May 2016 Vestry Papers: Transitions and Change

May 4, 2016

Since early 2011, ECF Vital Practices has utilized reader surveys. Your responses guide us as we identify ideas for Vestry Papersthemes and articles. Over the past two years we’ve watched two topics emerge as areas many of you are looking for help in: change and clergy transition.

Our articles this month focus on transitions and change, with resources to help you navigate the changes your congregation may be facing today or in the future. They include:

Days before being installed as senior warden, Anne Rudacille Smith learned her rector had accepted a call elsewhere. “Clergy Transition: Tips for Senior Wardens” shares strategies Anne and the vestry used to navigate this unanticipated change.

Across our church congregations wrestle with decisions related to clergy staffing. Recognizing many congregations may associate moving to part time clergy a ‘failure,‘ Cathie Caimano suggests reframing the conversation by asking different questions and adopting a different mindset in “Part Time ≠ Less Than."

La transición y el cambio son parte de nuestra vida personal y laboral. En “Un puente para el cambio” Carmen Guerrero comparte su historia de cómo aprendió a ver que Dios la estaba llamando a cambiar mientras respondía a varios llamados al ministerio como misionera, sacerdote, parte del personal diocesano, y como Directora del Centro de Jubileo de la Iglesia Episcopal.

Transition and change is part of our personal as well as our corporate lives. “A Bridge to Change” by Carmen Guerrero shares her story of learning to recognize how God was calling her to change as she responded to various calls to ministry.

What resources are available to congregations navigating a significant transition? “Navigation Aids” by Randy Ferebee invites readers to consider three pathways for building relationships to support using readily available resources.

We encourage you to think about how the ideas presented in this and every issue may provide an impetus for evaluating and reflecting on what you could learn from the experiences of others. To help in your discernment we offer a list of the resources related to the topic at the end of each article. If you have a resource you’d like to share, please email me with the link or add it to the site using the Your Turn feature.

If you are interested in Spanish language content, please visit our searchable index for our Spanish content here.

Please share this issue of Vestry Papers with your colleagues and to invite them to subscribe to ECF Vital Practices and Vestry Papers. Subscriptions are free. New subscribers are asked to fill out a short registration form to have Vestry Papers and ECF Vital Practices content delivered twice a month to your email inbox.

Nancy Davidge
Editor, ECF Vital Practices