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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?"

Friday, January 28, 2011


“We Human beings discover what we know by listening to ourselves talk…”
- Phyllis Tickle; The Great Emergence, p.19

Something about the above quotation resonates with me. There is an important truth resident within those words. It is often through the process of talking that we are able to clarify our thoughts as we push through the cobwebs that have grown up in the mental doorways we have not needed to enter for a while.

In our home, for some reason we have our best conversations in the morning. It will start with something one of us is thinking about and needs a second opinion on. The discussion will begin before or during breakfast as we clarify the issues, and by the time I need to leave for the office, the conversation will be in full voice. “I have to go, but hold that thought” is a common expression at such moments. Alas, one is not always able to pick up the threads where one has dropped them!

We also do a lot of talking in our office. This is not the casual kind of water-cooler conversation about the previous night’s hockey game, or what one had for dinner the evening before. Instead, we wrestle with questions. Sometimes we work to make sure we are asking the right ones, and then talk together as we try to figure out the best answers to those questions. As the staff of the Mission Centre has become smaller, and the problems and issues have grown more complex, the conversations have become ever more helpful and important.

How can we help congregations move from maintenance to mission?
What can we do to encourage more leadership in the congregations?
How can we further empower our amazing young adult leaders?
How do Witnessing/Inviting ministries differ in an urban environment from a rural one?
How shall we accelerate the pace of our pastor training program (CPI) so as to train more people faster, but without causing a huge increase in costs?
How do we offer ministries and opportunities to Post-Congregational people?
Who are the best people to lead the new What Matters Most workshops?
And increasingly, how shall we deal with some of these issues after Marion retires later this year?

Astute readers of What’s the Good Word? will recognize that some of these same themes also show up in this blog from time to time. It is all part of the process of talking, as we discover together what we know.

The above questions are but a sample of the things we talk about as we seek to empower the congregations and leaders for mission, so I wonder, what about you; what are you talking these days?

Posted by Carman


  1. Ok so I apparently posted a comment on Thurs blog but I wanted my comment on todays blog(Talking). I am on a pastoral team in Kirtland Ohio and our congregation is just existing day to day and we need to get motivated and get some vision. Am looking forward to reading comments on all these questions!!!

  2. HI Cathy, Good to see you. We're not promising answers to all these questions, but we do try to be looking at the right questions as much as possible. We too hope to read lots of comments as our conversations unfold.
    Several of these topics have been addressed over recent months, so by all means check out the archives to read what we've already talked about. We'll always try to report on the successes our congregations are having. There is lots of good news out there. Our best to you and your congregation.

  3. In the initial stages of the Mission Advocacy initiative, I'm getting to know the congregations in my area and finding that they are all soooooooo different from each other. All the great questions in this blog (& others) will have very different answers in each congregation. I'm taking Steve Veasey's lead from the January Herald and trying to understand "Where We Are" in each of these congregations before we try to explore what we can be. What an amazing adventure!


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