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Canon’s Report to Diocesan Council, August 2, 2017

Canon’s Report to Diocesan Council, August 2, 2017

TO: Diocesan Council
FROM: Lynn Bates
DATE: August 2, 2017
RE: Canon’s Report to Diocesan Council

Since the Council meeting on June 17, here are some highlights:

On June 26, we welcomed Pamela Van de Graaf to the diocesan office, her first day as a member the diocesan Ministry Support Team, serving as Bishop’s Assistant.  Pamela had two weeks with retiring Bishop’s Assistant, Susan Kremer, before we bid farewell to Susan whose last day on the job was July 14. The transitions around the office are going well.

I met with the vestry of St. James Church, Woodstock, the evening of June 26 to discuss and answer questions about the next steps in their transition process. The Vestry has determined they will seek a half-time interim priest. On July 21 (better late than never!!), I facilitated an exit interview with the retired rector and senior warden (thank you, Barbara!).

The Executive Board of the Transition Ministers Conference (TMC) had an excellent meeting in Burlington, June 28-30, finalized the agenda for the fall TMC meeting in Virginia which will include a continuing education piece with J.R. Hipple, a managing partner of SIR, a strategic planning consultancy. J.R. will be presenting key demographic information on how generational shifts in society may impact the church in the coming years, what that might mean for how we function as the church in the future, and what questions we might ask ourselves to reach those whom we serve – both those currently a part of our faith community and those whom we want to reach (

The vestry and Ministry Discernment Committee of St. James Church, Arlington, called the “Bishop’s Nominee” to be their half-time Priest-in Partnership after a well-planned, joyful and thorough interview and introduction process. After the usual flurry of phone calls, emails and meetings, a Letter of Agreement was negotiated and signed. The Rev. Mark A. Thompson begins as Priest-in-Partnership on August 1st; Mark’s first Sunday will be August 6th.

On July 16th, I was again at St. Luke’s, St. Albans to meet with the vestry and other parishioners to hear their hopes and plans for calling clergy leadership. After good, and sometimes difficult work, the St. Luke’s leadership have determined they can afford and will seek a quarter-time Priest-in-Partnership. I am in the process of sharing this position through all my available channels and talking with all potential candidates. 

I was happy to be part of the three recent Communicators Workshops, sharing information about how to access funds through the Grants & Loans Committee. All three were well-attended with many congregations represented. Well done, Maurice!

We are still in need of a diocesan Episcopal Relief and Development Coordinator. Please ask me for more information and/or let me know if you or someone you know might be interested.

To know me is to know I am a summer person – I am grateful for some vacation time in July and again in August to enjoy this wonderful season and my “family home” in Nova Scotia with children and grandchildren.

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