The church belongs to all of us, and the future of the church is the shared responsibility of all its members.

That's why the Task Force on Diocesan Physical Resources is hoping for a good turnout to archdeaconry meetings in October and early November.

In 2005 Diocesan Council created the task force and gave it the mandate to hold a diocesan conversation, and recommend processes and procedures for the allocation and re-allocation of new and existing physical resources and property for the current and future mission of our church.

Your input at the fall archdeaconry meetings next month is a very important part of the process. Wardens, parish council members, and synod delegates are particularly urged to attend and participate, but all who are enthusiastic about ministry in this diocese are encouraged to come.

This task force began its work last December and has met monthly to review studies done in this and other dioceses, to reflect on similar work accomplished by other dioceses, and to discern how its mandate can best be accomplished.

Our job is complex. Rural issues are not always the same as urban issues; larger parishes have different challenges than smaller parishes; the needs and expectations of individual parishioners are not always the same as the congregations they belong to.

These differences generate a creative tension that has great potential - if properly focused. The challenge is to insure that the issues are defined as clearly as possible so that a common, united understanding guides our choices.

I would like to highlight two phrases in our mandate. The first is "to hold a diocesan conversation."

The Task Force presented a table exercise at Synod. We also asked the same exercise be carried out by as many Parish Councils as could schedule it. We are grateful for the responses that came back from Synod as well as from local parish councils.

The other phrase I would like to highlight is "the current and future mission of the church in this diocese."

Each step that we take now will influence where we will be as a church 20 years from now. And the church we want to be in 20 years will influence our decisions and choices now and in the immediate future.

So do come out to the archdeaconry meetings and let us go forward together.

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