"[By] Reginald Stackhouse, Principal Emeritus and Research Professor, Wycliffe College, University of Toronto".
Contents: Preface: There is now more good news than bad -- Acknowledgments -- We live in a time of declining denominations and growing churches -- Within every church there is a growth potential praying to get out -- To grow as it should, a church must first "think growth" -- Growth churches have not followed a formula, but they have evolved a pattern -- Important as content is, growth depends more on style -- Churches sustain growth not by gimmicks but by their quality of life -- Creative planning makes use of demographic change to ensure growth -- New churches emerge when old ones fail to meet needs -- We need fewer churches but more ministries -- Signs of recovery after decades of recession -- Epilogue: the secrets of growth.
TORONTO (June 30) -- The Anglican Church of Canada has announced staffing and structural changes to bring the national staff organization in line with the priorities and focus approved by its chief governing body earlier this month.
The key element in the new structure, as described by Archbishop Michael Peers, is a nine-person management team to direct the work and priorities in those areas approved by General Synod in Ottawa.
The restructuring has resulted in the elimination of three staff positions: Congregational Development consultant, Editor and General Manager of the Anglican Journal, and Director of the Anglican Book Centre.
Congregational development work will no longer be initiated at the national level. The Anglican Journal and Anglican Book Center will both come under the management of a new Information Resources Group. This reflects the priority General Synod gave to the development of a coordinated communications strategy that would incorporate all aspects of information dissemination under one umbrella department.
Archbishop Peers said the editorial independence of the Anglican Journal was affirmed by General Synod and will continue under a new editor, to be appointed. Carolyn Purden, who held the editor and general manager position at the Journal, was given a severance package. The new editor will be responsible for the editorial direction of the paper, but not its financial management.
General Synod also called on the national organization to bring more focus and integration to the work it does. It recommended a more consultative as opposed to legislative, style as well as more networks and fewer formal structures.
The management team announced by the Primate will include himself, the General Secretary and seven directors responsible for Financial Management; Financial Development; Faith, Worship and Ministry; the Primate's World Relief and Development Fund; Partnerships; Pensions; and Information Resources.
In announcing the changes to staff, Archbishop Peers stressed that they were not intended to effect a downsizing in staff. What they are meant to do, he said, is reflect the wishes of General Synod and implement a new way of working.
"In the long term we are looking at ways we can do our work better together, not better with fewer people," he said. "What we have been talking about is reorganization, not downsizing."
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Contact Doug Tindal, Director of Communication 416-924-9199 ext. 286; 905-335-8349 (residence) or Sam Carriere, Media Relations, General Synod, 416-924-9199, ext. 256
A September 2008 meeting of the Diocese of British Columbia synod received "recommendations for one closure, St. Alban in Victoria, and for six mergers, involving eight small congregations, in the 56-parish diocese". "The diocese has seen a steady decline in Sunday attendance for at least the last 15 years, with averages dropping 11 per cent to 4,955 in 2007 from 5,555 in 2003. Funerals outnumbered baptisms by 349 to 135 last year, and 25 parishes were running deficits". "The diocese now has a congregational development officer; almost every parish has an action plan; two-per-cent annual growth targets are in place; and several parishes teetering on the brink of closure have pulled themselves back".
St. Cuthbert's Anglican Church, in Northwest Cove, Nova Scotia, is the smallest of the three church in the coastal parish of Blandford but it is also home to the biggest service of the year at Christmas when up to 127 people overflow the pews for the Christmas Eve service at 4:00 pm. The rector since 2004 is the Rev. Laura McCue who regularly includes children in all church services but is also committed to social outreach and the care of seniors.
A description of the recent history and ministry background of Christ Church Cathedral in Vancouver BC. It is a "high diversity" congregation where "at least 20 over cent of congregants represent diverse groups other than the usual white, Euro-Canadian, heterosexual majority of Vancouver's general majority". In 2004 the congregation polled its members in order "to develop a new action plan for community development". "Integration was defined as a combination of: Living up to the Parish vision of open doors, open hearts, open minds; Incorporating newcomers into the life of the parish; Offering a community to which to belong; Offering worship enabling all to participate; Reaching out to meet the needs of all people in the local community; Encouraging in stewardship the active participation of all parishioners". The questionnaire identified and ranked the six factors most responsible for integrating the Christ Church Cathedral community. In order of priority they were: Educational programs for Christian formation e.g. Education for Ministry (EFM); Worship services; Meeting rooms in the basement; Outreach ministry; and Stewardship of treasure.