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Matthew 25:14-30 - the parable of the talents. One servant is given five talents, another two, and another one, each according to their ability.
In late November the pastor in the church I attend encouraged us to consider, individually and corporately, this parable. What are the distinct talents I/we have received? How should I/we use those talents? What does it mean to faithfully steward these talents, and to view my/our talents through the lens of abundance rather than deficiency relative to another?
I could not help but consider the parallel to our work at the Flourishing Congregations Institute. Every congregation is distinct in some ways – some have five talents, others two, and some one. Building on our emerging construct of what constitutes a flourishing congregation, several questions arose for me.
What would it look like if our church embraced the talents we have, for this time and place? Where might we take risks and act innovatively with our talents? What structures and processes would help our church to maximize our talents? In what ways might keychain leadership leverage the talents of those in our church? What does a hospitable community look like when it holds its talents loosely, willing to create an open and welcoming space for others to be involved?
As I considered these questions, I was reminded that flourishing congregations understand their particular calling and identity for this time and place; they do not bury their talents, but rather live generously and wisely to make the most of the talents they have received. And importantly, they do not look to the church next door, lamenting what they may not have.
A detailed statistical picture of past and present realities among Canadian Catholics, inside and outside of Quebec. Sample topics range from Catholic identification, beliefs, practices, and values, to signs of hope and tangible ministry responses moving forward.
Notable signs of hope include immigration, ‘New Evangelization’ initiatives, lay involvement in leadership, Catholics who positively contribute to Canadian society, Catholic school partnerships with local parishes, and a Pope who is well regarded by the public. This is an excellent data-driven overview on the current state of the Catholic Church in Canada.
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