COM Letter from Bishop Lee and Deacon Sue Nebel

March 04, 2014

Dear Colleagues:

We are writing to you on behalf of the Commission on Ministry. As you know, COM has the responsibility for overseeing the ordination process and it may be that for which it is best known. We certainly devote a considerable amount of time and energy to it. In the past few years, we have worked to streamline the process. We eliminated deadlines for submission of paperwork. The Postulancy Weekends are now approximately 24 hours long rather than a full weekend. Nominees are told at the conclusion if they have been granted postulancy and, if so, they receive an outline of their formation plan. We have also made resources available on the diocesan website for individuals and parishes about ministry, both lay and ordained, as well as the discernment process. Initially, COM focused on the priesthood. A Task Force on the Diaconate was formed in the spring of 2013 and has been meeting regularly. The group will complete its work this spring. Moving forward, COM hopes to focus on baptismal ministry.

We realize that a personal, face-to-face conversation or meeting can be helpful to parishes in their role in nominating people for the diaconate or the priesthood. COM members are eager to serve as a resource to you for this. This could be an in-person conversation with you or with the Vestry. Several parishes have invited a representative from COM to meet with a discernment committee as it begins its work. We are also happy to lead an adult forum to help the parish understand its role as a community of discernment, either for ordained ministry or for strengthening a person's baptismal ministry. If you would be interested in having a COM member come to your parish for any of these kinds of encounters, please contact either Deacon Sue Nebel, Vice Chair of COM, or Louisa Hallas, Administrative Assistant to the Director of Ministries.

Finally, we have a request of you. It would be helpful to us in our work, if we were aware of discernment committees that are actively working with individuals to explore ordained ministry. If you already have such a committee or anticipate creating one in your parish, could you send Louisa Hallas that information.

Thank you for your attention to this letter. We look forward to working with you.

Faithfully yours,

Bishop Jeffrey Lee
Chair, Commission on Ministry

Deacon Sue Nebel
Vice Chair, Commission on Ministry

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