Diocesan Synod adopted the following provisional values, vision, and mission as a way of focusing our mission and ministry in this time. This specific work emerged from the recommendations of the Structures Working Group, adopted by Diocesan Council in December 2022 that this Diocese:
develop a provisional vision and mission that will shepherd the work of the Diocese for the next two years, grounding it in a guiding theological framework that allows members and leaders of the Diocesan community to hold and honour the realities of both death and life amongst us.
The following statements are provisional in two ways. The first is that they provide a distinct focus for the current moment. The second is that they are time-limited, and will need to be revisited in due course, to discern their ongoing service to the diocesan community of communities as we seek to faithfully participate in God's mission in this time and place.
Core to our work as a diocese is whole-hearted participation in the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus. This is where it all starts and ends. Indeed, everything else flows from the Eucharistic posture and practice of worshiping God with heart, soul, mind, and strength in self-giving kenotic love. This is as much about how we live as what we profess to believe.
That is to say, our whole-hearted worship is a way of life not confined to Sunday services or intellectual propositions, but an embodied response to God’s grace and mercy. The use of the word “tradition” indicates continuity with what has led to this moment, even as we seek to step boldly into God’s unfolding future.
How we live our lives bears witness to the God we serve.
Together, as the body of Christ, we are called out of safety and comfort to a daring discipleship that is rooted in a deep sense of connection to the triune God. Our discipleship is an ongoing conversion of individual, congregational, and diocesan life. It celebrates God’s presence in the here and now, prioritizes deep listening to God, and seeks to respond to invitations to turn towards Christ and neighbour in faith-filled love.
Our discipleship is daring when as individuals, congregations, and as a diocesan community of communities, we respond to God’s call even when this beckons us out of individual comfort into courageous risk for the sake of the gospel. Discipleship is personal (but not private) and communal, impacting many areas of our diocesan life, including the stewardship of assets, congregations, finances, land, leadership, relationships, staff, partnerships, and public witness (amongst other things). This discipleship is expressed in the embrace and practice of our baptismal ministry as we respond, with God’s help, to the changing needs of the world.
Such discipleship includes taking a back seat in arenas where we have wrongly dominated. It also requires that we discern places where we must “lead from the front,” when others refuse to speak up or act in solidarity with members of God’s beloved Creation that society and the church have wrongly neglected, pushed to the margins, or harmed. This may look like taking a stand on issues of injustice, confronting and repenting of our own shortcomings, and seeking with all boldness to embody a way of life that serves God and Creation.
Ultimately, daring discipleship is about living into our role as image bearers who seek human flourishing and the common good in all aspects of our individual and shared life.
Throughout the scriptural witness, God’s people are repeatedly called back to right relationship amongst God, self, neighbour, and creation. When any one element of this relationship is out of balance, the other elements suffer as well.
This value is about seeking the healing of conflicts within individuals, between individuals, amongst congregations, within the diocese, and on a larger scale, with the lands and waterways on which we depend for life.
Right Relationship has implications for peacebuilding, creation care, and the preservation and use of land to ensure a habitable world for future generations. In a more focused way, this value ought to guide all members of the diocesan community of communities into seeking Truth, Justice, and Reconciliation with Indigenous people and nations. At a community and institutional level, this must become a relational and operational priority.
When it comes to issues of intersectional justice, this value undergirds the need (rooted in God’s vision of shalom) to enact structural changes that reduce and eliminate the ways in which we marginalise and harm particular individuals and groups (both within and beyond the Diocese), as well as the earth.
Thriving Christian communities are the heartbeat of a healthy diocese.
When we think about this value from the perspective of our shared diocesan ministry, we include the health and vitality of congregations and ministries (of any size) seeking to embody their baptismal covenant and the diocesan values and vision in the local context. Whether a new witnessing community or a community that has been serving and bearing witness to Christ in its place for many years, cultivating each community’s health, sustenance, and witness is of concern for our diocesan community of communities.
Individual Christian communities measure their health based on congregational vitality, financial health, leader health, relational health, the spiritual health of all disciples in the congregation, as well as the health and vitality of their surrounding community. As a community of communities served by a central diocesan office, the Diocese of Kootenay measures its collective vitality based on the health of all its constituent communities, including the community of leaders that serves the mission of the church through cultivating the health of its interdependent communities and structures.
Frederick Buechner has said that “Vocation is the place where our deep gladness meets the world's deep need.” This is equally true for individuals and for organizations.
Emerging from our values, our diocesan community of communities is co-creating a world where all experience and share the transforming power of God’s love.
Called by God, the people of the Diocese of Kootenay seek to faithfully and courageously journey together in responding to the changing needs of our world.
Stepping bravely into God’s emerging future, our mission is to cultivate thriving communities embodying and bearing witness to God’s love through Christ for all of Creation.
United in our pursuit of wholehearted worship and daring discipleship, we serve alongside one another in pursuit of right relationship with God, the land, and all people.
Individual communities throughout the diocese will express their own unique mission in response to the world’s deep needs in their local communities knowing that, as a diocesan community of communities, we will support one another in pursuing God’s mission in these concrete ways: