Friday, May 20, 2011

Fostering Pastoral Collegiality

Early this week, CLS held its 2nd annual Pastoral Gathering. Pastors from the Edmonton region and further afield were invited to join in a day of conversation. This year’s forum centered on the topic “The Pastor and Synod.” The discussion was attended about a dozen guests, along with members of the seminary faculty.
The afternoon opened with a keynote address by Dr. Edwin Lehman, president emeritus of Lutheran Church – Canada. He spoke about the proper understanding of synod as a joyful walk together on the same path. It is not a forced lock-step, nor is it an individualistic free-for-all, but it is a walk in which the people move together toward the same goal and look out for one-another’s well-being.
With these thoughts in mind, the group divided into two, with each of these groups discussing two different sets of two theses dealing with the relationship of pastor and synod. These theses were designed to be provocative, and were intended to be open-ended. Opinions and insights were shared. After a forty-minute discussion, the group reassembled. Members of each group spoke about the insights gained from their discussions, as the plenary group continued the conversation. The day then ended with a wine and cheese reception.
Those who were present agreed that the day was both enjoyable and beneficial, as pastors were free to discuss the topics and gain insights from one another and to simply enjoy one another’s company. The seminary looks forward to hosting the 3rd Annual Pastoral Gathering next year.

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