LETTER FROM THE VICAR

SETTING THE SCENE FOR 2016
STAFF ROLE CHANGES
As you have all been aware we have been working on an organizational structural change. This started in June and is now complete. We now need to segue into it and as it were “suck it and see”. Many thanks to vestry members Geoff Lee, Kate Harvey-Green and Shirley Tracy for the work they have put into this. Still more to be done in settling the design down.
For all staff the expectation is on developing and growing teams of lay people to deliver the different areas of ministry.
So the new lineup will be as follows:
•    Vicar (John Hughes). I will be working .8 for the parish and .2 (one day a week) for Bishop Justin. My Diocesan focus will be on extending the Order of Abraham and Sarah and helping with the acceleration of the introduction of 3DM discipleship in the Diocese. The Diocese will refund the parish for my time. Within the parish I will have responsibility for Mission, Discipleship and Evangelism, Abraham and Sarah, Preaching.
•    Assistant Priest (Paul McIntosh). Paul will continue to work .5 for the parish and primarily have a responsibility for worship.
•    Manager Pastoral Care and Resources (Wendy Davidson). In an ideal world we would want both components of this amalgamated role to be full time. To make this combined role realistic parts of the existing Resource Manager’s role have been reassigned. Shirley Tracy will be responsible for HR, Shirley Black –finance (with the finance team), Ray Muller (Stewardship) and Geoff Lee (Property Management) – ably assisted by Jenny Mawson.
Volunteer Management, Marketing and Communications, Event Management, IT, Governance and Reporting Support remain with Wendy.
The Pastoral role has a focus on Pastoral Visiting, Welcome team and Incorporation of new people, Hospitality, Pastoral Support for high needs people, pastoral support around funerals, baptisms and weddings to name some. I have felt that for some time now the pastoral component of our life as a parish has been neglected. 
•    Prayer (Kathleen Andreae). Churches are notorious for talking better about prayer than actually praying. Kathleen works an unspecified number of hours and chooses to be unpaid for which we are very grateful. Her responsibility covers prayer groups, prayer lines, prayer ministry, prayer cards, 24/7 prayer, listening prayer.
•    Admin Support and PA (Gordon Rutherford). In addition to what he is already doing Gordon will be responsible for the giving data entry.
•    Children and Young Families (Ian Cook). Ian joins the team from 1 February. He will be responsible for this ministry across the parish including ECEC and Smash. Ian has been ordained for a number of years and has a background in drama and has some good music skills. He will more fully introduce himself and his family to you. Ian will work .8 for the parish and continue at .2 as a Chaplain to Massey.
•    Youth. Please contact Parish Office if any queries about Youth Ministry.

During the first term there is a planned transition where necessary for some of the roles.

THE FIRST TERM
The first term has its usual lineup. Ash Wednesday, Lent, AGM, Easter (27 March). All of these involve a significant amount of effort to do well. Thought is going into how we can make the AGM less of a set piece, still keep it short, but for it to be more interactive. Some ideas have been suggested at Vestry but if you have some suggestions of your own then please email me; john@karorianglican.org.nz. 
Bishop Justin has asked that a major theme for 2016 be “Generous Hospitality”. To this end he has had a Lenten Study prepared for the Diocese on this topic. We have 100 of the study booklets. The way we are going to do this as a parish is to meet together on a Wednesday night in the church in small groups over the seven weeks. So it gives us all the chance to develop deeper relationships with one another. I am asking existing small groups, irrespective of whether you meet at other times to be part of these Wednesday evenings.
The studies are based on the Gospel of Luke and cover the topics of:
1.    The generosity of God    10 Feb  Ash Wednesday (+imposition of ashes)
2.    Gifts of hospitality    17 Feb
3.    Welcoming the Stranger    24 Feb
4.    Group meals in homes      2 Mar
5.    Making room for others      9 Mar
6.    Recognizing Jesus    16 Mar
7.    The ultimate act of hospitality    23 Mar (Holy Week)
I will be asking a number of people to host groups for this Lenten Course.
The staff will also be going away for three days for our annual retreat/group learning. This time our focus will be on managing volunteers.
The first Leaders Forum will be on the 13 April – 7:30 in the church.

THE SECOND TERM
If we are going to learn about hospitality and encouraged to be generous then we need time and opportunities to put it into practice. So a question for us to think about is how we develop sustainable practices that give us these opportunities. Stuff is happening. Guys gather for beers, ladies go out for meals together (two groups). I want to applaud this and also say that these groups are by no means exclusive so if you want to be part and get the notifications ask!

Three things of note for the second term are:
•    Hosting the third 3DM Learning Community. 5 – 7 May. Once again I am going to ask you to practice generous hospitality. Again there will be 120-130 people coming from around New Zealand. You have responded amazingly in the past – could you do it again please? 
•    On the 11 May I will be launching our first Missional Community. This is a group of about 20-30 people who will share life together in a structured and unstructured way. We are going to call the missional communities Networks and the intention behind them is that they have porous boundaries and have a missional focus and intention. We hope to launch a second one in the third term. 

Please note that they are not exclusive or for special people. The intention is that they are for everyone in the end but it takes time to set them up properly! This means that we cannot offer them to everyone at this point. If you are not in the first one or two Networks please do not interpret this as saying anything negative about you. You might in the end be grateful you weren’t the guinea pigs!

This is something new and with anything new there is an element of risk, experimenting and possibilities of failure. Remember that one of our parish values is a “willingness to risk and try new things”. We are not alone on this journey – there are many other Anglican Churches in the Diocese embarking on the same journey.

•    In this letter I have mentioned the need for staff to build teams of lay people to deliver ministry. It therefore becomes essential that we mobilize people effectively. We need to call people into ministry based on how God has wired them up. Thus appropriately on Pentecost Sunday 15 May we will be launching a “Call to Serve”. More about this later.
Hope this gives you something of a roadmap for the first part of the year. Much more will be added as each staff member gets to grips with their roles.