Deanery Synod on the 15th March was part of Tim’s Deanery Organising project…
The aim of this meeting was to identify the “Big Problems” that our parishes are concerned about and form teams who might develop some ideas. Tim sent out the following note before the meeting:
I’m going to ask each parish to present three “problems” that they would love to solve. They could be problems for their churches, like metal theft, money or a lack of engagement with young people. Or they could be problems for people in their area, like poverty, housing or mental health.
There will be a chance for each parish team to raise their “problems” and we’ll form table-teams to discuss what we could do as a Deanery to address them.
I am hoping that a few of these teams might decide to take this further and meet again to develop their ideas. If so, we’ll be looking for a convener and team members from more than one parish.
At our next meeting on May 24th, we’ll be asking What comes first? because we can’t do everything. The teams will present their ideas and we’ll vote on what we choose to support.
Obviously, it would be great if Deanery Synod members could do a bit of thinking about this before the meeting. Could you take some time to speak to church members and church councils before the meeting on the 15th March? That will really help you find out what your people are most concerned about. Even if you only speak to a couple of people, that would be hugely appreciated.
Synod isn’t a “talking shop” where we go to listen to speakers, or discuss ideas – without taking action. It’s a big gathering of people from across Milton Keynes who represent over thirty churches – and we could make a big difference if we choose to! Spread the word in your churches and bring people along. I’m looking forward to seeing how this experiment develops.
Tim introduced the concept of Community Organising, with the following definition:
Community Organising is
a set of principles and methods
which help individuals and groups
build powerful relationships
resulting in action or change
He also explained that our “Deanery Organising” experiment would focus on the following methods:
Relational Meeting: Building power with…
Vocation: What are you called to do?
Aligning Agendas: What can we achieve together?
Relational Power: Acting together…
Evaluation: Learning from experience…
The parish groups were then asked to say “What are the top three concerns for your congregation and wider community?” They produced a wonderful list of possibilities – and then narrowed this down to six specific problems that people wanted to spend a few minutes thinking about in more detail.
The six teams were asked to think about the following questions:
- What might we do as a Deanery?
- Who could we work with?
- Do you have a team convener?
- Do you have team members
from more than one parish?
Four of the teams decided to move forward with their projects, and will have a chance to present their ideas to Deanery Synod on the 24th May. These will be focused on:
- Parish and Deanery Finances
- Domestic Violence
- Mental Health
- Young People
It was an interesting evening, and there will be more to come…