Monday, May 28, 2007

Committment to Transformation

Here's a comment I left over at Intentional Disciples. I wrote the post a while ago, but I think the information may be of interest to some.

In Christ,

+Fr Gregory

Hi Keith,

Thank you, and to everyone at Intentional Disciples, for your thoughtful and challenging posts.

Regarding the parish council--in the Orthodox Church the council serves an active administrative role in the life of the parish (something that is at best a mixed blessing for the priest). In missions, I've been able to build on this administrative role to have the council work as active participants/leaders in the pastoral life of the parish.

While it can be done, I think based on my own experience anyway, there need to be clearly articulated boundaries and expectations. Again, when it works it is a great joy and blessing. But when it doesn't work it typically doesn't because someone comes on council with an agenda of power and control. When this happens quite literally all hell breaks loose.

From my experience the key seems to be having people on parish council whom(1) the pastor knows from his personal experience of the person in confession, is serious about the spiritual life and (2) this person demonstrates that commitment by actively working to help others discover and exercise their own gifts on behalf of Christ and His Church. As person who doesn't trust the pastor enough to come to confession and/or who doesn't trust his neighbors enough to make room for them to exercise their own gifts, is someone who you don't want on parish council.

Just some thoughts. Keep up the good and Godly work.

In Christ,

+Fr Gregory

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