In October 2024, General Synod delegates will be voting on a proposal to allow for the LCANZ to function as ‘one church with two different practices of ordination’. This move was resolved by General Synod in February 2023, which instructed the General Church Board and the College of Bishops to ‘work through the theological, constitutional, and governance requirements’ for such a move. The resulting project, known as the Way Forward, began in March 2023.
The General Church Board and College of Bishops are the steering committee for the Way Forward project. Overseeing the deliverables and day-to-day operations and reporting to the steering committee is the project management team of Stella Thredgold (part-time), Tim Niewand (full-time) and Tony Vong (part-time). Supporting them is a three-member reference team and eight working groups comprising experts in their respective fields.
The entire church was invited to submit models for the Way Forward that aligned with the intent of the General Synod resolution. The more than 50 framework proposals and further general responses received underwent an extensive evaluation process and three frameworks were shortlisted for further consideration and development. These are: Confessional Communities, Congregations Decide and District Alignment.
You can learn more about the project by listening to the What is the Way Forward? Podcast at www.lca.org.au/what-is-the-way-forward
Ask your pastor, congregation chair or General Synod delegate for more information about the frameworks and for ways to get involved.
JOIN THE CONVERSATION…
Sign up to Way Forward eNews www.lca.org.au/wf-signmeup
Submit your feedback on the three shortlisted frameworks by Friday 23 February 2024.
You can comment via the online form on each of the framework pages below or by email to firstname.lastname@example.org
- Framework: Confessional Communities www.lca.org.au/wayforward/framework-cc
- Framework: Congregations Decide www.lca.org.au/wayforward/framework-cd
- Framework: District Alignment www.lca.org.au/wayforward/framework-da
or you can add your comments via the survey link below. Meanwhile, we are reading and answering every question and comment about the three frameworks or forwarding them to the working groups for consideration. Your input is guiding us towards the preferred framework, which will be submitted as a proposal to this year’s General Synod.
If you need a recap on the three frameworks, you might want to watch the webinar.
WHAT ARE YOU THINKING? HOW ARE YOU FEELING?
We’d like to know what you are thinking and how you are feeling about the Way Forward; in particular the three frameworks. Please let us know, by taking the short survey. It’s anonymous (unless you choose to tell us your name.)
The Way Forward team has been hard at work producing new church bulletin inserts, PowerPoint slides for your church service announcements, and more. You can find them on our Resources page www.lca.org.au/wayforward/resources/#promotions
Please ask your pastor or chairperson to use these resources to keep your members informed, and don’t forget to share the Resources link with others in your community.
A number of you have requested the terms of reference for the eight Way Forward working groups. We have added the terms of reference to the website, and you can find them at www.lca.org.au/wayforward/#wg-tor
TALK ABOUT IT
We want every member of the church to know what is happening so they can consider the options and contribute to the Way Forward. Please share the webinar recording with your congregations and communities. Synod delegates, in your responsible role, we are looking to you especially to engage your parish members in this conversation. We’ve prepared some talking points to help get the conversations started, and we welcome your congregation’s feedback on the three frameworks via the frameworks webpages.
DON’T FORGET TO PRAY
You are encouraged to pray for the unity of our church, during congregational worship, in your family and private devotion time, and whenever you meet with each other about the Way Forward project. For petitions especially written for this time in our church’s life: https://yourlca.com/wf-prayer-petitions
The three shortlisted frameworks are being further enhanced to meet the requirements of the General Synod resolution. After Easter, there will be a move from three frameworks to one preferred option.
WAY FORWARD MAJOR MILESTONES
Make appointments: The project management team and eight working groups were appointed. The working groups are comprised of people from across the church who are experts in their respective subject areas.
Call for models/frameworks: The entire church was invited to submit models for the Way Forward that aligned with the intent of the General Synod resolution.
Evaluate frameworks: During this phase, the frameworks were evaluated and shortlisted for further consideration and development.
OCTOBER 2023 – JULY 2024
Enhance frameworks: The shortlisted frameworks are being further enhanced to meet the requirements of the General Synod resolution.
AFTER EASTER 2024
Move from three frameworks to one preferred option
Preparation and prayer: There will be opportunities for the wider church to prayerfully prepare for the proposal to go before General Synod.
General Pastors Conference and General Synod: General Pastors Conference will review the proposal, which Synod delegates will debate and vote on.
Way Forward home page: www.lca.org.au/wayforward
Frequently asked questions: www.lca.org.au/wayforward/questions
General feedback: email@example.com
READ MORE STORIES ABOUT Way Forward