What is the best way to describe the Provincial Synod Standing Committee on Ministry of BC and Yukon? “I believe it’s a passionate group of people working toward an effective, visible Anglican presence that makes a difference to those we seek to serve – the diverse populations of our vast and challenging geography”, said Chair Steve Bailey, a deacon in the diocese of New Westminster.
“Representatives of each of our dioceses and constituencies including the Vancouver School of Theology, BC and Yukon Anglican Youth Movement, The Advisory Committee for Postulants for Ordination (ACPO) and indigenous ministries come together to discuss and recommend ministry ‘best practices’ and then disseminate information about them”.
Meeting a St. George’s Maple Ridge on October 14 and 15, members of the committee continued work on a number of issues: recommendations concerning the formation and deployment of stipendiary and non-stipendiary ordained clergy, making effective provisions to support clergy wellness, and the growth of ‘missional’ ministries – parish initiatives that emphasize a ‘ministry of visible presence’ in the communities which they serve.
“The committee wants to keep in touch with how God’s mission is being creatively carried out by churches in BC and Yukon”, remarked committee member Len Fraser, representative of the Anglican Parishes of the Central Interior (APCI). There are a lot of positive things going on out there, and we all need to be aware of our potential as Anglicans in this place”.
The committee spent time examining some resources developed to guide the Ministry Assessment Process and Moving back into the Neighbourhood initiatives presently underway in the Diocese of New Westminster. “Our diocese is currently working with consultant Alan Roxburgh on some exciting approaches to ministry,” said John Struthers. Roxsburgh’s lateset book, Missional Map Making (Josey-Bass, 2010) is a recommended ministry resource. “Some diocesan study groups for this book are already being formed”, said Bailey.
A highlight of the committee’s October meeting was the presentation of the ministry of “Our House”, a residential facility that works in partnership with St. Paul’s, Vancouver. “This ministry has had a huge impact on the peole of St. Paul’s,” said rector, Marcus Duenzkofer who is also a committee member. “The ministry through ‘Our House’ is one of mutual support and learning where we see God working in new ways,” observed Duenzkofer.
The committee also received encouraging reports about new and expanded programs at the Vancouver School of Theology and about the quality of candidates for ordained ministry coming to ACPO. Paul Sampson of VST reports a significant increase in the number of students taking part in VST programs, many of whom are preparing for Anglican ministry.
Committee members also engaged in a ‘visioning’ exercise conceerning the desired ‘possible future’ of the Anglican Church of Canada. Most of all, members agreed, the future should include the celebration of diverse Anglican ministry models in our own Province of BC and Yukon so that our presence in the midst of our society’s prevailing secularism is known. We also need to reconcile our own differences to move forward together in ministry, finding new ways of ‘doing church’ and assessing and fulfilling community needs. “These are key goals for all of us no matter how large or small our parish communities are,” remarked Joe Forsyth of the Diocese of BC.
“There are some wonderful things going on out there to engage communities,” Bailey pointed out. “From community garden projects, ESL ministry, skater churches, partnerships with various kinds of group home situations, and churches meeting in pubs and other community facilitiies; all kinds of “Fresh Expressions'” – a reference to the growing missional church organization led byt Montreal’s Nick Brotherwood and others.
BC and Yukon’s Standing Committee on Ministry is eager to hear about effective ways parishes are engaging their communities and meeting diverse yet specific needs. “We want to be a clearing house for getting information out about what God is doing in our midst”, said Bailey. Please contact us and let us know how we can support you and tell us of your willingness to share ministry ideas so others with similar interests can contact you. Let’s network!”
Ministry committee members are Bailey Adams (BC and Yukon Anglican Youth Movement), Paula Sampson (VST), Kip Slater (ACPO), Marcus Duenzkofer (Provincial Synod), Joe Forsyth (Diocese of BC), John Struthers (Diocese of New Westminster), Len Fraser (Anglican Parishes of the Central Interior), Daphne Moser (Diocese of Caledonia), Doug Lewis (Diocese of Kootenay), Tim Liverton (Diocese of Yukon), Gloria Moses (Indigenous Peoples), and Steve Bailey (Diocese of New Westminster).
This blog is one vehicle for sharing information, asking questions, and exploring effective existing and possible models for Anglican ministry. Please join the conversation.