Monday, January 20, 2014

Ben Edson: hearing another story part 1

Ben Edson met with Pastoral Relations Committee (PRC) this morning, helping start a conversation that went for 2 hours. It was an excellent time together. In the Uniting Church, this body assists the whole church in regard to the pastoral and administrative oversight of all ministers and pastoral charges within the Presbytery. It has a role in Ordinations; Supervision of vacancies; Placement Processes of specified ministries and variations.

Ben was brought in to help think through discerning, selecting, training and placing “pioneers.” As Ben defined it, those with an imagination to see the world differently.

As a church, in 2010, the Uniting Church in South Australia said yes to training pioneers. Today was a time to take our pulse. Together we talked about our progress, and lack of, since then. We identified some barriers that are holding us back. We heard, through Ben, from another church, the Anglican church in the UK, regarding how they select and train.

It is one thing to say yes to a change. It is quite another to do the work of shaping a system, the habits and culture of an institution, around that change. Today was, in my opinion, a very important next step in that process. We needed to say yes as a church in 2010. We needed time to experiment in the time since. We needed, today, to take time to reflect and to begin to ponder how, in ways true to being the Uniting Church, we can cultivate the systems, culture and habits that nurture and sustain those with imaginations to see the world differently. Ben did an excellent job of being passionate, grounded, well-prepared and challenging.

Ben Edson part 2 happens tonight – Monday, 7:30 pm at Citysoul, where Ben tells his story of planting Sanctus.

Ben Edson part 3 happens tomorrow, Tuesday, 9:30 am -3:45 pm when anyone interested (and so far we have 32 booked), will gather around our local pioneer stories. We will begin with 6 stories from individuals in South Australia who have come into our system with a pioneer dream and hear their experiences. From that, we will ask what we are hearing and what might be the next steps as a result. I’m hoping that together Part 1 and Part 3 will be important steps in the ongoing change processes, of the walk from vision to reality, from ideal to habit.

Posted by steve at 02:45 PM


  1. So encouraging to hear that SA is having these conversations…may they spread far and wide…!!!

    Comment by Peter — January 20, 2014 @ 4:19 pm

  2. And encouraging for us to know that we’re encouraging 🙂

    We’re muddling along, trying to get next step clarity and hoping at some point that the talk of these few days will result in some concrete action


    Comment by steve — January 20, 2014 @ 4:29 pm

  3. sounds good! say hi to ben for me 🙂

    Comment by jonny — January 21, 2014 @ 6:33 am

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