Now and in the coming months, the Search Committee is doing its own share of discernment. We’ve begun diligently reading all applications, praying for insight into the primary task of bishop and diocese, and deepening our understanding of the qualities and characteristics presented to us by the candidates.
As we are at work, we hope you also will do work of discernment throughout the summer and into the fall, keeping pace alongside us. We all can be preparing ourselves for the changes already beginning to take root in this diocese, with Bishop Robert Gepert’s leadership. For its part, the Search Committee, with Standing Committee’s help, is staying alert and aware of these changes for health and faithfulness.
We will present the Standing Committee with candidates whose qualities and characteristics best match those criteria we’ve developed, using our understanding of the primary task of a diocese and a bishop (see http://cpabishopsearch.com/listening-data-joint-leadership-meeting-held/ ). In a later post, we’ll be lifting up the criteria we’re using, so you can think about them too.
One practical way you can work alongside us in reflection and discernment of diocesan needs and character, is to focus parish discussion on the Profile.
We suggest you pass this information on to the person in your parish who has charge of Christian formation and Christian Education, for use in Sunday forums or small groups, or perhaps at a summer’s lemonade-and-cookies gathering after the service.
The Profile is located under the Profile tab (http://cpabishopsearch.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/06/Diocese-Profile_v1_single-page.pdf ) You can read it either online or as a PDF download. Using a laptop, you could even bring up the report and project it on a screen, and scroll through the pages online while everybody sees the material together. After you’ve reviewed the Profile together, you might open a discussion of what people have seen.
Below are a few questions that could be helpful to a group discussing the Profile.
1. Given this report, what do you like about our diocese?
2. What surprises you?
3. What gives you concern?
4. What gives you hope?
If your discussion group is keeping track of people’s answers (in their own words; using newsprint is always helpful for that!), perhaps the group will be willing to prioritize their answers to the last two questions, and then pick one or two priorities that might have application in your own parish in the near future. In a follow-up session, you might think out loud about what such changes or growth in your health and faithfulness might look like.