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by Walter Stewart

Over 70 people devoted their Saturday morning to being at the Cathedral on October 19. The reason:  to discuss the consultation process results of the previous four months. During that time, more than 160 people – cathedral parishioners and people from across the diocese –   discussed “what greater works”  God is calling us to reach towards as we move into the middle years of the 21st century. 

The “cabinet” (a group appointed to support and direct the process of discernment),  working with a consultant, reviewed the extensive notes taken during the many consultation sessions. The cabinet then conducted a SWOT analysis of those notes with a strong emphasis on the opportunities that could be identified.  While strengths, weaknesses, and threats were not ignored, they were seen as the context in which the greater works God is calling forth amongst us must be achieved.

The cabinet identified that the opportunities fell into one of six categories:  building and grounds; engaging the community; environment; social justice, reconciliation, and advocacy on public issues; using technology to expand our reach; building up the body of Christ.  After a short introduction to the process, attendees had the opportunity to choose two different discussion groups over the course of the morning. 

Discussion in all groups was lively and engaged. Participants were encouraged to focus on several questions. What are the opportunities? What do we know that will help us realize them? What do we need to learn to realize them? Why are they important?  Whom do we need to work with to clarify, plan, and execute on them? Again, detailed notes were taken during the discussions. The cabinet will review and distill those notes and be ready with a more focused report to the cathedral community in a November 30th meeting. The visioning process is generating a level of interest and engagement that will serve our community well when focused plans are developed and the real work of implementation begins.