Most of the BC folks straggled in last evening for the Future of Theological Education Consultation. The clock says 10 and the body says 7.
As Brenda, Jim and (later) Janet gathered for a late supper and Diet Cokes the conversation turned to the matter of urgency.
James Kotter names it as foundational in his theory of change. A sense of urgency certainly prevails at Naramata Centre. Two years ago it was very present during conversations about the need for sustained and intentional leadership development within BC conference. For many congregational leaders it is so obvious that it hardly bears mentioning.
(Urgency of course differs from fear or frantically running around.)
Within the context of this consultation the question that comes to mind circles around strategy. With a sense of urgency growing within BC, does that (necessarily) mean a greater degree of cooperation between institutions like VST, Naramata and BC Conference (or even the General Council)? Any kind of formal agreement seems too time intensive (and more of the Modern Age) so will the future be defined more by informal, honour bound agreements? If we launch this can you host it? If you do A we won’t do B?
Certainly part of the future will rely upon the quality of the relationships between players versus formal agreements.
People have already proven they won’t wait. Congregational leaders have for years been seeking sustenance wherever they can. BC Conference has launched Sowing Promise and is redesigning its leadership modules: Foundations, Transitions, Supervision (all 3 scheduled at Naramata the week of September 29). The recently approved Leadership Development plan involves the creation of a new Collegium (for lack of a better word).
The second step in Kotter’s model is to Create A Coalition. I wonder what this might look like in BC, much less The United Church. Or, in postmodern times, is fragmented and provisional the only (and perhaps best) option?