Dear People of God in the Diocese of Vermont:
This report of the THRIVE Task Force is the product of nearly a year of work, prayer, and discernment by faithful lay and clergy leaders across our diocese. Together, they have created a plan for a new way forward for the Diocese of Vermont—a way that will help us develop the structures and steward the resources to participate more fully in God’s mission in our communities.
As you read and reflect on this report, you will see that what THRIVE has proposed is deeply practical. Its careful recommendations will be presented to diocesan convention in October in the form of temporary, three-year revisions to the diocesan canons. But the goal of this work is not simply to improve our governance and finances. It is to invigorate the way we serve God, to make our ministry more vital and to help us continue to find new ways to serve, worship, care for creation, and foster conciliation and reconciliation across Vermont.
THRIVE urges our diocese and each of its congregations to get out of the boat and walk across the water to get closer to Jesus. I hope that as you read this report and attend one or more of the meetings now being scheduled to discuss it, you will be called to help make its vision come true. By supporting THRIVE’s recommendations at diocesan convention, by discerning a call to serve on a new or revitalized diocesan leadership body, and by recommitting your congregation’s ministry to collaboration and engaging your community, you can help make THRIVE’s vision for God’s future in the Diocese of Vermont come true.
I am deeply grateful to THRIVE’s co-chairs—the Rev. Scott Neal of St. Paul’s, White River Junction; Ellen McCulloch-Lovell of Christ Church, Montpelier; and Dr. Ann Guillot of the Cathedral Church of St. Paul—and to all of the THRIVE leaders whose creative collaboration has brought us to this point. I commend their work and their vision to you.
Peace and blessings,
Town Hall Meetings
Introductory Town Hall Meeting
On August 20, Bishop Shannon and the leaders of THRIVE, the Task Force for Hope, Revitalization, Innovation, Vision, and Efficiency, held a town hall meeting on Zoom to review the THRIVE report and answer questions. Download the Thrive Report and download the Zoom chat.
Financial & Organizational Restructuring Town Hall Meeting
On September 7, Bishop Shannon, THRIVE co-chair Ann Guillot, financial sustainability subgroup leader Dean Greta Getlein, and governance and collaboration subgroup leader Archdeacon Stannard Baker held a town hall meeting to discuss the financial and organizational restructuring proposed by THRIVE. Download the Zoom chat.
Nominations & The New/Reconfigured Diocesan Bodies
On September 12, Bishop Shannon, members of the Pre-Convention Nominating Committee, including Archdeacon Stannard Baker, the Rev. Jennie Anderson, Jenny Knowles, Jenny Ogelby, the Rev. Paul Ollson, and the Rev. Amy Spagna discussed the nominations process and new and reconfigured diocesan bodies. Download the Zoom chat.
Proposed Canonical Changes
On September 24 at 10:00 a.m., Bishop Shannon, Diocesan Chancellor Thomas Little, and members of the Canons Committee discussed the canonical changes that are being proposed by the Canons Committee to put THRIVE’s recommendations in place for a three-year trial period. Download the Zoom chat.