Last week the group set apart by the Synod Executive to consider all the aspects raised by the deployment concerns we have, the Future Patterns of Ministry steering group, met at Luther King House for the day (I’m pinned against the wall screen in order to try and get everyone in the photograph). As a group we considered several key issues and identified who was going to do the further work necessary before we meet as a Synod in March 2017 (25th) and how the consultation with all our congregations within the Synod will be continue to happen. Some of the major areas we addressed were prayer within the life of the Synod, a deployment policy for future stipendiary ministry, a deployment strategy for the way in which the Synod’s congregations will be connected with each other, and the development and support of all ministries across our churches including that provided by NSMs, retired ministers, local church leaders etc. In particular, we worked with Lawrence Moore on “missional discipleship” which is an emphasis on us all being disciples with an outward focused mission and a sense of purpose where we make a difference in the world together. We also noted the introductions that are being made of small percentages of “released” stipendiary ministry by some congregations (approx. a third of our current stipendiary ministers are being “released”) to enable some supportive work in prioritised and targeted ways with a few other congregations in the Synod.
Please pray for:
- all those on the Steering Group, the Synod Pastoral Committee, and others who have given freely of their time to work on developing these areas ready for the March 2017 Synod meeting (for many this is on top of all that they do – mostly in a voluntary capacity – to support us in our work together)
- the careful and prioritised use of “released” stipendiary ministry in the short term, and all those involved in the conversations needed to make this precious gift fruitful in its use
- those who give freely of their time within all our committees to enable us to support one another across all our congregations
- the Synod as it tries to identify key new people from within our congregations who will serve: Convener of the Synod Pastoral Committee; as Conveners of the South Area Pastoral Committee, the Central Area Pastoral Committee, the Lancashire Area Pastoral Committee (three different people); and the role of Synod Treasurer – all from March 2017.