Opportunities for Serving the Church in Diocesan Leadership

Serving the Church in diocesan leadership, serving on Boards, Commissions, and Committees with others from across the diocese is another way of sharing your time and talents for the good of the churches of West Missouri. Below are brief descriptions of roles and responsibilities as well as terms of office. Nomination processes vary from role to role, and some positions are by appointment of the Bishop. If you have questions, please do not hesitate to contact the Bishop’s Executive Assistant bishopsassistant@diowestmo.org.

Nomination/Volunteer Forms

Complete the following forms to nominate someone (or yourself).

Serving Opportunities – Elected Roles and Responsibilities

Positions elected at Church Annual Meetings

Positions Elected by Ballot at Diocesan Convention

If you are interested in serving on the Diocesan Council, as a General Convention Deputy/Alternate, or on the Standing Committee, please complete the appropriate Clergy Nomination or Lay Nomination form.

Deputies/Alternates to General Convention were elected in November, 2019. Next election will be in November, 2022.

Other Roles Elected at Diocesan Convention

If you are interested in serving on the Bishop Kemper School for Ministry Board, the Disciplinary Board, the Examining Chaplains or the Commission on the Ministry, please complete the Opportunities to Serve form.

Other Serving Opportunities

These are a combination of volunteer roles and positions appointed by the Bishop.

If you are interested in serving on any of the above, please complete the Opportunities to Serve form.


Serving Opportunities – Roles and Responsibilities

Deanery Councils

The diocese is divided into 3 geographic Deaneries. Each deanery is led by a priest elected as Dean by the deanery’s Council. The Dean functions as the Council’s presiding officer and is assisted by a Vice President elected by the Council from among the laity. Every congregation or parish is represented on the Deanery Council by their clergy and lay representatives elected at the church’s annual meeting. Deanery Council meetings are open.

Each of the 3 Deanery Councils is tasked with:

  • building common purpose and collaboration between congregations
  • taking part in diocesan governance
  • developing partnerships among congregations and parishes
  • facilitating communication inside and beyond the deanery

Collaborative ventures in the areas of stewardship, Christian formation, worship, fellowship, etc. are examples of the 3 Councils’ areas of opportunity.

Bishop Kemper School for Ministry Board of Directors (Canon XXIX) – To be elected 1 Clergy/1 Lay

West Missouri participates with 3 other dioceses to operate the Bishop Kemper School for Ministry, which forms and educates people for lay and ordained ministries.

  • WestMo has 4 directors;
  • Nominated by Bishop (or Ecclesiastical Authority);
  • Elected by Diocesan Convention;
  • 2-year terms, no limit on number of terms.

Additional info: The Board establishes budget, hires the school’s Dean, authorizes curriculum, sets policy, & coordinates activities among the four owning dioceses.

Board of Examining Chaplains (Canon XXV) – To be elected 2 Clergy/1 Lay

West Missouri’s Board of Examining Chaplains verifies the adequacy of the academic preparation of persons in the ordination process.

  • Board composition must include at least 2 Presbyters of the Diocese
  • More Chaplains may be nominated from any order;
  • Nominated by Bishop (or Ecclesiastical Authority);
  • Elected by Diocesan Convention;
  • Chaplains serve 3-year terms, no limit on number of terms.

Additional info: Examining Chaplains need to possess appropriate academic credentials in order to create, read, and evaluate examinations.

Commission on Ministry (Canon XXIV) – To be elected 2Clergy/2Lay, To be appointed 1Clergy/1Lay

The Commission on Ministry assists the Bishop with promoting and developing ministry in all its forms in The Diocese of West Missouri. This includes lay as well as ordained ministry, and includes continuing professional education for clergy.

  • Board composition must include at least 2 Presbyters of the Diocese
  • COM has 12 elected members: 6 lay & 6 clergy;
  • Nominated by Bishop (or Ecclesiastical Authority);
  • Elected by Diocesan Convention;
  • Up to 6 additional members may be appointed by Bishop (or Ecclesiastical Authority);
  • Appointed members must be evenly divided between lay and clergy;
  • 3-year terms, no limit on number of terms.

Additional info: Each member will mentor at least one postulant or candidate for Holy Orders and serve on a sub-committee of the COM. These are:

  • Vocational Discernment: developing processes for parishes or diocesan ministries to assist members in discerning their Christian callings, be they to lay ministries or ordained ministries.
  • Ordination Process: Develops policy and procedures for the ordination process in the diocese, and oversees the work of the Regional Vocations Committees.
  • Licensed Ministry: Defines the policy and procedures for the granting of lay licenses, both for those defined in the General Church Canons or Diocesan Canons.
  • Clergy Continuing Education: Develops policy for clergy continuing education, mentoring and orientation. Also helps to provide learning opportunities and works with BKSM on continuing education curriculum.

Note also, membership in these subcommittees is not limited to members of the Commission on Ministry. Any member of the diocese, lay or ordained, may serve on one.

Diocesan Council (Canon IX) – To be elected 2 Clergy/4 Lay, To be appointed 2 Lay

The Diocesan Council exercises all the power of the Diocesan Convention between meetings thereof.

  • Council membership includes 8 laypersons and 4 clergy;
  • The Bishop and other officers of the Convention are also members;
  • Nominations welcome from throughout the Diocese;
  • Self-nomination OK;
  • Elected by Diocesan Convention;
  • 2-year terms, limit 2 consecutive terms;
  • Bishop appoints 4 laypersons as members;
  • Also 2-year terms, limit 3 consecutive terms;
  • All elected or appointed laypersons must be adult communicants in good standing and members of a West Missouri parish or congregation;
  • All elected clergy must be Canonically Resident in West Missouri.

Additional info: The Diocesan Council meets 6 times each 12-month period, once every two months, starting with the 2nd Saturday of December after Convention.

Disciplinary Board (Canon XXII) – To be elected 1 Clergy/1 Lay

As it deals with incidents of clergy misconduct, the Disciplinary Board must be in place though we hope it is never active.

  • Consists of seven persons, 4 Clergy and 3 lay;
  • Clergy members must be canonically resident in the Diocese;
  • Lay members must be adult communicants in good standing, and members of a West Misouri parish or congregation;
  • Nominated by Bishop;
  • Elected by Convention;
  • 3-year terms, limited to 2 consecutive terms;
  • Board elects its own President.

Additional info: Ecclesiastical Discipline is covered in detail in Canon XXII of the diocese’s Canons.

General Convention Deputies/Alternates – To be elected 4 Clergy/4 Lay Each

Deputies/Alternates are elected at the Diocesan Convention in November of the year following the year of General Convention (i.e. after the General Convention held in July, 2018 elected in November, 2019  to serve through November, 2022.)

The General Convention of The Episcopal Church (hereafter TEC) is the highest deliberative body in our Church. It is a bicameral legislature that includes the House of Deputies and the House of Bishops, composed of deputies and bishops from each diocese. When it meets every three years (or triennially), deputies and bishops consider a wide range of important matters facing the Church. For example, the General Convention:

  • sets policy, vision, and position on issues for TEC
  • elects officers of the Convention and several other, constituent bodies
  • elects the Church’s Presiding Bishop and Primate and President of the House of Deputies
  • adopts the unified budget of the Domestic and Foreign Missionary Society and the General Convention
  • does all such other deliberations and make all such other decisions as shall be deemed appropriate

The Diocese of West Missouri is represented at the General Convention of the Episcopal Church by 4 Clergy Deputies and 4 Lay Deputies. There are also 4 Clergy Alternate Deputies and 4 Lay Alternate Deputies who step in to serve if one of the Deputies become unavailable to serve. Clergy Deputies and Alternates may be priests or deacons who are canonically resident in West Missouri. Lay Deputies and Alternates must be communicants in good standing and members of a parish or congregation of the Diocese of West Missouri.

Here’s what you’ll want to know as you consider standing for Deputy:

  • Expenses – the Diocese provides for the cost of travel, room, and meals for the 4 Deputies and one Alternate to attend the Convention. Some extra, personal expenses may be incurred which remain the responsibility of the individual. If the spouse of a Deputy or Alternate wishes also to attend, costs will be borne by the Deputy/spouse.
  • Time Away – Attending General Convention requires a considerable commitment of time. Deputies will be in legislative session June 30 through July 9, 2021 in Baltimore, Maryland. Other days may be needed for travel to and from the Convention’s site.
  • Preparation – Preparing to represent West Missouri at the General Convention requires a great deal of reading and thoughtful, mental preparation. No person is conversant with all the issues that may be dealt with by resolutions submitted to General Convention, so there is a significant “learning curve”.

Additional Questions – Any additional inquiries may be directed to previous Deputies or to the bishop (call the Diocesan Center for names and contact info), or you may consult the General Convention’s website for more info: https://www.generalconvention.org/.

Standing Committee (Constitution, Article XIV) – To be elected 2 Clergy/2 Lay

The Standing Committee is the Bishop’s counterpart and advisory body providing a check and balance on the Bishop’s authority and also giving the Bishop the benefit of its council.

  • Made up of 4 priests and 4 laypersons;
  • Nominations welcome from throughout the Diocese;
  • Self-nomination OK;
  • Elected by Diocesan Convention in concurrent vote by orders;
  • 2-year terms, limit of 3 consecutive terms.

Additional info: The Standing Committee becomes the Ecclesiastical Authority in the absence or incapacitation of the Bishop. It also has final approval of: applications for candidacy and ordinations, consents to episcopal elections, and property sales of diocesan or parochial properties.

Committees of Diocesan Council:

  • Assessment Review Committee
  • Diocesan Property Committee
  • Finance Committee
  • Human Resources Committee
  • International Outreach Grants Committee

Congregational Life:

  • Congregational Development Commission
  • Hispanic Ministry

Communications:

  • Communications Committee
  • Spirit Editorial Board

Social Ministries:

  • Diversity and Reconciliation Commission
  • Companion Diocese Commission
  • Ecumenical Relations Commission

Special Ministries of the Diocese.

These ministries are not formed into a program commission or department or are partner organizations adjunct to the diocese. Many of these Special Ministries receive gifts of support from the diocese.

Affiliated Ministries of Parishes and/or the Diocese:

  • Diocesan Communicators Network
  • Heartland Cursillo (a ministry for leadership and personal renewal)
  • Worker Brothers & Sisters

Ministry Partners of Parishes and/or the Diocese:

  • Council of Church of the Ozarks
  • NourishKC (formerly known as Episcopal Community Services)

Church-Wide Ministries in the Diocese:

  • Brotherhood of St. Andrew
  • Daughters of the King (DOK)
  • Diocesan Emergency Planning Committee (EPC)
  • Episcopal Church Women (ECW)
  • Episcopal Relief & Development (ERD)
  • Jubilee Ministries
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