Representatives from 12 parishes gathered together on Saturday 12th February 2011 for the Church21 Team Together Day. This was the first official event for the parishes that have signed up for the third programme of parish development. The day was about getting to know one another and laying out the foundations for the Church21 journey.
The day was packed with good speakers starting with Paul Hoey giving participants an understanding of the Church21 process. The process strives to help parishes to develop a clearer vision of what God wants each parish to be and to do for Him in our rapidly changing world and then to enable each parish to take steps to turn that vision into reality. The first building block of the Church21 programme is the preparation course which was introduced to parishes to give them an idea of what the course should do and how it can be used by parishes. Each parish received a copy of the preparation course but it is also available to download from the website.
Bishop Ken Good gave a biblical picture of an expectant church with the four ‘A’s – affirmation, allegation, agreement and assurance. David Thompson gave a PowerPoint presentation on “Change we can believe in – what lies at the heart of Church21”. This gave an insight into the steps around change – its about creating awareness, giving understanding, evaluating what we do in terms of new realities uncovered, experimenting in small ways and cementing change. This is less about developing new programmes but more about developing a whole new way of thinking and being in our parishes. It’s a process rather than an event, its learning through experience, taking on new ways of being the church and encouraging new habits, norms and culture.
The facilitation process is a large part of Church21 and Carolyn O’Laoire, a member of the Parish Development Working Group Committee and facilitator, outlined how parishes can make the best use of their facilitators, the role of a facilitator, the parish team’s role and the skills needed for the facilitation process.
The final sessions were on overcoming hurdles that parishes can encounter and the team talk given by Bishop Ken Clarke. The day finished up with time for chat and fellowship over lunch.
Here are some of the participant’s comments:
“A marvellous inspirational day – thank you!”
“Excellent speakers, very worthwhile.”
“A thought provoking day and possibly defining the role that Christ has opened for me.”
Posted on 11 Apr 11
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