Mission and Development
COMD is tasked with working with congregations who are aided parishes, parishes facing serious difficulties or those who want to improve their leadership or ministry. We are appointed by the Bishop. We do not have a chair, rather we have a convener who is selected by the members and approved by the Bishop. We work collaboratively using consensus to make decisions.
As a commission of the diocese, we are committed to:
- Supporting the ministry of the diocese.
- Developing healthy congregations.
- Providing resources including tools, programs and people (as speakers or facilitators).
- Making connections and links for congregations and the diocese.
- Encouraging congregations and leaders to take risks, to be innovative.
- Creating dialogue and conversation about the now and about the future by raising the opportunities for this to happen, providing formation experiences and asking tough and challenging questions.
- Identifying possible new missions and ministries and assisting those developing new missions and ministries.
- Dreaming of the future.
- Being a proactive force within our diocese.
As a ministry team, we value and see ourselves:
- As expecting opportunities for ministry to happen and being committed to working to create them.
- As seeking to discover how church is ‘done’ and how is God calling our parishes and diocese to be church today and in the future.
- As energetic hardworking and have that expectation for all members.
- As listeners to the parishes, the diocesan leaders and our Bishop.
- As both supporting and challenging our Bishop and our diocesan leaders.
- As a learning community and then as leaders or facilitators of that learning to the larger community.
Major Tasks for COMD:
- Continue to learn about congregational development. This is accomplished in a variety of ways including, where possible, having a focus topic or issue that is explored over a period of time.
- Address the issues facing our congregations in a changing culture.
- Help conversation happen between congregations, communities and leaders.
- Oversee grant opportunities.
- Review of parish requests to the Standing Committee regarding encumbering of parish property including sale or purchase of property and entering into loans
- Provide or make possible workshops and training in leadership and congregational development for vestry members and/or wardens and treasurers.
The Commission on Mission and Development is in a season of transition, discernment, and hope with our approach to diocesan financial aid to parishes. Over the past few years, the COMD and other parish and diocesan leaders have been working hard on a number of fronts to move towards greater sustainability for our parishes. Thanks to a bold debt-reduction program, four parishes are no longer dependent on aid to assist with mortgage payments. Several regional collaborations and parish partnerships are taking shape, to share resources and ministry effectively. Also, we’ve committed to supporting parish revitalization in several key locations with great potential for growth.
During this time of change, we will continue to accept applications for aid using a similar process as in the past. However, in 2017 and beyond, we anticipate that we will be offering less aid to fewer parishes. We encourage parishes seeking aid for 2017 both to apply for the assistance you anticipate needing, and also to begin conversations among your parish leadership about what sustainability and renewal might look like in your context. Please know that Canon Peggy Bean and the members of the Commission on Mission and Development are available and happy to be resources and conversation partners for you!
Special Note regarding the Spring and Fall ministry grants―they will continue and have given wonderful expressions of ministry and mission throughout the Diocese. Application information is available online:
Peggy Bean, Canon for Congregations
(800) 236-3028 x158