2019 Diocesan Convention Report
St. Aidan's Representatives: Sarah Smith and Don Hutchinson and Carolyn Sturgeon was Dispatch of Business Chair for the convention. This is Don Hutchinson's report.
I must apologize for the tardiness of this report. Life happens and we are not perfect. This report summarizes what took place at convention and feedback given in our 3 sessions held since the convention in our Sunday Adult Forums.
Bishop Bascom opened by talking about the theme of this coming year “Who is Our Neighbor”. There were 3 groups that are using the meeting room space at the diocese. They are:
Formal business then started and the first order was to report those behind in apportionment. There were 5 churches ranging from $5k to $50k behind. There was considerable concern and discussion about allowing them a seat at the convention as our canon states they are not to have voice or vote. Maybe it was by design but after the Way of Love videos the convention voted to allow all of them voice and vote. I personally did not vote nor did Sarah. I abstained because when I first came to St. Aidan's we were behind in apportionment and were denied voice and vote. I felt it wrong to do that because of money. So on one hand I wanted “revenge/justice” but on the other it was not “lovingkindness”. I also did not know how the rest of St. Aidan's felt and decided it best to let the rest of the body decide. I was glad the body decided to allow all members to participate. When discussing this at Adult forum, there was a concern that if this lack of fiscal responsibility continues without repercussions, what will the effect be? Also, what are the convocations doing about this, or are they aware of these numbers? Should they be? I must admit there were only 3 meeting this year as one was canceled due to snow storm and I was a new member and not sure just what is to be asked but after convention I have much better grasp of the intent.
The Finance Report / Mission Plan for 2020 was then reviewed. The highlights were:
Next there were 3 resolutions to vote on:
I must apologize as we then voted for the diocesan delegates, convocation lay and clergy positions for 2020 and beyond. I did not think to write down who the newly elected were in each position. But suffice it to say the candidates were all very good and some took 5 or maybe even more revotes to have the number needed. I will be sure to note those position next convention.
Bishop Bascom then introduced the idea of the Minster and the Kansas Minster Project. The idea is to band together churches smaller than the convocations, to pool talent and identify ministries and fill the need. She identified 4 pilot Minsters for 2020 but all will belong to a minster. The idea is that those 4 have clear need and the diocese wants to add some money to stand up the project more quickly. Then as the other minsters identify needs, the diocese can if possible to the same. The Minster meet monthly and are at first clergy. Our minster consists of St Thomas, St Francis, St Aidan's, St. Margaret's. We broke down and got to know each other a bit then decided on a name. We came up with “All Saints Minster” due to all the members being named after Saints. I don't have all of them but one was The Tallgrass Minster. Since we are without a priest I lobbied Father Gar Demo to place me on the meeting but found out our own Deacon John Bullock will be our rep and has been also tagged by Bishop Bascom as a focal for all Minsters. My concern is that it will become only a large church or churches ministry. We have issues at St. Aidan's that we do not have enough human power to address. I don't want to see money and talent go to projects not our neighborhood.
Perhaps the best description is by an example. I have long believed our Johnson County youth are under served. Not underprivileged or poor but poor in spirit. They go to soccer, baseball, softball events that happen on Sundays. Why are we not on those same fields cheering for them and letting them know God is there too? It would be a little investment of a pop up tent and some water bottles and labels weekly and some time to print bible passages, stick them on a water bottle then people to go out with a sign and hand out water. We don't have the numbers. But maybe between the 4 churches we can build up group of like minded people to take it out there. Maybe we have a simple prayer on cards they can take. I don't know all the details but I think it would help. If I recall, sports has a lot more losing than winning. There may be a bible lesson or two there. This is just one idea I had, I suspect we all have seen a need but have not been able to fund it with time, talent and treasure. The Minsters may be an avenue.
Lastly, Bishop Bascom outlined 7 Diocesan task forces to engage a focused ministry on. They were:
In retrospect, I would have probably served St. Aidan's better by going to J/R Reconciliation, Outreach or Evangelism.
I will find out how we get on these task forces and minsters and report back to the congregation.
Thank you for your attention to this report.