With the remits likely moving us toward a three-council model in The United Church of Canada, Living Waters Presbytery (Toronto Conference) wanted to ensure that local communities of faith will receive the support of being connected to other faith communities that is currently provided through presbytery.
One aspect of the upcoming changes is the development of clusters and networks. According to the Executive of the General Council, clusters will “provide community and support for communities of faith and their leaders, and focus on worship, mission, learning, collegiality, and strategic planning,” while networks will “link people working on specific issues or for project work.” It will be up to local churches and other ministries to create these collaborations.
In fall 2017 Living Waters initiated the Clustering and Networking Project to help build capacity to collaborate more effectively by providing opportunities and developing skills for congregations and other ministries to create clusters and networks. Recognizing that we can accomplish more together than working on our own, the presbytery has been convening a series of gatherings at various churches to discuss and allow a direction for this work to emerge through dialogue. Hosting Sacred Conversation consultants Joe Ramsay and Allan Smith-Reeve, along with presbytery staff Karen Hilfman-Millson, have been supporting the presbytery through this process.