The Dialogue Continues

2014. január 17., péntek

The Church Revision Committee recently met to discuss the continuation of the RCH's revision process. It has decided to team up with the Synod Mission Committee and developed a working plan for this cooperation, which includes some 20 consultations based upon the suggestions of the Revision Committee’s submission that the Synod accepted in November.

This submission outlined the results of the national dialogue implemented around Easter 2013 that focused on:

  1. Strengthening the evangelical sense of mission in congregations.
  2. Rethinking church management, organizational structure and church operation according to the feedback of congregations and presbyteries.

After reviewing the congregation’s responses, three main topics were highlighted as the areas of the church most in need of revision and change.

  1. The congregational sense of mission (lack of missionary approach)
  2. The structure and function of the Church (lack of solidarity and trust)
  3. The role of congregation-related institutions (traps of financing an institution)

Furthermore, the Revision Committee presented an action plan to continue dialogue and move forward with the Committee’s suggestions, which involved first and foremost a consultation with the Synod Presidency Council. An invitation has been sent to the Presidency Council and the hope is to have a full-day meeting sometime in the spring to discuss specifically the 2nd area of focus – lack of solidarity and trust. As the Committee stated in its submission, “Our Synod will not escape an honest confrontation if it considers the future of the Church responsibly.”

In this changed world our congregations are typically not able to interpret themselves in the missionary calling received from Christ. Many congregations feel lost and lonely, no vision and plan for the future, only hope for survival.

 

The Synod and the four Districts cannot cooperate as “parts of one body.” Trust and solidarity is missing, which scarred the Church as a whole. Decisions often occur along interests and not values, rivalry makes the dialogue impossible.

 

The principle of an institution as the congregation’s “outstretched arm” generally does not apply. The assumption of public duties puts the congregation’s actual mission at risk and replaces it. Also we are facing similar problems with church-run institutions.

 

Instead of institutions closely related to the mission of the congregation, so-called “living institutions” are forming. Meanwhile the operation of institutions will take the congregation’s resources for community building so the congregation will become dependent instead of empowered.

 

-          Revision Submission Report 2013

Presently, the Committee has come together with the Synod Mission Committee, which was working in a parallel capacity on closely related issues, to discuss upcoming revision tasks and develop a strategy-making process. The Mission Committee, in the midst of creating a new mission strategy, joined forces with the Revision Committee to create a single over-arching evaluation process.  Over the next few months, some 20 consultations will be held with professionals and church people alike to once again review the congregational responses and develop concrete strategies to use in developing a new Synod proposal. 

In addition, the Revision Committee has resolved to remain transparent throughout its process. To achieve this, the Committee invited congregations that participated in the original revisions survey to critically comment on the statements of the submission and future plans.

 

 

 

Amy Lester

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We encourage you to read our  former GM intern Kearstin Bailey's blog about her time, spent in Hungary.