The Episcopal Church's Office of Public Affairs has issued a press release on the church's Office of Transition Ministry which you can read below. I am wondering if it provides an opportunity for a Cafe community conversation about what the release refers to as the "calling process." How do priests end up where they end up? How well is this process working? How could it be improved?
And, as a favor to this former Roman Catholic, can someone discuss the pros and cons of relying as heavily as we do on interim rectors, priests-in-charge, etc.?
Episcopal Church new Transition Ministry tool
offers easier process, additional options, more information
[December 6, 2010] The Episcopal Church Office for Transition Ministry has unveiled a new tool which provides easier ways to engage the system, offers more options for the user, and focuses on individual’s gifts, strengths, abilities and interests to open new ways of service to the church.
“The intent of the new system is to make the transition process easier and more intuitive,” explained the Rev. Victoria Duncan, Missioner for Transition Ministry. “Who we are as gifted and talented individuals and worshipping communities can now be more fully expressed, thereby availing ourselves more fully to the church and to God’s mission.”
The transition process is utilized for many opportunities -- when clergy are seeking a new ministry opportunity, lay persons are looking to pursue a position in the church, and congregations and institutions are casting their nets for new spiritual leadership. The transition process is offered at no fee to bishops, priests, deacons and laity, or churches/institutions.
Transition ministry information and forms are available here: http://www.episcopalchurch.org/109541_ENG_HTM.htm
“This is an outstanding tool for someone looking for new opportunities as well as for those congregations and institutions seeking candidates,” Duncan explained. “This is the tool that all are going to use, whether someone is looking for a new position, or a search committee is seeking to fill a position.”
In an innovative effort to provide a more holistic approach to the calling process, the new system takes transition ministry to a new level by now including information on the community and regional area. “We received so much feedback and requests for regional data that we built it into the new process,” Duncan noted.
Duncan added, “The individual portfolio is for clergy and lay leaders. The community portfolio is for those churches and institutions, organizations, schools and groups seeking candidates for positions.”
After months of testing throughout the country, the new process began a phased roll-out in September/October and is now fully operational.
Completing the process
The new process is easy and focused with ample room for narratives as well as posting sermons, videos, etc.
“With a new design, we no longer talk about who you are by selecting a category, Duncan explained. “Now, you tell us who you are, you have the freedom to explain more.”
Among the new features:
- The ability to use tag words, chosen to describe ministry gifts and skills.
- An opportunity to add comments throughout the portfolio to explain or enhance circumstances and situations.
- A narrative section addressing questions on such topics as: recognizing success and fulfillment; liturgical style and practice; incorporating others in ministry; self care for spiritual, emotional and physical well-being; involvement in wider Church or geographical community; a ministry project; preparing for the Church of the future.
- A location for links to sermons, classes, resource materials, publications, affiliations, etc. along with an individual’s resume or a community’s strategic plan.
References are invited – but not required – from the diocesan bishop, transition minister, clergy, colleagues in various church relationships.
Episcopal Church Transition Ministry: http://www.episcopalchurch.org/109541_ENG_HTM.htm