God is speaking. Our job is to listen.
As we all pitch in to combat the spread of COVID-19, we in the Diocese of Olympia are still listening for what God would have us do. For congregations seeking clergy leaders, this listening process has been deeply impacted by:
- changes to the role of supply and interims while worship is conducted remotely;
- the organizational challenge of doing work on behalf of the whole congregation when we can’t gather;
- the shifting financial realities that will impact the compensation packages churches will offer; and
- the inability to travel to visit prospective clergy.
In order to help us listen better, we will be pausing all search processes for at least one month (until at least April 30) while we learn more about how movement restrictions and economic disruptions will affect our common life.
In the next two weeks, the Office of the Bishop will be contacting congregational leaders to clarify what work may be finished up and how these changes will impact the timeline of each search. For congregations without interim/long term supply/priest-in-charge clergy in place, our top priority is securing workable clergy coverage for the duration of the pause (and beyond as needed).
Departure Announced → Interim in Place
Congregations in this category should be focused on securing clergy coverage and stabilizing remote worship and community connections. If an interim isn’t workable, we will try to find a supply priest willing to conduct remote worship, pastoral care, and connection (5-10 hours weekly). Where interims are warranted, we will be working as quickly as possible to place one.
Wardens: The Canon to the Ordinary will be contacting you about how your timeline will be affected and resource you if you need help securing clergy coverage.
Interim/Supply Clergy: The Canon to the Ordinary will be contacting you to discuss how things are going and clarify how the COVID-19 closures are changing your ministry.
Profile Committee → Receiving Names
Congregations who have constituted Profile Committees should pause the work of profile development and communication of profiles outside the Profile Committee. Congregations who have completed and published profiles are being asked to halt on constituting Call Committees or suspending the work of the Call Committee until clearer discernment is possible.
Wardens: The Canon to the Ordinary will contact you to hear how things are going and discuss any changes in the timeline.
Interim Clergy: The Canon to the Ordinary will be in touch with you about your timeline.
Profile/Call Committees: Your consultant will be in touch to help you determine what work can still be done and how to manage the pause.