Vision 2019 Implementation Team
The Anglican Church of Canada
Date: April 12, 2012
To: Michael Thompson, General Secretary
From: Peter John Hobbs, Chair, Vision 2019 Implementation Team
Copied: Peter Elliot, Chair, Planning and Agenda Team
Re: Response to Letter of February 29 Regarding COGS Resolution
I am pleased to write with reference to your letter of February 29, 2012 inviting a response to a question poised concerning the following resolution passed in the autumn of 2011 by the Council of General Synod (COGS):
“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.”
During its meeting on April 10-12, 2012 the Vision 2019 Implementation Team (V19 Team) engaged in an animated conversation concerning the resolution and although struggled with the question poised was enthusiastic in framing a response with the following observations:
- Vision 2019 (V19) continues to guide the work of General Synod by intentional planning, identifying new initiatives as being consistent with the Marks of Mission and the Priorities and Practices of V19 (see attached appendix), asking critical questions concerning the mission and work of the Church, and allowing this work to develop within a flexible framework in a context of continuing change.
- Some priorities and practices are being realized using fewer General Synod resources than others. For example, Priority #5, Engage young people in mutual growth for mission, continues to reap much fruit at all levels of the Church, though is a relatively small draw on General Synod resources. On the other hand, Practice #1, Create structures that work for the Church now and for God’s mission, calls for and urgently requires considerable General Synod (GS) resources.
- Practice #4, Gather financial resources to equip ministry across Canada, does not provide a solution for the short-term fiscal challenges facing the Church but offers the best opportunity for long term sustainability. Creative, ad hoc and short-term solutions need to be sought parallel to long-term development. Strategic bridge financing as well as a review of policy allowing for deficit budgeting for a two-year period could address the short-term fiscal situation as long-term solutions are realized.
- The V19 team believes the development of financial scenarios on the changes envisioned in V19 could provide important information to guide decision-making by COGS. For example, mindful of Practice #1, Create structures that work for the Church now and for God’s mission, what financial implications would result in the event of the reduction of four dioceses across the country and how would this inform the review of GS apportionment?
- As well, while Resources for Mission and the Together in Ministry (TIM) program are focused on gathering financial resources to fund new initiatives in ministry, a central function of the core/operational GS budget is dedicated to the incubation of new ministry and therefore has a legitimate claim on a reasonable portion of new funds raised through programs such as TIM. For example, recent history has shown that the Justice Camp initiative, a creative and sustained new initiative of the past decade, was the result in part of significant staff support, fulfilling a incubation function, that was funded by the core budget of GS.
It is hoped that these observations are a result of the Holy Spirit moving through our conversations and will provide helpful input to the deliberation of the members of COGS as they engage in the work resulting from the motion named above. The V19 Team remains convinced that V19 continues to provide a faithful and effective framework for guiding the mission of God entrusted to Christ’s Church in the short-run and for the long-term, in addressing the significant challenges faced in living out the gospel in our day, and in telling the stories of hope that are emerging as together we participate in God’s dream for creation.
Be well and serve.
Dream the Church: Vision 2019 — The Anglican Church of Canada
Marks of Mission, Priorities and Practices
The Marks of Mission
To proclaim the Good News of the Kingdom
To teach, baptize, and nurture new believers
To respond to human need by loving service
To seek to transform the unjust structures of society
To strive to safeguard the integrity of creation and sustain and renew the life of the earth
Priorities for the Church Living into God’s Mission
Responding to the Marks of Mission, the church nationally is challenged to:
- Develop leadership education for mission, evangelism, and ministry
- Support ministry through the Council of the North
- Walk with Indigenous Peoples on a journey of healing and wholeness
- Work toward peace and justice
- Engage young people in mutual growth for mission
- Enliven our worship
- Be leaders in the Anglican Communion and in ecumenical actions
Practices for the Church Ready for God’s Mission
To enable the church’s mission, the church nationally will:
- Create structures that work for the church now and for God’s mission
- Improve and enliven communications
- Keep an eye on statistical trends
- Gather financial resources to equip ministry across Canada
- Build bridges, not fences