Parish Development in our diocese is an important priority for Bishop Skelton, and for diocesan leadership and staff. The week of April 12th, 2015, saw that focus continue with news that the registration demand for the Diocesan School for Parish Development’s week-long program scheduled to run July 26th - August 1st is such that the registrar, the Reverend Marnie Peterson has added additional training staff and registered over 70 students for the program. And there is still a waiting list.
The Stewardship Day related to Parish Development scheduled for April 18th at Christ the Redeemer in Surrey is as of this writing fully subscribed and there will be coverage of that event in future website posts and other diocesan communications vehicles.
On April 14th , in the boardroom of the Synod Office of 401 West Georgia, Synod Staffer, Tasha Carrothers and Diocesan Council Member, Maureen Simons facilitated a major planning meeting for the diocesan Consultant’s Group. This is a group consisting of ordained and lay leaders from around the diocese who are coalescing into a network that in the near future will be available to help parishes become healthier, more faithful and more effective. The Consultant’s Group is an adjunct parish development system originally developed through the College of Congregational Development in the Episcopal Diocese of Olympia. Bishop Skelton as one of the founders of the College of Congregational Development is a great advocate of the development of a similar consulting network for the Diocese of New Westminster.
On April 16th , the fourth monthly meeting of The Membership Growth Practitioners Group took place between 9:30am and 3:30pm at St. Mary’s, Kerrisdale. In early January more than two dozen clergy responded to an invitation from Bishop Skelton to commit every third Thursday in 2015, to focus on growing the churches that they serve. The meetings are facilitated by Tasha Carrothers and Bishop Skelton.
The Membership Growth Practitioner's day-long study sessions have covered a large range of topics from: liturgy to sacred space, to preaching, to personality analysis of priests and parishes. The Reverend Jeremy Clark-King, Regional Dean of Point Grey and Rector of St. Mary's, Kerrisdale is an instructor for the Diocesan School of Parish Development. Jeremy was the co-facilitator with Tasha for the April session as Bishop Skelton was at the National Church's House of Bishop’s meetings in Ontario.
Both Tasha and Marnie (Tasha and Marnie are part time staff members), under the guidance of Director for Mission and Ministry, the Reverend Ruth Monette and Bishop Skelton have been doing an incredible amount of ministry in our diocese making sure that parish development remains an active priority.