Our Congregational Survey process has now completed. We also held a successful Congregational Listening Session with Diocesan Canon to the Ordinary Gwynn Lynch on Sunday March 27. We are currently finishing the draft of our Parish Profile and soliciting input from our members regarding the characteristics they most desire in our new rector for preparation of the Parish Profile. There will be two versions of the Parish Profile- a short form version which follows a prescribed format and will be submitted to the Office of Transition Ministry (OTM) and a longer version which will be available on our website. We hope to have the Parish Profiles completed by the end of September when we will hopefully be ready to put out a call for our new rector.
After twelve years as our Rector, Rev. Laura Brecht announced her retirement effective Novem,ber 1, 2021. As a result St. Barnabas is currently in a period of treansition to a new rector. She spent the last 12 years preaching courageously from the pulpit on the issues of the day, unafraid and unabashed. Rev. Laura lives by the spirit, true to herself and her convictions. She has been admired and revered for her exuberant passion, her love and acceptance of all people and as stated so well by fellow retired clergy Preacher Michael Plekon, "Rev. Laura is a Pastor to everybody in Borrego as she sees them all as people of God. She has been called Borrego's Pastor." Rev. Laura has touched so many with her blessings, her comforting words, her prayers and her sincere love for all of us.
She will be missed and so will that amazing smile.
The Transition Process
The transition process isnot one that we are readily familiar with since it is twelve years since we last went through the process. For that reason it is natural to be slightly uneasy about the process and also curious about how the process works. Fortunately we have the able assistance of the Diocesan Canon to the Ordinary Gwynn Lynch and the full Resources of the Episcopal Diocese of San Diego to help guide us through the process. While the process is new and different to us at St Barnabas, the Diocesan personnel are very familiar with the process and will provide guidance and assistance throughout. The Calling Process generally follows several stages: 1. Formation of a Calling Committee 2. Discernment Process 3. Preparation of an Office of Transition Ministry Profile 4. Receive and review applications 5. Interview selected applicants. 6. List of Finalists provided to Vestry. 7. Vestry votes to select new Rector 8. Coordination with Diocese and Approval by Bishop 9. Negotiate Agreement with new Rector 10. Celebrate the new ministry By the very nature of the process certain information will need to remain confidential beginning with the receipt of applications and moving forward from that point. Although it will be necessaryto keep the names and personal information of applicants confidential we will still be able to keep you posted regarding the general progress being made even from the point when the need for confidentiality kicks in. The sections below will updayte you on the progress so far and the upcoming steps.
We have formed a Calling Committee. The Calling Committee is made up of Cathy Gay, Chuck Bennett. Jane Lilley, Shirley Valpiando, Trent Hoskins-Kleinkopf, Jan Naragon and Patrick Grannan.
Discernment is church speak for the process of self and commmunity evaluatiuon which allows us to learn about ourselves, our community and what traits and characteristics may be a good match between a Priest and St Barnabas. There is no one way to conduct a discernment process but the St Barnabas Calling Committee - in consultation with the Canon to the Ordinary - has decided to pursue a three step discernment process. The first step will be a "story telling" session, followed by a written survey, and capped off by a "listening session".
The "Story Telling" Session was an in person (there will also be a Zoom version immediately following the in person session) guided discusssion or "story telling". The idea is to have Barnabans and Borregans recall both good and bad experiences from the past and present ("story tell") and express their hopes and dreams for St Barnabas moving forward. Participants will have the opportunity to write down mini "stories" on post its which will be drawn out and used to hopefully spark an active discussion. Importantly we are inviting members of the greater Borrego Valley community who may not actively worship with us to participate in this process to help form a more accurate portrait of St Barnabas and how we fit as a part of the community. The highlights from these "stories" and "dreams" will then be recorded and used as the first part of discerning the key characteristics of St Barnabas and its relationship with the greater Borrego Valley community. In turn this will help us identify the characteristics of the Priest who will be the best future fit with St Barnabas. Story telling will take place on Sunday February 20, 2022 following the Holy Coffee Hour and more food will be provided.
The "story telling" was followed almost immediately by a written survey of approximately ten open ended questions. The survey will be available in both English and Spanish and to both St Barnabas congregants and the general Borrego Valley population. The survey questions are being designed with the hope of drawing out further thoughts of Barnabans as well as Borregans in general of what St Barnabas does well,where it needs to improve, and how St Barnabas can be a better neighbor in the Borrego Valley Community. The survey will be made available i on paper at the Story Telling Session, in Church, at Church events and online through email, our website and throug our social media. Yopu will be able to fill it out either on paper or online at your option and we will make several options available to return it to us. The idea is to encourage as many people as we can to participate and make it as easy as we can to complete and return the survey.
After we have reviewed the results of the "Story Telling" and Survey we will present the results to an in person "Listening Session." It is soemthing of a misnomer because the purpose of the Listening Session is to get the reaction of the congregation and community to what we are reporting. Once the results are reported there will be a back and forth discussion. This will be the final input that the Calling Committee will take to draft a Parish Profile and - in essence - the help wanted advertisement for ournew Rector. The Listening Session took place in person on March 27 (there will be a Zoom session the day before on March 26).
St. Barnabas Episcopal Church 2680 Country Club Dr PO Box 691 Borrego Springs CA 92004-0691 760-767-4038