Rev. Yme Woensdregt

The Campaign Committee for Together in Mission is hard at work to prepare the ground for our parish–based Diocesan financial stewardship campaign.

It is parish–based. Part of what that means is that parishes will be invited and encouraged to dream together about the ministry to which God is calling you. Let me encourage you to dream large. I am convinced that the Spirit of God is at work in this. This is a time of tremendous potential and possibility as we respond faithfully to the nudging of the God’s Holy Spirit in our Diocese and our parishes. Half of the money raised in this campaign will be returned to the parishes who participate in the campaign.

In my regular column this month, I write about Lent as a 40–­day period of waiting. This campaign is in that “waiting time”. Things are growing behind the scenes. Plans are being made. We are interviewing consultants, with a view to hiring the right one to help our Diocese and our parishes. We are planning so that this campaign might be a gift to the Diocese and our parishes, helping us grow together in our faithful discipleship.

One significant event that is being planned is a weekend for parish leaders, both clergy and lay. We want to begin the process of talking openly together about financial stewardship. Archbishop Douglas Hambidge, retired Metropolitan of our own ecclesiastical province, will lead us in reflecting about “The S–Word”.

This weekend will lay the groundwork for what is to come in the near future. We are preparing the ground for a growth which will be “more than we can ask or imagine”. Please be on the lookout for more information about this exciting event.

I have participated in and helped lead three stewardship campaigns in parishes in my life. In each case, the campaign became about so much more than the money we raised. In each case, parishioners grew in their discipleship. The parishes became stronger centres of witness and mission. It was an exciting time of growth beyond anything we had imagined.

This is such a time of excitement and hope for our Diocese. I encourage each of you and all of you to begin thinking about what God is calling you to do as an individual and as a parish. How might you respond in faith and hope to the call of God in this time?

Please continue to hold this campaign and the Steering Committee in your prayers.