July 8, 2011

Fresh Start in the Search Process

Yikes! The Rector is retiring/leaving and there are so many dynamics going on! 

Where can we get some perspective? 

Where is there help?

A new resource from Fresh Start (2013 Update: the program is no longer running, but resources have been uploaded to ECF Vital Practices) builds upon 10 years of experience helping congregations move through the transition from one rector to the next. While most of its focus has been working with dioceses and their Transition Ministers, Fresh Start is now making their material available to lay leaders looking for resources to help a congregations in transition beginning with the announcement of a Rector’s departure and continuing through the search process.
Ideally, this material is used in conjunction with your diocesan transition minister and other diocesan resources (NOTE: Fresh Start strongly believes the work needs to be done with an outside consultant). We also want to inform lay leaders about the resources available to their diocese and empower them to ask for them.

The Fresh Start in the Search Process material (2013 Update: materials can be found here) includes sessions on things like: 

  • Understanding Transition: God and You (Oh right! We need to pay attention to God in this process) 
  • Good Exits Create Good Entrances (We know that! How do we do that?)
  • Change-Readiness for Transition (Let’s use a nationally recognized survey instrument and see what our readiness is for change) and 5 other sessions. 
  • There are also simple “Exit Handouts” to help clergy and lay leaders have a good ending to their relationship and ministry together.

All in all, this resource will help lay leaders see the depth of material available to their diocese and to them. See what you think and let us know how you use it! 

Fresh Start is a collaborative ministry supported by the Episcopal Church Foundation; the Office for Ministry Development; the Church Deployment Office; CREDO Institute, Inc. and the over 50 dioceses actively running Fresh Start programs. 2013 Update: Please note that Fresh Start as a church-wide program is no longer active.