2013 12 April

Conversations That Matter

Posted in Steinbach United


Conversations That Matter

 by moderator Gary Paterson

So, by now, hopefully, you have heard about the conversation the Comprehensive Review Task Group is engaging our church in, and even more, that you feel invitedinto the conversation.

I believe this conversation is incredibly important. The last thing our church needs is some kind of “expert report” perceived as coming from Toronto that purports to have “the answer” for all the problems facing our denomination, because, as we all know, there IS no “answer”; there is no magic bullet; there is no “one size fits all.” This is a time for collective discernment and wisdom, and I’m hoping the report the task group will prepare for the 42nd General Council in 2015 will, in fact, be the church’s report—a summary of our best thinking and experience. What would not be helpful is for the final report to come as a surprise, and then become a target for criticism. The time to offer input, critique, and feedback is now, and in the coming year and a half.

I encourage you to join the conversation and share your dreams, frustrations, wisdom, and prayers for our church. The facilitated conversations that are happening this spring in pastoral charges, community ministries, congregations, and faith communities across the country—rural and urban, big and small, struggling and thriving, experimental and traditional—are just the beginning. The conversation will widen in the coming months to include other groups in the church, including Conference annual meetings, members of youth forums, Aboriginal circles, theological schools, chairs of national committees, and others.

We all know that change is absolutely necessary, and although we may have moments of despair or be caught up in a “been there done that” kind of thinking, this process offers us a golden opportunity to shape and direct the change, be proactive, discover where God is calling us, and respond faithfully. This is a task for us to do together!