Introduction and structure of the week.
Like every other human institution, the church lives by decisions. How decisions are taken and the impact those decisions have on the organization itself and the people therein matters greatly. N. LUHMANN writing in 1971 stated, “every organization is operationally constituted by decisions” and that decision taking/decision making is the “most vital organizational problem of our time” (Martin Mulder, 1971). This second week of the programme is intended to develop and understanding of how synodality shapes participatory church relationships, the way these relationships and structures are organized, and the exercise of power and authority.
If we are to overcome the pyramidal, hierarchical model of the church and adopt synodality as the church’s modus vivendi et operandi, we must rethink decision-making at all levels, especially in parishes and local churches. In this module we reflect on the fundamental challenge of how we can rethink “decision making/deciding” so that it becomes an authentic expression of a synodal church and in doing so contribute to the maturation of a synodal consciousness and effective pastoral practice in and for a synodal church?