Josephine Hall
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Our Bishop, in his wisdom, has identified the need to shape and guide the parish ministries of our Diocese in response to ongoing demographic, cultural, and social changes that we are facing. He has therefore asked parishes to embark on a consultation process called “The Future Shape of Parish Ministry” in order to help guide us moving forward. This will involve gathering and sharing information, conversation, and prayer. It will also involve collaborative decision-making to help determine where God is calling us to be and where we are called to invest the resources that are entrusted to us.

The Cathedral has assembled a small Shape of Parish Ministry (SOPM) committee of willing parishioners to assist in this important work. The process comprises four stages:

  1. Generating a Parish Profile (by Oct. 2021)
  2. Analysis and work with Parish Profiles (by Feb. 2022)
  3. Gather with “neighbours” and build proposals (by Aug. 2022)
  4. Submit recommendations to Synod (by Oct. 2022)

As part of the first stage, we will prepare for an interview regarding our parish profile with the Diocesan team in October, in order to communicate who we are, the strengths we bring to the Diocese, our challenges, and our vision for the future. This interview involves answering the five questions below. The focus will be on the current physical structures, community initiatives and church-based uses of the cathedral buildings, as well as our other potential community involvement, initiatives or partnerships.

We encourage you to reflect on the following questions over the summer:

  1. What is the single most important thing you would like our diocese to know about your congregation or parish?
  2. What are your ministry priorities? How are these priorities lives out in your decisions, activities and use of your resources?
  3. In what ways does your congregation or parish serve the wider community? How are you engaged with the local community beyond your walls (e.g. outreach, events, partnerships)?
  4. What are the challenges in accomplishing the work you’ve described, in terms of finances, building status and human resources?
  5. What other ministry opportunities are you aware of? What resources would you need in order to engage in them?

By early September, the Cathedral SOPM committee will provide more information about opportunities for engagement and feedback on the above questions. The engagement process will depend on the reopening status of the Cathedral, as well as on the COVID-19 protocols in place at that time that govern whether we will be able to (hopefully!) meet in person. Depending on guidelines, engagement may also include an electronic, written, or phone survey. Thank you in advance for your assistance. We look forward to engagement early in the fall. If you have any immediate questions, please contact Jane Morris (janedougmorris@gmail.com).