Fraser Valley East parishes

The goal of the Ministry Assessment Process (MAP) is to help parishes figure out how they can effectively carry out their ministry. At this point, the Fraser Valley East parishes of Christ Church, Hope; St. Thomas, Chilliwack; All Saints, Agassiz; and St John's, Sardis have started the process.

The first significant thing I noticed about MAP is that it comes from the parish itself: it is not imposed from outside. That is particularly empowering, especially way out here where we sometimes feel disconnected.

The other significant thing I noticed is that I feel lost. I feel lost because MAP is a process of defining what needs to be done as you do it. It feels like groping along in the dark with a match for a light when what you could really use is a floodlight. That's how it feels.

My "matches" are Tasha Carrothers (the diocesan staff resource for MAP) and Sharon Salomons (our mentor), who provide valuable support and gladly answer any questions.

Currently, we are working on the mandate. In this part of the process we compile the questions we need to ask ourselves, name the participants involved (churches and organizations outside the church) and put a timeline in place.

Some of the questions we have come up with are challenging and scary, but I believe it to be important to ask all the questions. If we get all the cards on the table, so to speak, we can make valuable and informed choices. Another part of making valuable and informed choices is for all the participants to "share their story". That is the next step for us.

So this is an exciting time as well as scary. As we work through the process we can see the possibilities and dream of what may be. At the same time, though, maybe what we hold near and dear is one of those things we may end up letting go.

In the end, however, I expect to be involved in a parish that has an effective ministry taking the good news of Jesus into our community-a ministry that is using all of her resources in the most efficient way she can. Thanks be to God.

MAP in Fraser Valley East

A 'scary but exciting time'

Who: the twelve parishes now involved

New Westminster Region: St. Mary, Sapperton; Holy Trinity Cathedral; St. Barnabas

Fraser Valley East Region: Christ Church, Hope; St. Thomas, Chilliwack; All Saints, Agassiz; and St John's, Sardis

St. Mary's Kerrisdale,

St. David's, Vancouver;

St. Stephen, Burnaby;

Holy Trinity, White Rock;

St. Paul's, Vancouver.

Total number of parishes: 12

What: Approved by Synod in 2007, the Ministry Assessment Process ("MAP") provides a process and mentoring for parishes and regions to engage questions about their mission and ministry (the mandate); explore their values, history and dreams for the future; and discern where God is calling them.

Goal: a detailed ministry plan which can lead parishes in many directions, including new models for ordained leadership; new ministry partnerships and opportunities; and possible merger or closure.

Future participation: With 12 parishes currently in the program, and six or seven more tentatively booked for the Fall, the next opportunity for parishes to participate will likely be January 2009.

For more information: Tasha Carrothers, at or 604-684-6306, ext 227.