Well we are back. What a meeting. Diocesan Council was quite the reality today. I guess the Grants and Loans Committee had a long meeting last week and it spilled over into Diocesan Council. By the time we got to our presentation the meeting was almost one hour behind schedule. I was starting to get nervous that we would not get the full 10 minutes we were allotted. In fact the Bishop advised Scott during lunch that the meeting was pressed for time.

In any event we did get our 10 minutes and Scott and I gave a PowerPoint Presentation outline g the dedicated work of Markus over the past 12 months. It was important that this body hear about the work of God in the Parish of St. Mark’s by-the-Lake. In the months ahead we will work with the diocese to ensure that we all put into place that which is necessary for this parish to move forward. We did NOT get a motion that specified any financial action for the diocese at this time.  We were told going into today that there will be work for the parish to do now as well as work for the diocese to do to put all of the key elements in place to continue our growth.

Here is the motion that passed today:

Moved :  The Venerable Bill Gray

Second:  Betty Livingston

That the Diocesan of Huron through the diocesan council :

·         applauds the vision of the clergy and people of St. Mark’s by the Lake, St. Clair Beach,  to plan for current and future growth

·         supports in principal their planned capital building initiative

·         undertakes to partner with St. Mark’s by the Lake, St. Clair Beach,  in this building program

·         requests that parish officers complete their business plan and continue to undertake local initiatives for funding this program

·         requests that the parish bring forward a future request to the grants and loans committee of the diocese for assistance with funding this capital building project

·         requests that this business plan and request for funding be brought to a future meeting of diocesan council for approval. 

This means that the People, the Wardens and the Raising the Roof Team at St. Mark’s by the lake will now have two big task ahead.

1.       We will have to get moving on capital pledges and gifts to this project. If we are to convince the Diocese that we are serious about this project then we need to respond quickly to show that we see the urgency of the need.  There is some skepticism that we would be able to do anything about this in the near future from some people in the diocese.  I say those folks have woefully underestimated the people of this parish.   Please begin prayerfully considering your response to our upcoming appeal.

2.       We all need to remind the Diocese of Huron of the Partnership they forged with us today. Any and all of us who have encounters with people at a diocesan level must remind those who are the decision makers that the growth of God’s people in this parish is an important item on the diocesan agenda. We will all play a part in showing our diocesan partner that growth is as important as closure and declining congregations.  

I offer my thanks to the bishops for the invitation to today’s council and for the time to speak as well as our gratitude to Archdeacon Bill Gray and Mrs. Betty Livingstone for moving this motion. I look forward to their ongoing support of this exciting initiative in the deanery of Essex.  We all stand to gain when the church is growing.

And now for a laugh care of the Simpsons – This is Protestant VS Catholic Heaven!!

Stop the music above first