requested we will be spending a full day at this meeting, and again at the November meeting, addressing the resolution adopted near the end of our November 2011 meeting:
“That this Council of General Synod set aside two full days to consider clear directions and a plan for the efficient utilization of financial, staff, and structural resources in the achieving of the priorities and practices set out in Vision 2019.”
As we indicated to you in December, the Planning and Agenda Team have designed a two-step process to implement this resolution. At this upcoming meeting we will spend Thursday evening, May 24 and all day Friday, May 25, in the first of two steps. Our goal for the May meeting is to develop a shared understanding the critical issues facing us, and in November, we will work to develop “clear directions and a plan” to address those issues.
To help with this work we have asked five groups within the life of our church to write about their perspective on the issue as they perceive them: the Anglican Council of Indigenous Peoples, the Governance Working Group, the Financial Management Committee, the Vision 2019 Implementation Team, and the Church House “Leadership Circle” of Directors and Coordinators. Their written responses will available to you in the coming week. Please take time to read these short papers before our meeting and come prepared to discuss them.
In order to help in sharing information and ideas, we will be using a secure private site within “The Community” (the Anglican Church’s new online community platform) to post the responses mentioned above, as well as for other communications needs among Council of General Synod members. In the next few days, you will receive a User Name and Temporary Password as well as information on how to gain access to The Community, and to the CoGS site within it. Please do not share this password with others. This site is intended to be a unique place in which Council members can communicate freely and frankly, especially between meetings. The work we have to do is important and we believe it will be enhanced as we continue to explore the issues and our responses to them in dialogue with each other.
Please feel free to post responses to any or all of the five written pieces. And then feel free to respond to the responses of others. We hope that Council members will arrive at the meeting with some momentum around this critical shared work.
Remember, at this meeting, we aren’t trying to arrive at “clear directions and a plan”. A clear shared sense of the nature of our challenges and opportunities will be more than enough to move us towards the fulfillment of the resolution’s vision in November.
We are excited about a process at our meeting that we believe will engage us all and keep us open to the guidance of the Holy Spirit as we seek to live into the vision of our church articulated in Vision 2019 “A people seeking to know, love and follow Jesus in serving God’s mission”.
It is so appropriate that this work begins the weekend of Pentecost when the church celebrates the gift of God’s Holy Spirit to the church empowering us to be instruments of God’s work in the world.
Please pray for this time, and ask others around you to abide in prayer as well. We trust that God can use this time to strengthen our capacity as the Church of Jesus Christ to follow him in God’s reconciling and redeeming mission.
I look forward to seeing you in a couple of weeks.
The Very Reverend Peter Elliott,
Chair: Planning and Agenda Team