Five Year Plan

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This is a key document for the future of the diocese of Rulenge-Ngara and its people in the next five years.
“We were called for a purpose” (Siamo stati chiamati). We have completed a planning process: we have to believe that we have planned for a change. Often we have many things to do. We do many and tiring activities, but at the end of the day we fail to see their impact. We do not see a significant change in the lives of those we are serving. We often see “pastoral” and “development” projects failing or ending without noticing any change brought by those projects. Or we talk a lot about various things we would like to see happening and they do not happen as we expect. The question is why? The answer I guess lies in the fact that most of us very often act without proper planning and management. Anthony Davies in his book “Managing for a change” says that we should not just leave things to happen or to go wrong, we should plan and manage things for a change.

Planning seems to be a new idea growing slowly in the Church today. However, the Scriptures show that planning has been there since long ago, may be not with all the terminologies that surround it that we have. The idea of planning is vivid especially in the Old Testament. Often when Kings wanted to go to wars they sat down and planned (1 Sam 17:2; 1 Fal 20:14; Yer 50:14). But Jesus also aludes to planning when he spoke about the cost of discipleship (Lk 14:28-33). We havee therefore done something in line with the scriptures. We are seeing how the challenge of serving the faithful in the outstations efficiently is becoming bigger and bigger with growing numbers of the faithful in the face of the small number of priests we have. We are not able to teach the faith to all pupils and students in schools! What should we do? We know how challenging it is to teach the faith to an ignorant mass, or to hungry poeople. We know how many people in the community have no access to quality health services, to communication facilities, to many other essentials of life. We still witness the poverty of our people, people living in sub-human conditions. What can we do and how to make the people feel the salvation of Jesus? The vision and mission of our diocese aim at making the human being feel the wholistic salvation brought by Jesus through the work of the Church. We need to plan always how to achieve that vision and mission. We even need to plan for prayer.

We have always to remember the society is always looking to the Church with hope for help, for immediate relief, for quality social services, for guidance, for protection. The Church in fulfilling its prophetic and kingly roles is obliged to to see to it that the human being receives the best services that enables him to live a life worth of a human being (GS 12, 26). As we believe that God has a plan for man (Efe 1:9-10), the Church has a duty to make sure this plan of God is fulfilled by promoting the good  of all (GS 26-27). Our focus was and is on the family and the small christian community in planning, so that whatever we do is aimed to effect a change in the life of the individual in the family, in the SCC.

This planning process has taken us a while. We have planned for the second term after having ended our previous five year plan (2002-2006). We did an evaluation of what we achieved and did not achieve. A report of that evaluation was given. From there we tried to see again which problems we do still have or our people have and visualise what we want to see happening at the end of the next five years (2008-2012). Planning is a key to achieve what we want to see changing in the lives of our people. For example, we have a big problem of water at St. Alfred Rulenge Secondary school. We lost our student in July 2007 because of that problem. I would like to see that enough, clean and safe water is always available at all our schools.

It is my belief that we have in our hands a document with clearly identified problems/needs; clearly identified solutions and a picture of what we want to achieve at the end of the five years through the various programs, projects and activities we shall do in these five years. Addressing wrong problems always land us and anyone to wrong solutions. As human beings we are limited. If we planned to give solutions to wrong problems at the end there will be no change!

What I fear as a challenge is that our plans may end up being dumped on the shelves or in the briefcases if we shall have no will to implement those plans. We shall also need the personnel with skills to manage those plans for a change. For this reason together with the planning, we have clarified our new diocesan organization structure so that we see how the two will affect each other. We need a good and appropriate organization to implement the plans we have made. Suggestions are always welcome to make the new organogram suit the purpose of managing well our plans. I am not afraid of any changes.

A team spirit is needed in implementing this plan. I ask everyone in the diocese to give all his or her heart and mind to this plan. We should collaborate to effect a change in our lives. We need to change our attitudes and perceptions. No one from far is going to bring us real change for a real good life if not ourselves in the first place. The vision of a self-supporting Church can be realized if everybody first works hard to support himself or herself. Let no one be a spectator but be involed fully.

Last but not least, let us pray for this plan to succeed. We ask for the guidance and help of God in our work for without his blessing “it is useless to work so hard for a living, getting up early and going to bed late” (Ps 127:2).

Bishop of Rulenge-Ngara Diocese
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