Leadership for the Whole Church

Leardership for the Whole Church: Part 4 in the Series reflecting on Slow Church

Part 1:

Stanley Hauerwas and Slow Church

Part 2:

Practicing Presence

Part 3:

Formation in the Church

This is Part 4 of our series looking at the concept of Slow Church and what we can learn from the ideas of Stanley Hauerwas.  The links above will direct you to the first three posts in the series. This video is longer than the previous three. However, it’s worth watching the whole video.

Part 4 breaks away somewhat from the first 3 in that the post is more focused on leadership and leaders rather than on the whole body. Yet this video links well with the other three, precisely where Hauerwas talks about leadership as something that is best raised up through the community. Such leadership is in contrast to the leadership model touted by the book store best sellers.

The video starts off with Hauerwas stating that creative authority is all about persuasion.  While he talks about it in the context of being a leader in a community such as a church or university, one question it raises, is how do churches express creative authority in the communities in which they are situated?

For many years, the church spoke from a position of assumed authority. Within a Christendom model this was considered acceptable and even expected. As that model has disintegrated, can the church learn to speak authoritatively again.

Many people would question whether the church should ever speak authoritatively, but I think if the  church adopts the attitude in the broader community of helping the community to develop their gifts, the church will have something to offer to the whole community.

Hauerwas asks an interesting question: What kind of community do you need to be to choose your leaders by lot? The choosing of Matthias he is referring to can be found in Acts 1:12-26. How does such a question challenge our assumptions of what leadership and decision making in the Church should look like?

Hauerwas also talks about developing a discipline of the ego that will allow any institution that you are part of to continue once you have departed. I think this also fits in with the idea of being able to speak authoritatively in the broader community. Just as individual leaders need to learn the discipline of letting go of their egos, so do churches need to learn the same discipline.

One thing that comes out of this style of leadership, is that it rejects persuasion as a sales pitch. Persuasion under the model talked about in this video, and suggested by the previous videos is an activity that comes with long-term sharing of life and exchanging of ideas.

There is more in the video to consider regarding leadership. In particular the question of how do leaders hold on to power as a fragile thing? If you have any thoughts on any of this, please feel free to share them on the St. Philip’s Facebook page.

Palm-Passion Sunday

This Sunday St. Philip’s will be celebrating Palm-Passion Sunday. This is the opening of Holy Week. Much like the Gospel writers place the bulk of their focus on the last days of Jesus’s life, so too do we as a church.

It may seem odd to celebrate both Palm Sunday, and the Crucifixion at the same time. Especially since we set aside Good Friday to mark the death of Jesus. Some of the more cynical may think this is simply to save people from showing up on Good Friday. Certainly there does seem to be more than a few people who feel this way.

However, Holy Week is also called Passion Week. Passion means suffering. If Palm Sunday is a reminder of Jesus as the conquering Messiah, Passion Sunday reminds us that the coronation will involve a crown of thrones. Not only that, but Jesus will be exalted not to a throne but to a cross.

These are powerful stories. As such, at St. Philip’s Palm/Passion Sunday will not feature a sermon. Instead we will take these longer readings and allow them along with the rest of the liturgy to speak directly to us. At the end of the service we will leave in silence. Passion Sunday isn’t over, it carries on into the whole of Passion Week.

Advent Through Christmas


This Sunday marks the beginning of Advent. During the four weeks before Christmas there will be a variety of opportunities to celebrate Advent at St. Philip’s. All of the Sunday services start at 11:00 am.

Advent 1 – November 30:

Our service will be at 11:00 am, with Rev. Donald preaching.

Advent 2 – December 7:

Sean Carlson, a parishioner of St. Margaret’s, will be making a presentation on the Ugandan Orphans Fund. This will take place during our 11 am Eucharist (BAS). After the service there will be a hot & cold potluck in the memorial hall. We invite you to stay for that. Hopefully Mr. Carlson will be able to speak more at that time, but if not, we can still share our thoughts, dreams and visions on how we can work with this fund.

Advent 3 – December 14:

St. Philip’s will be holding a service of Advent Lessons and Carols. Deacon Tanis and the choir have already been making their preparations for this morning.

Advent 4 – December 21:

Rev. Tanis will be preaching at this service. As part of the sermon she will be sharing some stories that will give us a glimpse into her work with Open Circle. As a deacon, Tanis helps the parish to take it’s place in the outside community. It will be exciting to listen to what has happened to Tanis, and where she has encountered God already at work in the lives of the people she meets.

About the Nave of St. Philip's, advent

Christmas Eve – December 24:

Our Christmas eve service begins at 7:30 pm. However, we invite people to arrive at 7:00 pm and join with us in a time of carol singing.

Christmas Day – December 25:

As with our Sunday services, our Christmas Day service will be held at 11:00 am. If for some reason you were able to make any of the Christmas Eve services available, we would be most happy to have you join us for Christmas morning.

As usual, we will have our Wednesday 1pm Eucharist each week during Advent. For any questions, please call 204-237-3650 line 2, or email the church at stphilipsnorwood@shaw.ca