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Update from Joint Retreat of the Standing Committee and Bishop Discernment and Nominating Committee

Update from Joint Retreat of the Standing Committee and Bishop Discernment and Nominating Committee

From the Standing Committee

The Standing Committee and the Bishop Discernment and Nominating Committee (BDNC) came together for a two-day retreat at the Cathedral of St. Paul in Burlington, March 16-17. The retreat was led by the Rev. Gary Butterworth, our consultant from the diocese of Western North Carolina. Time was spent in prayer, building relationships, discernment, and gathering information about the process from the Rev. Butterworth. The theme of the retreat was to look at situations from different perspectives and how the process of finding a new bishop may also be looked at differently. Discernment was in the forefront of the conversation, and the definition of discernment was used from The Episcopal Church in Vermont Parish Discernment Handbook. Discernment means “to see and understand God’s will.” It is an action of the Holy Spirit through prayer and meditation and the voices of other people. Discernment is also an action of the intellect, perceiving the will of God through the gifts of individuals and person’s role in the Christian community.

The BDNC was commissioned on March 17 by the Standing Committee during Holy Eucharist in the main sanctuary of the Cathedral. The BDNC remained for the afternoon to continue their work with the Rev. Butterworth and will now go forward into deep discernment and prayer for the next several months.

Lars Hunter
Member, The Standing Committee

From the BDNC

The afternoon session of the BDNC with the Rev. Butterworth focused on the practical issues of beginning our work. Our first project will be “Holy Listening.” We plan to engage in conversation with as many people as possible this spring. Listening sessions will be scheduled around the diocese. Dates and locations will be posted as soon as they are set. A subcommittee of the BDNC is crafting questions designed to stimulate thoughts, ideas and imaginings for the future of the Episcopal Church in Vermont and the role of the new bishop. The information gathered will be integral in drafting the profile of our diocese. The BDNC welcomes input from all people of the Diocese, so stay tuned for a Holy Listening session near you!

It was a delight for the members of the BDNC to get acquainted and begin our work together, and it was a joy to have the presence and support of the Standing Committee.

Maggie Thompson
BDNC Chair


In the photo: Members of the Standing Committee with members of the Bishop Discernment & Nominating Committee at the March 16-17 retreat.

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