Structural Renewal

Started by Brad Everett, July 17, 2011, 09:25:19 AM

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Brad Everett

The last session of the Convention wrapped up with debate and a vote to accept in principle the recommendations in the report of the Structural Renewal Task Force. Great pains were taken in the two opportunities to discuss the report that everything in it would be coming back to future synodical and national conventions for debate and approval. That the only thing being decided here was to created implementation teams that would develop specific plans and motions for future consideration.

The task force was commissioned to address the fact that the ELCIC has less resources than it did 25 years ago at merger i.e. we have fewer members, giving in congregations has kept pace with inflation, giving to synods has remained static and giving to the national church has dropped like a rock every year since 1986.
Some of the major changes proposed are amalgamating the BC and Alberta synods, the Saskatchewan and Manitoba/Northern Ontario Synods which with the Eastern Synod would leave us with three rather than five. National and Synodical conventions would be every three years instead of two and there would be changes to the make up of those gatherings e.g. there would only be 150 delegates at the National Convention (instead of the current practice where every parish can be represented) and the synodical practice of allowing retired pastors as voting delegates would be dropped.

One delegate asked the obvious question when considering it will take five years for the changes to be implemented—will what we are talking about now even fit the circumstances we have in 5 years?
Chances are it will as pg. 16 in the report notes that the model proposed will still be effective even if the ELCIC loses half its congregations and members.
However, one couldn't escape the sense that for some, this discussion was a moot point because in light of the previous decisions around sexuality there are serious doubts they will even be around to see these changes implemented.

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