Planning and Agenda Team asked the Leadership Circle to consider two questions:
“What are the continuing effects of the changes to departments in 2010-2011?”
“As the Council of General Synod considers funding for the priorities and practices of Vision 2019, what principles should they keep in mind?”
Leadership Circle met on March 12 to consider these questions, and the following key elements emerged in response to the questions.
To begin, the losses have been substantial:
- Loss of diversity, direction and capacity
- Loss of morale, confidence in our work
- “Soft decision-making” can mean loss of clarity and trust
- Loss of relationships, complementary skills and perspectives
- Loss of people
- Loss of a sense of well-being
- Loss of the Library
And yet, participants identified signs of hope and a sense of some renewal in this aftermath. For example:
- New ways of collaborating are emerging, including a covenant among PWRDF, Anglican Foundation, Pensions and General Synod to cooperate in financial development
- People see CoGS resolution as responsible leadership
- Global Relationships more finely focused in the face of shrinking resources – a creative response that will allow us to focus on one partner in each of five regions: The Americas (Cuba), Asia (Philippines), Pacific (Melanesia), Jerusalem, and Africa (not yet determined)
- Mississauga Declaration, Special Advisor for Government Relations (and the Ottawa-General Synod collaboration that makes it possible), Theological Education and Christian Formation
The principles, realities and values that Leadership Circle commends to CoGS include:
- A significant part of the work, such as our role with the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, as well as the Healing Fund, arise from the Settlement Agreement, and we are legally bound to them.
- The priorities and practices of Vision 2019 undergird the work of Resources for Mission, and there is some urgency about some of this work.
- The Anglican Church of Canada is part of a wider community of churches and faith communities in Canada and around the world – with other churches in the Anglican Communions, with our full-communion Lutheran partners, and through national and international ecumenical councils and interfaith relationships.
- All ministry is local. National church structures exist to help something happen somewhere. Relationships are national and international, with Canadian dioceses, with ecumenical and interfaith partners, and with provinces of the Anglican Communion. But the encounters among us take place, and ministry that emerges out of those relationships serves God’s mission in and for a place.
- Need to be true to “the vision of the elders”.
- The allocation of money must be strategic; we cannot build ministry on what we hope to get, but on what we have.
- Realistic and strategic allocation of money depends on
- Clear understanding of revenue and where it comes from.
- Development of clear ministry priorities in CoGS.
- Clear description of how Church House is serving those priorities.
- A principled, courageous, future-facing, mission-driven approach.
- CoGS as a learning community well-equipped and committed to carry out its governance role.
- CoGS is a governance body of the whole church for the good of the whole church
- CoGS and Church House are on a journey together