Reimagining Church: a diocesan approach
Since October 2015 in the Anglican Diocese of Montreal, Fresh Expressions Canada’s “Reimagining Church: shaped for mission” course, has been successfully presented in seven different parishes and regional ministries.
Courses have been successfully run in
· the Laurentian Regional Ministry;
· St. Andrew & St. Mark, Dorval;
· St. Barnabas, Pierrefonds, and Christ the Redeemer Lutheran, DDO;
· St. Lawrence, Lasalle;
· St. Michael and All Angels, Pierrefonds;
· St. Paul’s, Greenfield Park;
· St. Peter’s, TMR.
The St. Barnabas, Pierrefonds, and Christ the Redeemer Lutheran, DDO, course was taught by Rev. Pamela Yarrow and Pastor Jim Slack. The other six courses were taught by Nick Brotherwood, (Bishop’s Missioner for Reimagining Church). Well over one hundred people, including the wardens of the parishes involved, participated in the course. Participant evaluations were completed for each course and the results studied by the parish clergy and Nick. A consultation took place May 3rd with clergy leaders from all the parishes and ministries involved, where the usefulness of the course was evaluated and necessary next steps were considered.
Missioner Mark Dunwoody led an “I like…I wish” exercise. One participant wrote, “I like that this course has made people rethink what church is and what they have to do,” another wrote “I like that our diocese is putting much effort now into vision for missional change.” A third wrote, “I wish the whole parish had been there.”
The group felt that the course enabled their members to have conversations about many of the changes that the majority of them have experienced and how those changes have affected, and continue to affect, our understanding and experience of being church. It was felt that just about every parish in the diocese would benefit by doing this course. The group was then joined for lunch by Bishop Mary Irwin-Gibson and Executive Archdeacon Bill Gray.
A Facebook page has been set up to provide an online space for participants from the different courses to exchange comments and insights at “Reimagining Church: Montreal.” Please visit the page and “like” it, if you do that sort of thing. Work is ongoing on developing a “Reimagining Church” page for the diocese’s website.
Thanks to Bishop Mary, Nick continues to be available to consult with parishes and ministries who might want to run the course, to support parishes who wish to teach the course themselves, and to teach the course where that is requested. Contact Nick for more information by email at firstname.lastname@example.org, or by phone at 514-246 5796, and please visit the Fresh Expressions Canada website, www.freshexpressions.ca/courses for details of the course itself.