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+Sauls appoints Sam McDonald Deputy COO and Director of Mission

+Sauls appoints Sam McDonald Deputy COO and Director of Mission

The Rt. Rev. Stacey Sauls has written the to the staff at the Episcopal Church Center about changes to expect during his tenure as Chief Operating Officer. He will place emphasis on mission and has announced that Sam McDonald will be the new Deputy Chief Operating Officer and Director of Mission:

Particularly with the emphasis I place on mission, I want to announce some changes in the Mission Department. First, as you can tell, I will be very much involved in the leadership of the Mission Department. For one thing, I think I have important experience and a commitment to mission exercised in creative ways that I want to bring to bear. For another, my on-going involvement in mission is essential to my spiritual well-being.

My involvement will be, in some cases, direct but more often exercised in collaboration with a new Director of Mission. I have appointed Sam McDonald, who currently serves as my Canon to the Ordinary, to that position. I believe that having a single Director of Mission will facilitate clarity of leadership in a way that the system of having co-directors has not, will boost morale as a necessary consequence of clarity of reporting, and will make lines of accountability more understandable. All of these will help us all more effectively serve the Church, and it is my sincere hope, make it more fun to work for the Episcopal Church.

There is no one in the Church in whom I have greater confidence than Sam. I have no doubt that, as you get to know him, you will as well. My collaboration with Sam has resulted in ground-breaking, important mission initiatives in the Diocese of Lexington, and I am confident that Sam will bring the same sense of energy, mission, and dedication to his work at the Church Center.

Sam will also serve as Deputy Chief Operating Officer in addition to being Director of Mission. The intention here is that he and I will be collaborating very closely on all matters, as we have in Lexington. Naming him Deputy Chief Operating Officer will be the most effective way to wrap all of you into that spirit of collaboration. Sam assuming the role of Deputy Chief Operating Officer, particularly the direct supervision of the Mission Department, Mission Support (Information Technology, Human Resources, and Building Services), and Mission Funding, will help me to be more involved in mission, keep clear on what the overall goals are, and manage more effectively. Most importantly, being able to share responsibilities with Sam will enable me to be more intentionally collaborative with other leaders in the Church, including the Presiding Bishop, the President of the House of Deputies, the Executive Council, Bishops, Deputies, and other leaders throughout the Church directly involved in mission.

As Sam becomes Deputy Chief Operating Officer and Director of Mission, the co-director system will come to an end. The entire Church owes its thanks to Toni Daniels and Margaret Rose, who have worked diligently to lead the Mission Department over the last two years. Both will now become Associate Directors of Mission, Toni with responsibility for mission administration, and Margaret with responsibility for mission implementation.

MEMORANDUM

To: DFMS Staff

From: The Rt. Rev. Stacy F. Sauls, Chief Operating Officer-Designate

Date: July 19, 2011

Re: Transition Matters

The Starting Point: Mission is the Priority

I look forward with great anticipation, and no small sense of adventure, to the beginning of our work together on September 1. I cannot imagine a more exciting, interesting, or challenging time to be embarking on this work with you. It seems to me that we, all the baptized, have an opportunity quite without precedent to write a new page in the Church’s story and that doing so will depend, as it always does, on faithful, committed leadership at all levels. Some of that leadership, and in particular the supporting of other leaders at more local levels, will be ours to provide together as the staff of the Domestic and Foreign Missionary Society.

We do not have the luxury some previous generations did of clearly established models to guide us. That reality has made, and will continue to make, our work challenging and sometimes difficult. At the same time, it is that very reality that presents the equally unprecedented opportunity for creativity and freedom in our work. Together we have new models to create to further the reign of God and better serve the people of God than some of the old models that, with varying degrees of resistance, are passing away.

I realize that you as the staff have been working on this for some time now. There has been a great deal of trial and error, which has not always been comfortable or felt safe. You have the right to expect me to be honest with you. It is in that spirit that I must say that I do not think things are completely sorted out even now around the issues of the model and structure of mission and ministry for us. Such is the unsettled nature of the moment God has given us. In the months and years ahead we must continue to discern the new reality God is giving us and adapt ourselves creatively and faithfully to it. Adaptation is an evolutionary task, and evolution does not happen overnight. We cannot rush evolution, but we obstruct it at our peril.

As I see it, this evolutionary adaptation by trial and error, reasoned experimentation, and creative innovation presents us with an unparalleled opportunity for adventure. And, if we give ourselves over to that opportunity, I am confident that God will bless our efforts and, in the process, draw us all ever deeper into the mystery of God’s love for the world, which is the greatest adventure of all. It is in the total giving over of ourselves to that opportunity, that adventure, and that mystery to which I believe I have been invited in my Baptism, my ordination, and my call to be Chief Operating Officer. I believe it is an invitation extended to all of us as we live out our ministries whatever they may be. I invite you, therefore, to join me in this great adventure. Like all adventures, it will entail some risk on our part, but as the risk is great, so is the spiritual reward of doing important work. I hope you will join me in trading the safety of how things have been done for the adventure of discovering new ways better suited for our particular time and place.

What will always guide that adventure for me is Jesus’ self-understanding of his own mission and the reality that he has shared his own mission with the Church.

He unrolled the scroll [of the prophet Isaiah] and found the place where it was written: “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to bring good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim release to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to let the oppressed go free, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.” And he rolled up the scroll, gave it back to the attendant, and sat down. . . . Then he began to say to them, “Today this scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing.” (Lk. 4:17b-21)

I don’t think it would be too much of a simplification for me to say that I believe the Church exists to serve the poor and free the oppressed because that is how we come to know Christ and deepen our lives as disciples. I see my ministry as furthering participation in that mission.

The Pastoral Priority

My first priority as Chief Operating Officer, and as a Bishop, will be to keep us focused on our spiritual values. My ministry is, first and foremost, pastoral.

To that end, I will be working with Canon Chuck Robertson and you to strengthen our Chapel life. We are a church after all. I intend to preach regularly in chapel and to write to our community regularly to keep us focused on the love of God and one another. With those of you who are interested, I would like to reexamine our chapel offerings and consider more frequent use of music. If there is even a small amount of interest, I hope we might regularly close the day with Evening Prayer.

I also want to work with you to make the Church Center in New York more reflect the reality that we are a religious community, mostly Christian and mostly Episcopalian, but comprising many different faith perspectives. In my opinion, the Church Center should be much more than an office building housing church administrators, which sounds spiritually deadly to me. I will ask those of you with an interest to help me make the reality that we exist to meet Christ where Jesus himself was found and where he reminded his disciples we would continue to find him, among the poor, an outward and visible sign in our life and values as the Domestic and Foreign Missionary Society staff.

Working for the Church should not be a spiritually damaging experience. In fact, I think it should be joyous. I don’t intend to work anywhere that isn’t, and quite frankly, I don’t think you should, either. I will measure our spiritual success on that basis.

Open and Honest Conversation

I want to have open and honest conversation with you about these and other issues as we begin the adventure before us. I want to get to know each of you, and I want you to get to know me. I want us to reason together about how best to serve God and God’s Church. It is vital that we build trust among us. There are two things I have planned to that end.

First, I have scheduled a DFMS-wide staff meeting on September 22 from 2:00-4:00 p.m. Staff present in New York will gather in the Chapel. Others will be linked via WebEx. Details will follow.

My hope is that all staff members will be present. I recognize that conflicts no doubt already exist. As to staff members reporting ultimately to the Chief Operating Officer I ask that, if you have conflicts, you make every effort to resolve them. Should you be unable to do so, I ask that you let me know personally of that so that I can help resolve any conflicts if at all possible. Except in cases where conflicts have proven impossible to resolve, my expectation is that you will be present for this conversation, and others that will follow. Staff members reporting ultimately to the Presiding Bishop, the Secretary of the General Convention, or others are whole-heartedly invited to attend, but I leave expectations about attendance to those responsible.

Second, I have asked Su Hadden, who will be acting as my Executive Assistant, to arrange face-to-face meetings so I can hear from you individually. This will no doubt take some time to accomplish, but I want to begin immediately after arriving in New York. This is a big task, but Su will be starting on it right away.

Changes to Facilitate Mission

Particularly with the emphasis I place on mission, I want to announce some changes in the Mission Department. First, as you can tell, I will be very much involved in the leadership of the Mission Department. For one thing, I think I have important experience and a commitment to mission exercised in creative ways that I want to bring to bear. For another, my on-going involvement in mission is essential to my spiritual well-being.

My involvement will be, in some cases, direct but more often exercised in collaboration with a new Director of Mission. I have appointed Sam McDonald, who currently serves as my Canon to the Ordinary, to that position. I believe that having a single Director of Mission will facilitate clarity of leadership in a way that the system of having co-directors has not, will boost morale as a necessary consequence of clarity of reporting, and will make lines of accountability more understandable. All of these will help us all more effectively serve the Church, and it is my sincere hope, make it more fun to work for the Episcopal Church.

There is no one in the Church in whom I have greater confidence than Sam. I have no doubt that, as you get to know him, you will as well. My collaboration with Sam has resulted in ground-breaking, important mission initiatives in the Diocese of Lexington, and I am confident that Sam will bring the same sense of energy, mission, and dedication to his work at the Church Center.

Sam will also serve as Deputy Chief Operating Officer in addition to being Director of Mission. The intention here is that he and I will be collaborating very closely on all matters, as we have in Lexington. Naming him Deputy Chief Operating Officer will be the most effective way to wrap all of you into that spirit of collaboration. Sam assuming the role of Deputy Chief Operating Officer, particularly the direct supervision of the Mission Department, Mission Support (Information Technology, Human Resources, and Building Services), and Mission Funding, will help me to be more involved in mission, keep clear on what the overall goals are, and manage more effectively. Most importantly, being able to share responsibilities with Sam will enable me to be more intentionally collaborative with other leaders in the Church, including the Presiding Bishop, the President of the House of Deputies, the Executive Council, Bishops, Deputies, and other leaders throughout the Church directly involved in mission.

As Sam becomes Deputy Chief Operating Officer and Director of Mission, the co-director system will come to an end. The entire Church owes its thanks to Toni Daniels and Margaret Rose, who have worked diligently to lead the Mission Department over the last two years. Both will now become Associate Directors of Mission, Toni with responsibility for mission administration, and Margaret with responsibility for mission implementation. In part, how these new responsibilities are defined will unfold over the next few months based on experience. Toni will deal with responsible management, fiscal accountability, budget administration, grant tracking, and scholarships. Margaret will deal with program planning, evaluation, and budgeting. Having these two gifted staff members on the team will help a great deal in making a smooth transition to a new style of leadership. One of the goals will be to strengthen the team leaders within the Mission Department to lead effectively and clearly with well-understood accountabilities. The intention throughout is to make the Mission Department maximally effective.

I think it realistic to expect that some additional changes may be advisable to make our staff community function most effectively for the well-being of all. We will all have to wait and see what may be needed as circumstances continue to change and we seek to respond creatively as leaders. For now, I have asked that vacant staff positions not be filled until I have had a chance to learn more about our needs and reevaluate. These include Intercultural Ministries Officer, Young Adults Missioner, Mission Personnel Associate, Ecumenical and Interreligious Officer, Ecumenical and Interreligious Associate, and two positions in Episcopal Migration Ministries.

Finally

I close where I began. I think you all represent a very dedicated group of people committed to serving God and the Church and to having a positive effect on the world. I fully intend to help you do so. It will be a great privilege for me to come to know you better and to work with you to common ends.

I apologize for being less than fully available during this period of transition. For now, I remain primarily focused on caring for my Diocese, which has come to mean saying a good good-bye to people whom I have tried to serve and whom I have come to care about deeply during my eleven years as their Bishop. I ask your indulgence on this just a little longer.

I will be in the New York office briefly in early August. Should urgent needs arise, Su can arrange communications with me, or if necessary, for an appointment when I am in New York. Otherwise, I greatly look forward to this new adventure we are going to share and assure you between now and September 1 as well as beyond, of my heart-felt prayers.

cc: Presiding Bishop

President of the House of Deputies

Secretary of the General Convention

Executive Council

Affiliated Agencies

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