This article also appears in the May, 2018 issue of the Diocesan Post.
Transforming Futures is the title of our financial campaign for the diocese and is the third part of our diocesan vision—Renewed Hearts, Renewed Spirits, Renewed People. In 2013, we sought God’s vision for us as we travelled into the future that God has planned for us. We have been living that vision and moving towards understanding it more fully within the life of our parishes.
Since the last synod, parishes of the diocese have applied to the Vision Fund for financial support for their vision-based initiatives. To date, 54 projects representing $361,400 have been made possible through this fund. It is so very encouraging to see the vision being lived out in this way in our parishes.
As mentioned above, the third phase is a financial campaign. At present, the campaign is being shaped by the diocesan stewardship officer in consultation with diocesan leadership and selected parishes within the diocese. The case for support will share the funds at the local level and at the diocesan level. From the vision, the diocesan case will identify ministry and mission that will affect parishes, helping them build locally.
Unfortunately, when we speak of the diocese, many still understand that to be the synod office. The synod office is not the diocese—it is the staff who supports the work of the synod. All Anglicans on these islands and inlets are the diocese.
We have done a great deal of work building trust among our parishes and improving the relationship between the synod office and parishes. I am very grateful to the synod office staff for the leadership and support they offer to the parishes of our diocese.
One of the main issues facing us in the financial campaign is the language we use. We speak about a share for the parishes and a share for the diocese. The parishes' understanding is that the diocesan share will be used in and for the synod office. That is not the case. We all need to understand that all of the money raised will be used in the parishes and regions of our diocese. It is important to understand that 100 per cent of the money raised will be used in the parishes of our diocese—60 per cent to be directed by the parish locally and 40 per cent directed by the parishes together with diocesan leadership.
Please continue to imagine that the status quo is not inevitable. Imagine that we can grow into vibrant, effective faith communities living out the Gospel in our communities and beyond. We have the will and ability to change the present and shape the future. We are stronger together, and together we will build a church for tomorrow on these islands and inlets.