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Important discussions about Common Ministry and other stuff, to be held at Procter Conference Farm

22 August 2010

[H/T:  Anon.]

This just in

Clergy Day at Procter Center at 10 a.m.

Important discussions about common ministry and the diocesan budget.. 

Ah yes, Common Ministry.  A story that is in print, even as it is still being written. 

Confused?  Join the club. 

But let’s recap a bit.  The previous installment of the Common Ministry story happened when a bunch of Really Important People From The Diocesan Offices converged on a hapless Amish innkeeper, and came up with this Jim Dandy of a mission statement: 

As Episcopalians in the Diocese of Southern Ohio,
we commit ourselves to

· Know the common story
· Proclaim our common faith
· Pray our common prayer
· Drink the common cup
· Serve the common good
in the Name of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
This is our common ministry. 

This was in response to the bishop’s instinct that “everyone gets it,” while not being really sure what IT was.  Eh, I can’t do it justice, so here – I’ll let the bishop speak for himself: 

  “Common ministry has captured the imagination of the diocese, as deaneries, congregations and individuals are bringing new energy to the notion that we are all ministers of the Good News, sharing in common the opportunity and obligation to bear witness to the abundant love of God for all, revealed in Jesus Christ. We are living into a paradigm shift in our understanding of what it means to be a church in which all are empowered for ministry.

Yet the idea of common ministry remains elusive. Everyone gets it, I think, and we are all moving toward it in various ways. But since it is a new paradigm (or an old paradigm we are rediscovering), a road map may help us all to be sure that we are heading in the same direction. When my senior staff met for our annual working retreat last week, we agreed that our task was to distill common ministry into a few, short words – in other words, to provide a road map.” 

– Bp. Breidenthal 

.. which was the rationale for the big-wigs coming together and coming up with the above mission statement.  I of course, pointed out that it sounded an awful like an eh, entreaty, to get everyone behind “The Common” (.. the last part, still not being quite spelled out yet). 

Perhaps this meeting on September 9th will be the official unveiling of what he means by ‘common.’ 

Hm, but that doesn’t seem right – because in the announcement for Clergy Day, it said that there will be discussions about Common Ministry. 

While still not having a clue what will happen on Clergy Day, I offer the following as possible scenarios:

#1:  In this scenario, the bishop has a pretty good idea what he expects to be The Common Faith (as he puts it) for DSO Episcopalians.  He will then “inform” DSO clergy about what it is, and further encourage them to bind the Common Ministry mission statement on their foreheads, etc. 

or,

#2:  In this scenario, the bishop still hasn’t hammered out what Common Ministry means.  Think the Obama Administration, post election, as the economy continued to tank.  Or BP, while oil was still gushing into the Gulf of Mexico.  In this case, he’d be asking everyone for advice. 

or,

#3:  In this scenario, the bishop knows what Common Ministry is, but unlike the first scenario, his enablers will pretend that they’re asking for advice  (Ever hear of the Delphi Technique?).

That’s what I think. 

But if anyone goes and cares to fill me in on the details, I’d appreciate it.  If not, I’m sure the Important People will let the Rest of Us in on the important decisions, eventually. 

See?  The Creator designed the universe such that everything comes out in the wash.  This is comforting to me. 

– Elder  😉

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