Opportunities for serving the Church in diocesan leadership

Voting at the 130th Annual Convention of The Diocese of West Missouri.

Serving the Church in diocesan leadership, serving on Boards, Commissions, Committees, and by participating in Lay Licensed Ministries with others from across the diocese is another way of sharing your time and talents for the good of the churches of West Missouri.

Serving Opportunities – Committees, Commissions and Ministries

For a full list of all the various commissions, committees, and ministries, visit the Committees, commissions, and ministries page.

Serving Opportunities – Lay Licensed Ministries

There are several ways to serve your church in Lay Licensed Ministries. Opportunities are available for Pastoral Leaders, Worship Leaders, Preachers, Catechists, Eucharist Ministers, Eucharistic Visitors, and Evangelists.

Serving Opportunities – Elected Roles and Responsibilities

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 at bishopsassistant@diowestmo.org.

Positions elected at Church Annual Meetings

Positions Elected by Ballot at Diocesan Convention

*Deputies/Alternates to General Convention were last elected in November 2022. Next election will be in November 2025.

Other Roles Elected at Diocesan Convention

If you are interested in serving in any of these roles, please complete the nomination form.

    Serving Opportunities – Roles and Responsibilities

    Deanery Councils

    The diocese is divided into three 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 three 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.

    • West Missouri 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 1 Clergy/1 Lay

    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 the 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 Missouri 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 2023.)

    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 in each order 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 in June & July, 2024 in Louisville, Kentucky. 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.

    Scroll to Top