Proposal for Sabbatical in New Brunswick Presbytery

On Tuesday night, I shared the following proposal with the Presbytery of New Brunswick … that we take a Sabbatical and focus on the discernment of to what God is calling us and how we would best function as we move into a sustainable future.

Proposal for Sabbatical

In order to fully commit the presbytery to courageously see what is really happening, to prayerfully listen to the Spirit of God, and to boldly imagine a new way forward as a presbytery, we propose the Presbytery of New Brunswick enter a time of Sabbatical.  During the Sabbatical we will

1)   Cease all non-essential work of the presbytery

2)   Discern the wisdom and direction of the Spirit with an openness of mind, heart and will

3)   Renew the presbytery by identifying a new way forward in relationship and work

A minimal structure will be in place during the sabbatical period:

  • CPM and PJC committees will remain as they are;
  • An Administrative team of six, with the powers to act as presbytery during months we don’t meet, will handle matters of finance and business of the presbytery.  2 ruling elders, 2 teaching elders, moderator, vice-moderator.  The Admin Team will be staffed by the Regional Presbyter, Stated Clerk, and Treasurer.
  • A Ministry Team of six will be responsible for the necessary work we currently delegate to the Committee on Ministry.  This team act primarily as a “broker” connecting congregations and sessions with experienced support teams of volunteers to help lead them through pastoral transitions, crisis, etc.  The MT will have the same authority (in conjunction with the specific support teams) as our current COM.
  • A Discernment Team of no more than eleven will be responsible for leading the presbytery through the difficult work of regeneration.  The team will likely engage the consultation of Phil Bergey of Design Group International.[1]

The Admin Team and Ministry Team will be nominated and elected by the presbytery.  The Discernment Team will be appointed by the moderator in consultation with the Vice Moderator, Former Moderator, and Regional Presbyter, and the names will be shared with the Presbytery.

Presbytery meetings will continue as scheduled though additional meetings, small group meetings may be added. The format and business of meetings will be decided by the Discernment and Admin teams.

Wendy S. Bailey
Regional Presbyter
January 14, 2014

[1] See www.designgroupinternational.comPhil Bergey is a leader in the Mennonite Church.  He comes highly recommended by Jill Hudson.

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