The following is the Introduction to the Plan 2018 final document. The entire document is downloadable below.
As a Diocesan Church we need to be intentional about making healthy and wise choices
about our future. We live in a time of great change in every aspect of our lives. Our
communities, economy, environment, technology and demographics are all affected by
global change. While the future may not be known, we know whose we are and what path
we walk. We are keenly aware that we are being led by the Holy Spirit. This is the basis
of our hope and our call to action now.
Examination of statistical trends indicates that as a church we have serious challenges to
address. Our numbers are declining at an alarming rate, and we have fewer financial
resources with which to do mission. The landscape has changed in every way. Our
relevance is called into question. It’s time to act to reverse these trends, but we must focus
on the right things. We cannot, nor do we desire to, recreate the church of the past. Our
task is to re-imagine church in our time and place, being faithful to God’s missional
To be missional is to recognize that we are being called to be partners with God in God’s
love for the world. Our mission is not the maintenance of the institution but the
proclamation of God’s love in action, in the world, and on the ground where we live. A
time of great challenge is also a time of great opportunity.
At Synod 2007 Diocesan Council was charged with producing a strategic plan for the
diocese. The particular motion in 2007 accompanied synod’s adoption of the Ministry
Assessment Process (MAP)1 and the report of the Diocesan Task Force on Physical
Resources. By Synod 2008 the first elements of the plan, diocesan vision and values and
our diocesan priorities entitled Plan 2018 were introduced.2
The diocesan strategic report contains positive steps for action. A strong commitment to
these steps will result in growing communities of faith. This report includes an update on
the implementation of the priorities, a plan for building vital and sustainable parishes, and
recommendations for leadership training for congregational development and care for
clergy in a time of transition. The strategic plan also includes a full organizational review.
This review will allow us to be sure that we are structured to meet the needs of the parishes
and the diocese as a whole during the years leading to 2018.
Our current economic landscape is a challenge, but it also provides us with the focus we
need to make decisions that will result in long term health. Failure to address the very real
challenges we face now would result in longer term atrophy.
The strategic planning process is a journey. As such, it is organic and iterative, compelling
us each year to look at where we have been, where we are now, and where we are going.
From the beginning the process has sought input at the grass roots level and will continue to
do so. As Anglicans, we bring this grass roots input to synod, where we make decisions
together for the mission and health of the whole.