Tuesday, November 27th, 2018
"And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up."
Galatians 6:9 ESV
Throughout my career in public life, business and ministry, I have learned the importance of service. It is foundational that service is centered on prayer, process, responsiveness, evaluation and efficiency. Each of these guideposts are critical to success and our call to empower and grow congregations. As the Offices of the Diocese, we exist to serve you.
It is important that you all know what you can expect from the Offices of the Diocese and the Bishop in this regard:
Responsiveness: We are committed to responding to your emails and phone calls within 24 hours. This also goes for requests made via social media.
Tracking progress: We have adopted new software that tracks our work on behalf of this Office and our work with parishes. This also allows us to assign work to one another and better collaborate.
Follow-up: After we meet with churches, you should receive an email that outlines the action items of the visit. Each canon is copied on these so we are all "in the loop" on what is needed.
Office hours: Traditionally this Office closed at 4:30. Starting this week, we are moving that to 5 p.m. The majority of staff work beyond a 40-hour week but I think it is important that you know someone will be in the office 9-5 if you need us.
The only exception to this is Friday. I have asked staff not to schedule meetings after 12 on Friday so they can catch up on the week's work. If you call after 12 on a Friday, your call will be routed to voicemail. (If there is an emergency, please contact staff on their cell phones (visible in their email signature.)
Canon responsibilities: The canons are here to serve you. Here is how they can help.
Rev. Arlette Benoit-Joseph, canon for transition: can help you find clergy for your congregation; apply for grants for continuing ed. and sabbaticals; and help individuals who are discerning a call to ordained ministry.
Rev. Kirk Berlenbach, canon for growth and support: can help you connect with the community; develop new and innovative ministries; and maximize use of church buildings and grounds
Doug Horner, canon for finance and business: can help you with Sacred Gifts for Mission & Administration; parochial reports and audits; commercial insurance, benefits and pensions through Church Pension Group; endowments and investments; parish financial management and operations; property issues and tenant leases and licenses to use; and employment and human resource policy.
Rev. Betsy Ivey, canon for growth and support: can help you strategically think about how you want to change your parish ministry; and find supporting resources for ministry (websites, accounting, grant-writing, sharing resources).
Jennifer Tucker, canon for communications: can help you with content creation; grassroots marketing; web site development; social media strategy; event planning; messaging; and crisis communications.
Rev. Shawn Wamsley, canon to the ordinary: can help answer questions about the operations of the Diocese; direct congregations to support and resources within the Bishop's office and questions about policy and procedure within the Diocese; and provide direct support for Evangelism ministries, initiatives and programs.
Rev. Toneh Williams, canon for mission: can help connect you with trainings that focus on mental health and addiction concerns; wide missions/events that address national and global issues (e.g. poverty, racism, discrimination, health disparity, legislative changes, acts of violence); and with parishes doing similar mission work.
Since we are "co-creators" in this journey, and this is your diocese, I need to hear from you and know if we are responding to your needs. We are continually seeking to improve. We are continually reviewing all processes, procedures, and budgets. As a wise elder once said: "You cannot improve what you cannot measure."
I am blessed to serve as your Bishop. Let us walk with one another, let us pray for one another and thank God for the opportunity to share in this journey as a community of hope, transformation and love. In Jesus Christ, all things are being made new.
Know Jesus. Change the world.