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The spot for the good news, the good word, the quick reports of the many, many wonderful news items I hear all the time and want to share with the rest of you. Expect to find the good news when you come to check out "what’s the good word?"

Wednesday, October 28, 2009


There are 24 women and men in Canada East Mission who, by virtue of their calling to the High Priesthood, are charged with being “Ministers of Vision.” (This number does not include the eight Bishops and twenty-three Evangelists who have more specific roles as Ministers of Generosity and Ministers of Blessing.) For the twenty-four, what a daunting task! How does one really go about that?

The twenty-four persons in question are people who are highly regarded in the mission centre because of their maturity, experience and wisdom. Often, people look up to them as role models, which may well make them a little uncomfortable.

But the term “Minister of Vision” suggests something more than their stature in the community. It suggests the ability to see or anticipate that which could come to be; that which is possible, or that which might be achieved with an appropriate and concerted effort.

The key is their ability to see, not their ability to create a vision. For example, if the President of the Church articulates a goal for the church, it is the job of the High Priesthood to grasp its possibilities, and then help others to see, understand, and respond to the call. In this way, we have one vision being upheld by multiple people, not 24 different visions being articulated.

At the recent Canada East Mission conference, the leadership team outlined a fresh approach to what we have always been called to do. We are now calling on the twenty-four Ministers of Vision, inviting them to see the possibilities, articulate those goals, and help the church respond.


  1. It's interesting to me that this post on "vision" cooincides with a posting at Tribal Church about a congregation being "visionary" and calling younger leadership. Our denomination's tendency to link vision with our "wise elders" might need shaking up. Maybe we need to be looking to a new generation for our vision for the future.

  2. I fully support the idea of looking to a new generation. That is why the very first and most urgent of the five new CEM goals is "Young Adult Leader Empowerment." Our job is to empower them BECAUSE thier ideas are different than ours, not in spite of it. Further, I believe it our our task (yours, mine, and others) to replace ourselves with leaders from a younger generation. That search has already begun. :)

  3. A positive sign that the times are changing is the silence or lack of complaining that I hear, or better yet that I don't hear from the youth.
    10 years ago, every time that the youth were asked the question why are you not involved in the church? The same complaint echoed from the "Youth" no matter where the question was asked the response was always the same-"The old pastor or the people in charge want us there on Sunday but they won't let us have any signifanct role. They ask us what we want but they continue to do the same thing. I want to be able to have a leadership role in my congregation"
    I think the new generation has heard the calling and feel they have permission to step up. You have seen and will continue to see a growth in our young people being active leaders in our Community because they feel empowered to be involved. I guess Jean Chretien was right, the proof is in the proof.

  4. i have found with a lot of young people, stretching even up to people my own age, is that they seem to need that support or "permission" to step up to the plate and do the job... most often, with guidance and support they not only meet but exceed job expectations or goals...

    we have good folks out there. we need to give them (and even us for the folks my age) permission to step forward and do the task... our "wise olde elders" can come in many shapes, sizes and ages...


  5. Carman:

    When we say we need to focus on the youth, I think too often we immediately jump to the teens and 20 something, as the intended demographic. Indeed they must be brought into the fellowship though participation in leadership and into the decision and planning process, and my experience is that given the chance they DO respond.

    However, the larger demographic that will have the most sognificant impact on our future is the 30 and 40 something group. If we can capture their attention and energy, we will have the attendance of their children as well, and at a time when those children are forming habits, opinions, beliefs and setting their life goals.

    I believe we missed this opportunity with their parents when they were children and teens. We didn't see, or didn't want to see, that what was good for the past 50 years, would be good for another 50 years, and as a result we lost the association and fellowship of an entire generation and now their children as well.

    We must recognize that today's adults/parents are activists, they want to participate, to make a differenmce in their society, and their communities, and they didn't see that happening in our traditional "church", so they started to drop out and join more relevant communities.

    Second we need to realize that most of these parents/adults were raised in an urban environment compared to their grandparents who were raised in a predominently rural or small town environment. This generation is the most saavy and privilaged generation ever. They have reasonably comfortable lives filled with lots of competing entertainment opportunities that occupies their free time.

    Our task as leaders will be to engage this generation in planning meaningful programs, that brings visible and real change to our communities and to the disadvantaged of our society, that is worthy of their taking time away from their existing extra-curricular hobbies and competing entertainment.

    I beilieve they can be engaged and I believe they truly want to be engaged in meaningful pursuits of peace and justice.

    Mel Mills

  6. Mel, you have clearly been giving this a lot of thought. I do not disagree with what you have said. It strikes me that your congregation may be well placed to test out the ideas and learn the lessons available in involving those in their 30s and 40s in leadership roles. I am happy to explore this further with you, either here or in person. Good thoughts!


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