In her remarks to the recent meetings with synod office staff, archdeacons and the diocesan council, Bishop Anna set out six current priorities as a way of focusing the efforts (as they relate to the vision) of diocesan leadership in the coming months.
1. Faith in Foundation
Current ministries: post-pandemic reopening
Support our churches in the work of re-opening. As we transition to a postpandemic reality, this is an opportunity to consider carefully what needs to be done in-person and what we can/should continue to do online (e.g., worship, workshops, meetings, conferences).
2. Faith in Action
Reconciliation and Beyond: racism and decolonization
We need to be awake to the racial reckoning that is going on in the world and do our own work, including learning more about our colonial history. This is work we will each need to actively undertake in a lifelong practice, as part of our labour to live into our baptismal covenant by respecting the dignity of every human being.
3. Faith in Action
Engaging God’s World: climate catastrophe
We are being called to the work of addressing the climate catastrophe. How will we collectively do this as the body of Christ? Discerning what is ours to do will be a focus of our work.
4. Faith in Foundation
Current Ministries: personnel
Our people are our most valuable treasure. Diocesan council has created a human resource (HR) working group, chaired by vice-chancellor Isabel Weeks, to update our HR policies and procedures and develop an HR manual.
Some of our recruitment and retention challenges:
- The number of parishes served by parttime and retired clergy, clergy who are close to retirement
- How our compensation package aligns with the cost of living in this part of the world
- Reduced number of clergy available to take positions
5. Faith in Foundation
Current Ministries: governance
The pandemic has forever altered how we are Church in many ways. We need to identify systems and ways of being that will work for us as we move forward post-pandemic. We also need a governance system that balances transparency and accountability with flexibility and adaptability.
6. Faith in Action/Faith in Foundation
As we develop a 2022 budget, we will be transparent and conscious that we have a culture in this diocese that has yet to embrace a robust financial stewardship ethos. At the parish level this means that many parishes are overly reliant on rental income. At the synod level apportionment and investment income may not be enough to cover expenses. Difficult decisions will have to made to adjust for this reality.