Please join Canon Dr. Scott Sharman for the Daring to Share workshop exploring a new way of being churches together: how local congregational life and witness might be renewed and refreshed by daring to share with our ecumenical neighbours (programs, buildings, worship, staff, clergy, and more!) Saturday, May 14, Zoom: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/83778275319
The Church of God endures from generation to generation. However, what it means to be the local church in any given place and time is always changing. That is no different today.
In a former age, when church attendance was high, and funding plentiful, it may not have seemed unreasonable for every urban neighbourhood or rural town to have six or seven different churches of varying denominations all within the space of a few blocks. Today, however, with shrinking church communities and declining resources being the more norm, it is no longer a matter of preserving the local Anglican, Lutheran, United, or Presbyterian church on a given street, but rather of trying to figure out how to maintain a vibrant Christian ministry presence at all. The Church of the future will undoubtedly be one that must overcome its segmented past if it is to continue to witness to the way of Jesus Christ. Churches can no longer afford it – spiritually or financially – to walk alone; we need to find ways to walk together.
The advent of what are known in Canada as Ecumenical Shared Ministries (ESMs) represents a way of living towards this future vision of Church. ESMs are defined as the intentional sharing between different local denominational expressions of church – either sharing programs, sharing worship, sharing clergy and staff, sharing buildings, or some combination of all of the above. This workshop, offered by the Rev. Canon Dr. Scott Sharman, is designed for both clergy and lay leaders in the Anglican Diocese of Edmonton. It will introduce the foundations of the ESM movement, tell some stories of the opportunities and challenges involved, and offer tangible information on how to begin to pursue such partnerships on the ground.