March 30, 2021
Tuesday in Holy Week
Dear friends in Christ,
Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
As we said in our letter last week, we have some results to share from the diocesan-wide survey we conducted earlier this year. Thank you to the 1,300 of you to took part in the survey.
The survey has helped us to gain a sense of where we are as a diocese. It is one very important data point, but it is only part of the picture. In addition to the survey, we have listening sessions coming up. We are also listening to those who contact us.
We shared an overview of the findings from the survey with clergy of the diocese last week. There is a call scheduled for April 6, and all persons in the diocese, both laity and clergy, are welcome to join for another presentation of the survey data and our sense of where we are as a diocese. You can find details of how to register for that meeting below.
To summarize the findings, we have determined that we are not ready at this time to proceed immediately with a bishop search. We have some work to do as a diocese before it is time to appoint a search committee.
Among other things, we find that many of us are in a place low energy and low satisfaction. While we might like to blame this on the pandemic, the data suggest to us that our low morale predates the pandemic and has deeper causes. There are issues of trust and a lack of connection to a diocesan vision.
That’s the bad news, as it were. The good news is that we are confident we can address these issues and move to a place of greater health and vitality. We also note that our survey reported high satisfaction with diocesan efforts in congregational development and support. The survey – and the upcoming listening sessions – will help form plans that current diocesan leadership can undertake to nurture trust and establish a deeper sense of connection.
This post is not the place to summarize the full findings of the survey. You can view a summary PowerPoint on this narrated video (or just look at the slides). We also will have an article in the spring Connections magazine with more insights from the survey.
As a reminder, the Standing Committee will meet for an all-day retreat in late May to map out the remainder of our transition time until it is time to seek, elect, and ordain our next diocesan bishop. We will share the timeline and work to be done shortly after that.
As always, if you have questions or concerns, you may contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Once again, we are in the midst of a most unusual Holy Week. We cannot gather as we are accustomed and as we would prefer. Despite the limits on in-person gatherings and the challenges of online gatherings, we very much hope this season is a blessing to you, to your church, and to our diocese.
Let us pray.
Almighty God, whose most dear Son went not up to joy but first he suffered pain, and entered not into glory before he was crucified: Mercifully grant that we, walking in the way of the cross, may find it none other than the way of life and peace; through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
Blessings to you. We are,
The Standing Committee
Mr. Larry Hayes, president
The Rev. Philip DeVaul, vice-president
Dr. James Allsop
The Rev. Dr. Ellen Cook
Mr. Barry Feist
The Rev. Canon Scott Gunn
Note: If you want to learn more or ask questions of the Standing Committee, join the open Zoom gathering with Bishop Price on Tuesday, April 6 at 6:30 p.m. The bishop will be joined by members of the Standing Committee to talk about this information and more, as well as be available for questions.
Register in advance for this meeting at: https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZErdOCsqT8iG9cXmBqWWRVbsqHGO_LsFbEH
After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.