Master Plan Update

10 : Conclusion

As we can see from the preceding comments, much critical work remains to be done in the months ahead. Read More »

9: Specfic tasks ahead

In just a few days (May 26, 2005) a group of major leaders of the Church in Massachusetts will be convening to pray and reflect on the possibility of elaborating an operative Master Plan for the Commonwealth, just as envisioned in the original document. Already, the development process has begun through several presentations made to small gatherings of leaders on various occasions. Substantive observations and suggestions have been made and undeniable momentum has been gathering around this initiative. With each round of exploration, greater concreteness has been gained, and the perils and promise of this endeavor have become more evident. Read More »

8 : Love, conflict and controversy

Another zone of concern lies in the area of conflict and controversy. Love and compassion are at the very heart of the Christian ethos, and those of us who take that call seriously are understandably resistant to the idea of engaging in serious conflict with our neighbors. Read More »

7 : Paradigms of discipline and authority

As we have suggested before, sustained participation in something as complex and tentative as the Master Plan does require the exercise of a certain kind of discipline. Read More »

6: The need for clarity

Some additional comments are in order at this point. Read More »

5 : Modest beginnings

I am aware that this kind of language immediately sends up red flags in some people’s minds. The thought of committing to support a far-ranging assortment of actions and initiatives, all of which we may not be in full agreement with, arouses legitimate reservations in many of us. Furthermore, talk of exploring the idea of a body of elders for the region may be even more alarming. The thought of throwing our lot with individuals and groups which we regard with a certain amount of skepticism may also induce wariness. Read More »

4: Living by design

As I have reflected on what it takes to learn to live life by design rather than improvisation or happenstance, I have discovered that the single biggest obstacle is the need to rewire the brain, so to speak, to adopt a new way of thinking. Read More »

3 : A journey of faith

God loves to send his people into awesome journeys, ignorant and unprepared, with only a letter of recommendation in their hand, forced to rely not on themselves, but on the authority and faithfulness of the Master. In the end, arrival at the desired destination is secondary in importance. The real beauty lies in the journey itself –the lessons learned, the self-breaking that occurs, the glory that accrues to the divine Guide, the opportunities that emerge for God’s justice, mercy, power and wisdom to be made manifest at every turn. Read More »

2 : Unity and diversity in the body

The very process of working out the internal difficulties and obstacles that we presently face as we seek to begin functioning as a corporate Body holds great potential for future ministry. Read More »

Update 1 year later : A new way of thinking

At this point, after almost a year of intense dialogue around the Master Plan, it seems appropriate and even necessary to try to give greater specificity to some of the concepts and aspirations expressed in that first document. Much greater clarity has been gained regarding the promise and potential obstacles offered by the Plan as it has been presented and discussed before various leadership groups in the Commonwealth. The following comments, written somewhat hurriedly, may perhaps seem a bit rambling and asystematic at first, but I hope that what they might lack in logical progression they will make up for in spontaneity and organic coherence. Read More »