Dear People of The Episcopal Church in Vermont,
Please join me in thanking Dr. Maurice L. Harris for his service over the past three-and-a-half years and wishing him well on the next chapter of his journey. Maurice has served as our full-time communications minister since 2016 and as a volunteer co-facilitator of the diocese’s racial reconciliation and racial healing network since 2017. He recently accepted a new job opportunity in Connecticut and will be relocating there with his husband, Might, in early January.
Although I am sad to see the Harrises leave Vermont, Maurice and I have spent some time discussing how we might leverage his transition to expand the ministry of The Episcopal Church in Vermont in new and creative ways while maintaining the high-quality newsletter, social media channels, web content, and media relations that have enhanced our fellowship within the church and our evangelism in the wider community. Part of this strategic vision includes creating a dedicated Ministry Support Team resource for racial reconciliation, as well as other sites of cultural transformation to which our diocese has been committed.
To that end, I have asked Canticle Communications to begin working with us on communications and advancement. Canticle is a firm, founded in 2009, that works primarily in The Episcopal Church helping dioceses and other church institutions with strategic communications. Some of you may know Canticle’s partners, Jim Naughton and Rebecca Wilson, from their consulting with The Episcopal Church in Vermont in 2013, and may also know that our own Kathleen Moore, transitional deacon from St. James, Arlington and former communications minister, is Canticle’s communications manager. In working with Canticle, we will have the benefit of both churchwide experience and deep knowledge of our context here in Vermont. Canticle is already working with Maurice to ensure a smooth transition.
Early this year, I will be working with selected diocesan leaders to continue the work in racial reconciliation and racial healing by creating a leadership framework for cultural transformation. You can expect to hear more from me about that process as it unfolds.
As we bid farewell to Maurice, I give thanks for his ministry and for God’s abundance, which is drawing us into ever more faithful ways of joining God’s mission. Thank you for your participation in our shared ministry.
Peace and blessings,
The Rt. Rev. Dr. Shannon MacVean-Brown
Bishop, The Episcopal Church in Vermont
In the featured photo: Maurice L. Harris