Time and talent to act

By on February 6, 2012

The Rev. Dr. Gary Nicolosi’s column in your December issue [Nine lessons on the missional church, p. 7] suggests that if we change the way we do church, it could help reverse a 50-year decline and produce healthier, sustainable congregations. Here in New Brunswick, The Nicodemus Project has, for the past two years, given us an opportunity to ask questions and put forward ideas that challenge the way we have done and been church for many years. There are many positive examples of parish-based and diocesan change. But while delegates to our October 2011 synod said they remain optimistic about our future, parish data showed that our financial and attendance figures remain in decline. A question many in our diocese are asking is: How many years will it be before a significant number of our 160+ churches, 75+ rectories and 65+ church halls have to be closed because their congregations are diminishing?We desperately need a broader and deeper discussion of such questions as: What do we want the Anglican church to look like in 10 or 20 years? What do we need to focus on to reverse the trends? As individuals and congregations, what should our day-to-day priorities be? If we engage congregations in an exploration of these questions, we might become a healthier, stronger church. I believe more columns from those with deep knowledge and experience, like Dr. Nicolosi, would be most helpful. God has given us the time and the talent to act. We know that with God, all things are possible (Matthew 19:26). Wouldn’t it be wonderful if Dr. Nicolosi’s commentary were the catalyst for change in every Anglican parish and diocese in Canada?

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