The Diocesan Indaba Process
Indaba is a Zulu word which means gathering for purposeful discussion. It is both a process and a method of engaging one another in which we listen and learn about the opportunities and challenges that face us in our various communities of faith. At the Lambeth Conference of 2008, bishops from throughout the Anglican Communion participated in Indaba conversations with one another as an alternative to their more familiar parliamentary style of meeting. The format was so successful in deepening understanding among the bishops that, with leadership from the Anglican Communion Office, several groupings of three dioceses from around the globe were brought together in Continuing Indaba conversations. The Diocese of New York was fortunate to be linked with the Diocese of Derby (England) and the Diocese of Mumbai (India) in a series of conversations that took place in 2011 and 2012. Teams of eight from each diocese visited with one another in each place to experience firsthand what it means to be an Anglican Christian in very different contexts. When the New York team hosted their friends from England and India here, one of the biggest epiphanies was how varied our contexts are within the Diocese of New York and how much there is that we need to learn about one another. That is the work to which you are being invited now.
Each congregation of the Diocese of New York is invited to appoint a team of four persons to participate in the New York Indaba. Where there is a settled clergyperson, i.e., a Rector or Priest-in-charge, we ask that he or she be among the four participants. We also invite you to identify a young person, between the ages of 16 and 30, to be a participant, and that each team represent a broad cross-section of your congregation. Your congregation will be linked with two others from around the diocese to form groupings of three. The format for the 2015 Indaba essentially will be the same as the first NY Indaba, with teams of four, fixed weekends, and facilitators. The deadline for registration is December 15, 2014, and we will announce these 2015 Indaba groups shortly thereafter, before Christmas. Congregational teams may be made up of clergy and/or lay leaders. As with the first Indaba, we hope that the Rector or Priest-in-charge will participate where possible, and that the team will reflect the diversity of the congregation. We encourage the participation of a young adult where possible.The three 2015 weekends will be January 24-25, May 2-3, and September 26-27.
Your team will be asked to introduce your partners to your congregation and community on the Saturday that you host. On Saturday evening, the host team may invite family members to join you for dinner, and then visiting team members will be housed in homes for the night, preferably the homes of host team members. On Sunday morning, visiting team members will join your congregation for worship and fellowship. Early Sunday afternoon, perhaps over lunch, the teams will wrap up each visit with reflections about the experience of the weekend.
A liturgy is being developed for use on the Sundays of Indaba weekend visits. It may be used either as a complete liturgy with lay persons presiding, or as the liturgy of the Word where a priest is available to celebrate Eucharist.
Identify your team members and ask them to set aside the dates mentioned above. Please visit the special Indaba website to register online no later than December 15. Please be ready to submit the name of your congregation and the names and email addresses of your four team members. If you have any questions about the Indaba conversations, or about the process of effecting these conversations, please contact Archdeacon Parnell.
All of us in the Diocese of New York are joined together in a common mission to share the Good News of Jesus Christ. That mission is carried out in urban, suburban and rural contexts, among a wide range of people with unique talents and interests. The Indaba will help us to deepen our appreciation and understanding of the amazing collection of people and resources that God has brought together in this diocese. With that greater understanding, we will be better equipped to join together in God’s mission.