TRINITY UNITED CHURCH
October 13-15, 2017
It had rained all night and all morning but this afternoon it became sunny. At 12:00 noon I had met with Jean Daniels and Barbara Puskeppelies to ride with them to Presbytery. It was at Kimberley United Church from October 13-15, 2017. We arrived there quite early and I was lucky to meet Ruth Carlson and her sister Joanne. Ruth had billeted me for the Presbytery weekend and took me to her place to get settled. Then we returned to the church for registration and supper.
After a delicious supper and meeting new members, we all gathered for Song, Worship and Communion. At 7:00 pm, Treena Duncan from BC Conference presented the theme conversation on Discerning God’s Mission. She explained the new One Order of Ministry of General Council, Planning for Effective Ministry and the meaning of Discernment.
The One Order of Ministry is the new model of General Council in which there would be ‘clusters’ of charges according to the restructuring of boundaries instead of the traditional ‘Presbyteries.’ The Boundary Commission will inform us about this in January 2018. They will explain what the final restructuring will look like. Treena explained that the new model will provide for relationship isolation similar to what ‘Presbyteries’ currently do. It seems to be made up of “Clusters,” Regional Councils and General Council.
The Planning for Effective Ministry involved ‘Discerning God’s Mission.’ ‘Discernment’ meaning “ways we are being called to lead.” Treena defined ‘discernment’ as a cyclical process. She quoted Joel Baker:
Vision without action is a dream;
Action without vision is simply passing the time….
Treena noted different kinds of Discernment:
- Short term problem-solving.
- Agile project planning.
- Strategic planning.
- Large group process. g. World Cafe model where people get together for discussions.
She asked: “Where is our Presbytery in the planning process?”
- Are there existing goals?
- Do they still fit?
- How is this impacted by the uncertain times that we are in?
- Where might you engage the process?
- What is important to us?
- What do we value?
Treena stated that too structural plans cause discernment to fall apart. We need to adapt and be flexible and that there must be conversation and meaning otherwise there would be chaos.
Using material from the Episcopalian Church with permission from the United Church of Canada, Treena attempted to explain about ‘discernment of the future of the Church. She introduced the movement of the modern era into the new post-modern reality. I thought that this was a difficult concept to explain to Presbyters.
For the sake of this report, I will describe the difference between the past modern era and the new post-modern reality of our times from my study on leadership. It means the current progression from the old mechanistic/analytical/rational/reactive/predictable/deterministic/reductionistic era to … the current post-modern paradigm of fluidity/experiential/communal/organic/mystical/spiritual/integrative/ transformational/authentic/wholistic and purposeful understanding.
Treena provided the Cynefin (Ka nee-vin) Framework. This illustrated 4 Domains: Complex, Complicated, Chaotic, Obvious. We were asked to use these domains to develop an emergent practice. To do so, we must try to:
- Keep experimenting.
- Talk to each other.
- Involve Christian Education to invite people and discuss together how we move forward.
It appeared that the post-modern concept was a difficult one for the groups’ understanding and Treena focused on challenges and deconstruction that the Discernment process of individual churches could experience. She noted that it will take time and in some cases we will be asking the question: Does our society need the church?
Treena then introduced Stephen Chambers to explain and provide the rationale for Remit 6 that Presbytery would vote on. Remit 6 is defined as follows:
Does the presbytery/pastoral charges agree that there should be one new order of ministry encompassing the present categories of recognized designated lay ministers, diaconal minister, and ordained ministers, with ordination to the ministry of word, sacrament, education, service and pastoral care as the single rite of entry, and with provision for the continued identity of the diakonia within the ordained ministry?
Stephen explained about the three main components of
- Designated Lay Ministry
- Diaconal Ministery
- Ordained Ministry
Stephen also provided a historical view of the National Church and an outline of Lay Ministry: Ministry of all people, shared authority, shared leadership and an educated ministry.
Friday’s meeting concluded with the evening blessing.
On Saturday morning October 14, 2017, we gathered for breakfast hosted by the Youth at Presbytery. This was followed by Song and Morning Worship. At 9:15 Presbytery meeting was called to order with the enabling of various motions. Treena Duncan continued with the theme ‘Discerning God’s Mission.’ Using the Cynefin Framework, we were to discern the type of change or changes each of our churches want or want to do.
Treena reviewed the theme on “Discerning God’s Mission” within the Cynefin (Kanevin) Framework. She said that we need to discern the type of change or changes we want, what we want, or what we want to do. This would be based on the movement from the current mechanistic order to the post-modern paradigm of humanism and transformation.
She explained that the Remit Court passed to accept no presbyteries but a central governance – the Regional Councils. This was not only a structural change but also a transformational one. We have 18 months of Presbyteries. Conference and Presbyteries will amalgamate into Regions in which some would be small and some would be big.
We have to discern what we want to do. We then went into discussion to examine 1 thing that was important to Presbytery —
- Importance of people and retreats.
- People will be alienated vs now , we are face-to-face.
- Be creative: Do something new for young people e.g. the on-line resource/platform.
- There is a National On-line Program for LLWL/ United in Learning.
- It looks like Pastoral Charge will be responsible for Lay Leader training or go on-line.
- Being together. There is Fellowship at Presbytery which is a great gift.
- Presbytery is a place of giving, sharing, and learning.
- It is more a resistance to loss which is that fear of change.
Treena ended her session and introduced Stephen Chambers with his conclusions on Remit 6. Stephen addressed the rationale, credentials, and the three major components of designated lay ministers, diaconal ministers, and ordained ministers.
The designated lay minister will be a more robust upgrading and not a local ordination direction.
Diaconal ministry will embody ‘sacramental authority,’
Ordained ministry will involve transparency.
The One Order will be made up of “Clusters,” Regional Councils and General Council.
Stephen explained about :Conversation Cafe which is focused on table or group discussions on topics.
The vote for REMIT 6 was called.
17 were in favor. 3 were against it.
The next Gathering will be at Cranbrook United Church on April 13-15.
Presbytery adjourned at 7:50 pm.
On Sunday we gathered at Cranbrook United Church for the Covenanting Service of Rev. Ibi Chuan. Cranbrook United Church provided lunch and once again I travelled home to Creston with Barbara Puskeppelies and Jean Daniels.