New Year, New People

December 18, 2013

The new year will bring new people and changing responsibilities to the bishop’s staff at the Episcopal Diocese of Chicago. “As the needs of congregations evolve and requests for our services increase, we’re configuring the staff to respond even more effectively,” said the Rev. Jim Steen, director of ministries.

Many of the changes will take place in the ministries team, which Steen oversees. The Rev. Clarence Langdon, associate for leadership development, will retire at the end of 2013. In the new year, the ministries team will expand its work with clergy colleague groups, which will take place at the Nicholas Center and be led by the Rev. Scott Stoner, founder of Living Compass and a member of the ministries team when the Center opens in 2014. The Nicholas Center will provide leadership development for many groups in the diocese and the wider church.

Stoner will be assisted by a new administrative assistant who will work half-time with the Nicholas Center and half-time with Living Compass. This new position will be funded by the generous grant of Ab and Nancy Nicholas to the diocese and Living Compass. The diocese will begin seeking applicants during the week of December 16 and expects to hire someone to fill the position in February.

Early in 2014, the ministries team will also gain an associate for ministries who will support congregations in many ways, including work with transitions and leadership development. Susan Czolgosz, who has served as associate for congregational vitality and transitions since 2011, will return to her consulting practice and will focus her work with the Diocese of Chicago on Thrive, its popular congregational vitality program. She will also do some work in clergy transitions. Candidates for the associate for ministries position are being interviewed now, and the job will be filled early in 2014.

Lindsay Baker, previously administrative assistant for leadership development and transitions, left the bishop’s staff last fall to move to Boston, where her husband has a new job. Her position has been reshaped. The new staff member will be part of the operations team, headed by Courtney Reid, and have responsibility for supporting ministries events, clergy conferences, diocesan convention, and the diocesan database. This position will be posted during the week of December 16 and the diocese expects to hire someone in February.

“As our congregations become even more vital, the bishop’s staff is called upon to support more gatherings, training events and conferences,” said Reid. “We’re glad to be adding a position that will support our deaneries, networks and groups in their ministry and mission.”

The position of associate for property management which was previously advertised will not be filled at this time, said Reid. “During St. James Commons’ first full year of operation, we plan to evaluate our property management needs and consider how to distribute those responsibilities so that the Commons can effectively and efficiently welcome people from across the diocese and Chicagoland,” she said.

The networking team, led by the Rev. Jennifer Baskerville-Burrows, will welcome a new associate for development and major gifts in January. Crystal Plummer, who moved to Oklahoma City with her husband last year and has been supporting the networking team as a consultant since July, has previously supported the diocese’s development effort.

“Our current capital campaign phase, Places of Grace and Gladness: A Campaign for the Diocese of Chicago, takes place at the congregation level,” said Baskerville-Burrows. “We’re pleased to be adding a team member who will help congregations participate in replenishing diocesan resources for congregational grants and support fundraising initiatives that fund mission and ministry across the diocese.”

Filling the previously advertised position of associate for community engagement has been put on hold for the time being, said Baskerville-Burrows. “Because half of the position is dedicated to CROSSwalk, we’ve decided to work first with the CROSSwalk on its future plans and vision for addressing violence against youth in Chicago and other urban centers in our diocese,” she said. “In addition, our community engagement efforts need to be responsive to the outreach and ministry of the people of the diocese, and we need more time to ensure that the way we envision the job is a good fit.”

Category: Diocesan News