Brothers and Sisters,
I’d like to officially announce the bishop’s decision to establish a new Diocesan Strategic Development Committee. The Committee is comprised of nine clergy members appointed by the Bishop with the purpose of advising the bishop on a strategic plan for the Diocese, communicating and implementing his strategic initiatives throughout the diocese, and assisting congregations in developing their own planning processes. The Committee met for the first time on Wednesday afternoon, May 24.
Canon 33, Section 33.4 (c) currently reads that Council shall establish a Department of Diocesan Mission Strategy that “will be composed of the Regional Deans, two Laypersons elected from each Deanery, and one episcopal appointee for each Deanery.” This is a cumbersome section of the canons as it would entail a committee comprised of 44 individuals, so you can expect to see this section dropped by resolution at this year’s Synod. Instead, the unwieldy “Department of Mission Strategy” is being replaced with this new, smaller, and more nimble “Diocesan Strategic Development Committee.” The Bishop wanted to ensure that various voices throughout the diocese were represented in our conversations, so each member of the Committee represents a particular ministry area. Here is the current membership:
Bishop Morales, Chair
Dean Patrick Smith, Vice-Chair
Canon Jim Fosdick, Canon to the Ordinary
Fr. Ed den Blaauwen, Parishes
Fr. Rob Goebel, Mission congregations
Fr. Luis Gonzales, Sr., Hispanic Ministries
Fr. Dan Kinkead, Mercy Ministries
Fr. Greg Lynn, Church Plants
Fr. Samuel Lynn, Karen Ministries
Fr. Eric Raskopf, Commission on Ministry
Dcn. Bill Timmons, Deacons
The Bishop is the “Chief Strategist” of the diocese and, as you can see, will chair the committee. The Canon to the Ordinary, Fr. Jim Fosdick, will serve ex-officio and I, as the Dean of the Cathedral, will serve as Vice-Chair. In fact, in forming this committee, it became clear to me some time ago that the position Canon for Mission is no longer needed since the committee will now, in effect, function in my place. To that end, we have dissolved the Canon for Mission position entirely. Instead, I look forward to lending my support to the Bishop and Diocese in this new capacity. Furthermore, my repositioning will also entail two other changes. For one, I will no longer be the one setting times and places for our several clergy events, such as our annual Clergy Retreat, or our Colleges of Presbyters, or future Colleges of Deacons. Either the Bishop or an appointee of his will do that. Secondly, other related details such as registrations, email reminders and RSVPs, booking of venues, etc. will be handled by the diocesan staff rather than yours truly.
Personally, I’m very enthusiastic about this improvement. It will offer much more opportunity for clearer, more collaborative, and creative thinking. I believe it’s a positive example of how a change in structure can facilitate a change in culture. I look forward to how we might foster similar improvements in the near future.
Grace and Peace,