In October of 2020, the Office of the Bishop in the Diocese of Olympia conducted a survey among our clergy who are actively serving congregations. The goal of this survey was to assess the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and all that followed on our clergy’s health and wellness, as well as to investigate how supported (or not) our clergy felt by their lay leadership. The primary purpose of the survey was to gather data to share with lay leadership that would help to educate and raise awareness among lay leaders as to the unique stresses and challenges their clergy were facing in pandemic.
The data enclosed in this report paints a picture of clergy who are struggling under multiple stressors and challenges that have required increased working hours and higher stress levels than before pandemic. This information is especially helpful in illuminating the role that lay leadership can play in supporting clergy as whole people, and it is our hope that lay folk as well as clergy are encouraged to work together with grace and compassion as we navigate these waters together.
As with any survey data this is a snapshot of a particular group of clergy at a particular moment in time, but we feel it is important information for understanding what clergy are experiencing and going through vocationally and personally as we move through this pandemic.