Bishop Epting to Retire; Study on Diocesan Culture Launched
October 28, 2015
The 2016 schedule of episcopal visits makes the news official: Bishop Chris Epting, who has served the Diocese of Chicago as assisting bishop since January 2012, will retire at the end of December.
“I’m enormously grateful to Chris for his collegial companionship, for the pastoral gifts he has shared with congregations during his active schedule of Sunday visits, and for the commitment he has shown in representing us on the Council of Religious Leaders of Metropolitan Chicago,” said Bishop Jeff Lee. “I’ll miss him, but since this is his third retirement attempt, he certainly deserves it.”
Epting was bishop of Iowa from 1988-2000 and the presiding bishop’s deputy for ecumenical and interreligious relations from 2000-2009.
The people of the diocese will have the opportunity to thank Epting for his service and wish him well in his retirement on November 21 when he addresses diocesan convention.
What comes next? In September, Lee and the Standing Committee agreed to hire the Rev. Gay Clark Jennings, a leadership consultant who prepared a report on the diocese’s culture and effectiveness in 2011, to review and assess the diocesan restructuring that took place that year. Jennings, who also serves as president of the Episcopal Church’s House of Deputies, will interview about 20 lay and clergy leaders across the diocese and meet with the deans. In addition, approximately 75 people will be invited to take the Human Synergistics Inc. Organizational Culture and Organizational Effectiveness inventories to assess the current organizational culture of the diocese, the hoped-for or ideal culture, and factors contributing to or hindering diocesan effectiveness.
“These same inventories were administered in 2011,” said Jennings, “so this new process provides the opportunity to gather results that we can use to compare the diocesan culture then and now, learn more about what’s working, and assess how best to continue doing God’s work in northern and west central Illinois.”
Jennings will present the results of the assessment to Lee and the Standing Committee in January.
“Once we have this important information about our effectiveness and how we can best move forward, the Standing Committee and I will be better equipped to make decisions about the leadership we need to continue our ministry and mission together,” Lee said.