By Shirley Sewell
If you were a fly on the wall, this is what you might have seen and heard discussed at the February Deanery Council Meeting in Kent.
The meeting is called to order by the Rural Dean and then the meeting is turned over for what is called the “Visioning Section” of the agenda.
- Opening Prayer
- Is everyone aware of the January Bishop’s letter?
- Let me so bold as to paraphrase from this letter: “When you gather for your deanery meeting as the body of Christ, baptized followers of Jesus, to consider the life of our deanery and how it reflects the light of Christ in our communities, let’s reflect on our Ministry and Mission Plan.”
It is done?
Have you started to implement it?
Did you bring it so we could discuss where we are and where we might go?
Any comments about the plan and how it affects your congregation?
Did you advertise the meeting tonight so everyone is aware of it and makes it a priority?
List of resources we have used or are in the process of using (chart these)
- Are the Marks of Mission visible in your church buildings? Remember they are the guideposts of a healthy parish. Posters provided by the Diocese were distributed at this time.
- Are the Marks of Mission included in the bulletin? We need to be intentional in our commitment to the Marks of mission.
- The theme of synod last year was Building Disciples – Abiding in the Word. What does being a disciple mean to you?
Are you including a teaching component at all your meetings?
What is a disciple?
How has God touched your life in the last week/year?
Share an experience or learning that has made a difference in your life.
How are you setting aside time in Lent for meditation and devotion?
We need to know the biblical story of God’s love and redemption. Have you joined in the bible challenge? How has that worked for you?
- Final reflection: How would considering your children’s children to seven generations change the way you make decisions about deanery council, reading the bible, sharing the good news or intentionally following the Ministry and Mission Plan now we have one? If we want to have church our future generations, what are we going to change to make this possible?
(This was handed out as everyone commented that they hated homework!)
- Bring your Ministry and Mission Plan for reference and discussion.
- Advertise the deanery council meeting in the bulletin so everyone was aware of the date and what was taking place at the meeting.
III. Make sure the Marks of Mission are visible in your church buildings.
- Bring a question you used in your parish council meetings to promote discussion about discipleship and evangelism.
- Share what you used in Lent for meditation.
- If you weren’t aware of the bible challenge before, what have you done to promote it?
VII. Bring back some responses to this question:
How would considering your children’s children to seven generations change the way you make decisions about deanery council, reading the bible, sharing the good news or intentionally following the Ministry and Mission Plan now we have one?
This entire process took about twenty minutes. Sometimes it takes an hour if the discussion warrants it.
As a fly, I’m sure you would have been moved by the stories shared. And guess what… you were seeing a modeling process of the first two Marks of Mission in action the whole time!
Is this discussion important? Would this work for you?
P.S. At the May meeting the visioning (after the homework discussion, yes I was a teacher) will focus on “What does synod have to do with me?”
Shirley Sewell is a parishioner at St. Matthew’s, Florence and a member of Huron Congregational Coaches team.