FEWG--The Fresh Expressions Working Group--is a Diocesan Committee that primarily is responsible for overseeing church planting in the Diocese of Toronto. That means both serving as gate-keepers to the money set aside to assist in setting up church plants (through the grant process and ultimately controlled by Diocesan Council), but even more importantly we companion on-going projects, think strategically about where God may be calling the Diocese next, and recruit and discern potential missional leaders.
I'm a very junior member of this committee and have only been to three meetings so far, but I have to say that I am extremely impressed with how they do business/ministry. I'm not sure I have been a part of a committee than has been more open to the work of the Holy Spirit. It is not uncommon for people to speak about how they think God has been active in the work they are talking about. And we speak quite a lot about how God's providence is working itself out in the Diocese of Toronto. It's a very "spiritual" sort of discussion that we have around that table. It's also quite down-to-earth nuts-and-bolts, too, but there is no contradiction there. I wish there was a way to share some stories from that committee because I think people throughout the Diocese would be encouraged both by the good news of what we are discovering in this process as well as by the amazingly holy way that the committee and the planters have gone about the work of building up the Kingdom. Very, very cool.
I also appreciate how fun these meetings are. Lots of laughing and joking around. They feed us lunch (sandwiches and pop), and we do a devotional time before the meeting starts in earnest. The Archbishop, Colin "Double-Cross" Johnson, joins us. (His nickname "double-cross" comes from the way he follows the tradition of putting two crosses in front of his name since he became Archbishop.) The meetings last about two hours.
A sign of a good meeting is that everyone leaves feeling even more excited about their work than when they entered. Something about getting a group of enthusiastic people together ought to create something between them that it is powerful and exhilarating, you know?