There is a concept that we lean into around leadership that the focus of leadership is to remove obstacles and then allow the people to move forward and do incredible things.
Recently we saw an incredible example of this in Australia.
The event, organized by Lorraine McCarthy, Dan Ang and Greg Shakovskoy, was a Spirit-led DR Implementation Workshop where Vanessa Comninos and Father Mauro Conte and more shared their own personal experiences with Divine Renovation. This workshop brought together 90 people from across Australia and New Zealand, representing 26 parishes and diocese to discuss the ways in which DR has helped them implement a new leadership model and parish structure focused on growth as a missional parish.
Divine Renovation is about inspiring and equipping parishes for mission and for those that attended, this was an opportunity to be inspired and begin to become equipped for the real work of parish renewal. There are many obstacles in the way of moving a parish from maintenance to mission but when we see humility, trust, and vulnerability being demonstrated by our leaders, as we saw at this workshop, we can see that there is a path that can be travelled that will lead churches to mission.
Church looks different in Divine Renovation parishes and on the Friday evening Father Chris Ryan gave an example of what praise and worship can look like. This was a powerful experience for those that have not seen the excitement, energy, and love that prayer can embody when we make it a priority. Dan Ang opened and closed the workshop with a message and spirit of hope and Jude Hennessy, from the diocese of Wollongong, was a gentle and grounded MC helping people move through the experience in faith.
Father James Mallon and Rob McDowell were able to join the workshop online and speak to the attendees and they were thrilled with the desire by churches on the other side of the world to become missional. It was a blessing.
One of the foundations of Divine Renovation is to combat clericalism through leaning into and developing relationships as teams, supporting pastors in the process. The interplay and relationship between Vanessa and Father Mauro was integral in helping participants to see what that can look like.
We look forward to more events like this in the future where parishes who’ve experienced renewal can share their stories, their experiences and their passion with the rest of the world.
Thank you again to Lorraine, Dan, Greg, Jude, Vanessa, Father Mauro, Father Chris and everyone involved for their passion, love and grace.