By Davor Milicevic
What the future looks like for the Diocese of Huron?
Monday’s Synod presentations and discussions showed that the diocese is ready to face this question and accept the answer: more congregations and less buildings.
The diocesan youth representatives insisted that the diocese “with a shifting focus on models of ministry can grow as a community and face these trials”. But this sentiment could be felt in many reports and discussions on Monday. Even in the words of Bishop Linda Nicholls when she honoured the congregations that have been disestablished since the last Synod: “It is an act of faithful courage to find alternate ways to serve and worship God.”
It was evident that the diocese as a whole has come to realize, as Director for Mission and Ministry Ven. William Harrison has put it, that fewer buildings means “the death of a church model and not the death of the church.”
“We wonder how to be the church at this moment in history… where secularization, populism, violence and terror deaden our common life”, stated Archdeacon of the Saugeens Ven. Graham Bland while presenting new forms of stewardship program.
Here is his answer: “But as I saw people keep vigil in Albert Square last week, I sensed a holy longing, a spiritual desire. The church’s high calling is to re-ignite people’s and nations’ spiritual and religious life.”
Mission-focused congregations, evangelism, discipleship – the key words of 176th Synod of the Diocese of Huron. It was encouraging for the participants to hear these same words from their distinguished guests, the bishops of Amazonia, Brandon and Niagara.
One Body – One Spirit.