Priest-in-Charge Process

Good Shepherd has been blessed with the selection of The Rev. Gary Brower as our Priest-in-Charge. The Priest-in-Charge position is a three year commitment, where the priest works with the Vestry and congregation to create an identity and vision for the church moving forward. The process is divided into three main seasons - The seasons of Discovery, Visioning and Discernment.

The Season of Discovery

Discovery is the first season. It is a time to explore together, congregation and priest, the past and present of the congregation and create a common narrative or story about the congregation.

Outcome:
At the end of this season, a 3-5 page document should be produced that outlines:
1) formative events and responses that have shaped the congregation's culture and its current functions, and
2) the method or process used to discover these things.

At Good Shepherd, the Transition Team has at its disposal:
Priest in Charge Profile
Spiritual life survey
Parent Meeting data
Timeline Maps
US Congregational Vitality Survey
Group “perceptions” (Faith Club; Men’s Group; youth; 2 House Masses)


The Season of Visioning

Visioning is the second season. Once the congregation has discovered who it has been, and what has led to its current identity, the second season begins, one focused on casting a vision. A vision that incorporates what it knows about itself and its gifts to bring about the Kingdom in a world longing for the transforming Love that is Jesus Christ. It is a season of reaching forward in time, based on what the congregation believes deeply about itself and its call. In this work, questions are crucial. What might this look like? What will have to change? What can I surrender and let go?

Outcome:
At the end of this season, a 3-5 page document should be produced that outlines:
1) the core belief that undergirds and animates the congregation,
2) the expansion and/or creation of ministries to be deployed that directly align with that belief, and
3) the method or process used to discover these things.


The Season of Discernment

Discernment is the third season. While discernment is something that is always present in our spiritual lives, in the Priest-in-Charge process, this season of discernment is about translating the vision created in the second season into action. It allows both the priest and the congregation an opportunity to walk together into an emerging vision, and to see if both are called to continue this work and ministry together. At the end of the season, formal and separate retreat and discernment for both the priest and the vestry are strongly recommended, so that the day-to-day work can recede for a bit and the Holy Spirit can speak more clearly.

Outcome:
At the end of this season, both the vestry and the priest set aside time for retreat, reflection, and prayer. Input from the congregation should be solicited prior to the retreat in order to inform the vestry's discernment. The discernment falls into one of the following:

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