Report — Standing Committee

Shirley Bolden, President

January 2022

  1. Bishop Diane Bruce –
    • The bishop continues a brisk schedule of visiting with plans to visit each congregation before the end of April. She is hearing much from congregations and individuals. She will be at St. Augustine’s for the Absalom Jones service 2/6/22 at 4:00 pm. She will celebrate at Trenton on Maundy Thursday.
    • Still in a rental car and awaiting permanent vehicle.
    • Bishop Bruce discussed her plans related to the Lambeth conference reporting that she feels it is more productive for her to stay in the diocese at this time.
    • She will travel home to LA in February.
    • The bishop emailed the clergy regarding coming staff changes in keeping with the request that clergy receive announcements ahead of publication in New Spirit.
  2. The SC’s role with the Commission on Ministry (COM) – Bolden and Bishop Bruce plan to attend the 1/26/22 COM meeting. The bishop and COM president, Bob Maynard have discussed this. Much discussion about the process toward ordination included that it is often found to be difficult to understand. Ideas included
    • Establishing a class of those pursuing the diaconal studies and a class of those pursuing presbyteral studies.
    • Requiring the full psychological evaluation prior to beginning seminary be paid one-third by the individual, one-third the presenting congregation, and one-third by the diocese. Background, financial, and medical evaluations should be done early, as well.
    • Deacon Beck Schubert to collaborate with a clergy and lay mentor program for the newly ordained and those new to cure.
    • The process to ordination which was followed in the past was suggested as a good model to begin review of the current process. Kyle has a copy of that process as of 2012 and will send it with these minutes. Estes also has information from 2004.
    • Bishop Bruce has been talking to the seminarians about the process and is hearing their frustrations. It has been suggested that those in the process have access to their check lists of requirements for ordination. They report being hesitant to voice frustration about the process.
    • A complete process document is needed, including ordination timeline events. These items may need to be updated on the website.
  3. The SC will join the Diocesan Council (DC) retreat on February 11-12, 2022, at St. Peter and All Saints in KC. It is planned for hybrid and the SC members are asked to bring deserts. The DC is watching the situation with COVID-19 and will reevaluate the in-person portion of the retreat.
  4. Interview with Mr. Adam James regarding candidacy for ordination to the vocational deaconate. James was welcomed to the meeting SC introductions were made. He gave an overview of his career with the fire service and his discovery of St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church. He is in his final year at BKSM. He hopes to focus on serving people and groups with moral wounds (aka PTSD) and is considering furthering his education in the area of therapy. He is engaged in CPE. After a fruitful discussion Spicer moved consent to candidacy for Adam James. Ted seconded. The motion carried.
  5. Interview with Ms. Barbara Wegener regarding candidacy for ordination to the vocational deaconate. Wegener is a retired public servant having served her entire career with the federal government. She is a member of St. Matthew’s Church, Raytown. Her work with the Veterans’ Administration has led her to an interest in chaplaincy. She has not yet begun CPE and plans to engage in the nine-month program beginning later this year. Her priest during this process was The Rev. Oren Cummings, ELCA pastor assisting St. Matthew’s Church. The process was not clear to him, though he was helpful. Pr. Cummings left St. Matthew’s in mid-2020. The discernment process has not always been clear. After a fruitful discussion Kyle moved consent to candidacy for Barbara Wegener. Spicer seconded. The motion carried with one abstention.
  6. Discussion related to the consent for the Rev. Juan Carlos Quinonez to be consecrated as the bishop of the Diocese of Ecuador Central. After a period of discussion and a review of the materials provided, Estes moved consent. Bolden seconded. The motion carried.
  7. Additional comments – Bolden reminded the SC to sign the consent forms for Mr. James, Ms. Wegener, and The Rev. Quinonez, and return them, as appropriate. The Diocese West Mo office is looking at the DocuSign tool to streamline the consent process.

February 2022

Present –Shirley Bolden, president, Jonathan Frazier, Alexandra Connors, Marsha Patterson, Eric Rhoades, Ted Estes, Bishop Diane Bruce, Anne Kyle.

Absent – John Spicer.

The meeting was opened Over lunch following Noonday Prayer at the Diocesan Council (DC)/Standing Committee (SC) retreat.

  1. The minutes of the January 2022, minutes were reviewed. Connors moved to accept the minutes as presented. Estes seconded. The motion carried.
  2. Correspondence from The Rev. Dr. Linda Milholen, vicar, Church of the Transfiguration, Mountain Grove, was read. The SC has received the Vicar’s Award for service during the transition in DioWestMo.
  3. Bishop Bruce discussed her desire that the St. Paul’s Maryville property may be used in creative ways, perhaps with campus ministry in mind.
  4. Bishop Bruce requested the consent of the SC to the appointment of the following persons to the Disciplinary Board. Evelyn Mangan from Christ Church Springfield (emangan@evelynmanganlaw.com, cell 417.818.8114. 1st term ending 2023) and Mary Johnson from St. Michael’s in Independence (mjohnson1963@comcast.net

cell 816.728.1048. 1st term ending 2024). She noted that the board has not been needed in a long time. Estes moved consent. Patterson seconded. The motion carried.

  1. Frazier moved to consent to the ordination of Krista Heuett to the transitional deaconate. Patterson seconded. The motion carried.
  2. Connors moved to consent to the ordination of Colin Larimore to the transitional deaconate. Kyle seconded. The motion carried.
  3. There was much discussion related to the Commission on Ministry (COM). Bishop Bruce reiterated the importance of conducting psychological and medical evaluations prior to the beginning of seminary and background checks, as well. The SC will increase familiarity with those who are in the process toward ordination. The regional vocations committees would be a good place to start. The next RVC is on April 8th.

March 2022

  1. Ordination Process – Fr. Everson
    • Contact information – vocations@diowestmo.org mobile # 913-484-2084.
    • The process for ordination is being streamlined, regularized, and simplified. Ordinations to the diaconate will take place in June and presbyteral ordinations in January.
    • Classes of ordinands will be more firmly established.
    • A vocations interest retreat will be held in September featuring The Rev. Lisa Senuta.
    • Connors suggested that the documents related to the ordination process which are on the DioWestMo website be updated for accuracy or removed.
    • There are eight ordinations coming up between now and January 1st.  4/2 Colin Larimore and Krista Heuett; 5/28 Rita Kendagor; 6/11 Jean Long. Several candidates will be taking the GOE this summer.
    • Frazier suggested that those in the process be given greater access to their records, especially the check list.
    • There are changes coming in how the information is stored with a goal of greater communication.
  2. Bishop Diane Bruce
    • Bishop Bruce was inspired by her recent visit to the National Memorial for Peace and Justice in Montgomery which recalls the history of lynching in this county. It was a haunting reminder of our collective wrong in the treatment of Black and Brown persons. She encouraged us to consider pilgrimage to lynching sites in this diocese and to the memorial in Montgomery, AL.
    • The Clergy Pension Fund is well funded. Clergy are having shorter service careers with more second vocation clergy.
    • She will not be attending Lambeth this year due to a busy summer in many ways, especially with the diocese, and due to concerns about COVID.
    • She will be busy at the General Convention as secretary to the House of Bishops, active with the Union of Black Episcopalians, and the DioWestMo deputation.
    • She is in preliminary work to re-open St. Paul’s – Maryville with a new vision, possibly related to campus ministry. The Metro-NW deanery has pledged $10,000 toward this and both St. Mary’s Savannah, and St. Oswald’s, Atchison County would contribute. Spicer asked about the intention. Bruce hopes to find 3-4 people to walk the neighborhood and ask about what is needed. Possibly use the rectory for college students who are housing insecure or for an intentional community. Connors suggested looking to Kansas for Canterbury support.
    • The bishop has visited thirty-two of the forty-seven congregations. Fr. Ron Keel is off to a good start with Christ Church, Springfield.
    • Frazier asked if she is taking care of herself – she assured him that she is.
  3. Connors moved approval of the minutes of the February 20, 2022, meeting. Patterson seconded. The motion carried.
  4. Declaration of Release & Removal (Rev. Deacon Kevin White) – Dcn. White has made a voluntarily request to be released from the diaconate. There was much discussion including what we should learn from this process. Frazier moved consent to the declaration of release and removal. Spicer seconded. The motion carried with two abstentions.
  5. Consent to the Election of The Very Rev. Brian K. Burgess as bishop of Springfield. After much discussion Spicer moved consent to the election and Shirley seconded. The motion carried.
  6. Consent to the Election of the Rev. Jos Tharakan as bishop of Idaho. It was noted that Cathy Cox will preach at his consecration. Ted moved consent to the election and Marsha seconded. The motion carried.

April 2022

The Standing Committee (SC) meeting was called to order shortly after 2:00 p.m. Those present included Shirley Bolden (president), John Spicer, Alexandra Connors, Ted Estes, Marsha Patterson, Eric Rhodes, Anne Kyle, and Bishop Diane Bruce. Guests (present for their respective interviews) included Vicky Anderson, Brittany Sparrow-Savage, and Ryan Williams.

  1. Comments from Bishop Diane – Bishop Diane shared the following details of her busy schedule.
    • Working with the Commission on Ministry (COM) to streamline processes
    • A campus ministry group has begun looking at expanding campus min outside of Springfield.
    • Connors is working with WEMO Youth on reimagining the program.
    • DioWestMo Convention 2022 “Reclaiming Our Roots to Grow Anew”
    • Diocese worship committee to develop liturgies for diocesan events. The group will also shepherd new BKSM grads in liturgy development.
    • Planning for BKSM grads to take the GOEs.
    • The Pray, Play, Plan DioWestMo staff and cathedral staff retreat was a success.
    • Renewal of Vows went well. Bishop Bruce’s sermon will be published as her message in From the Mission Field.
    • She was at Trenton on Maundy Thursday and with Good Friday with Excelsior and Lexington.
    • She will spend a week working from Irvine and then depart for a three-week vacation abroad.
    • Chas Marks and Charles Everson are doing excellent work for the diocese.
    • Will address the DioWestMo website soon as improvements are needed.
    • Preparing to interview candidates for the Events Coordinator position
    • Diocesan Council (DC) now meets monthly and uses a consent agenda. More time is spent proactively and visioning.
    • A team, including John Spicer is being gathered to look at Maryville. It may be a good fit for Collin Larimore (currently at Carthage).
    • The Rt. Rev. Kim Lucas will be here for MLK weekend 2023, PB Michael Curry for MLK 2024.
    • The Rt. Rev Deon Johnson will preach on Absalom Jones celebration 2023.
    • The WEMO youth van is for sale – contact Ron Weil for information. Approval of the March 2022 minutes – Rhodes noted that his last name is misspelled in the minutes. Patterson moved approval of the March 2022 minutes, as corrected. Estes seconded. The motion carried.
  2. Recommendation of Vicky Anderson as a candidate for ordination to the diaconate. Ms. Anderson was interviewed by the SC. Kyle moved consent to admit Anderson as a candidate for ordination to the diaconate. Patterson seconded the motion which carried unanimously.
  3. Recommendation of Brittany Sparrow-Savage as a Candidate for ordination to the Priesthood. The SC interviewed Ms. Sparrow-Savage. Estes moved consent to admit Sparrow-Savage as a candidate for ordination to the Priesthood. Patterson seconded the motion which carried unanimously.
  4. Recommendation of Ryan Williams as a candidate for ordination to the Priesthood. Mr. Williams was interviewed by the SC. Patterson moved consent to admit Williams as a candidate for ordination to the Priesthood. Spicer seconded the motion which carried unanimously.
  5. Recommendation of Jean Long for ordination to the Diaconate and Priesthood. Ms. Long was previously interviewed by the SC. Spicer moved consent to ordain Long to the Diaconate and Priesthood. Rhodes seconded the motion which carried unanimously.
  6. Consent to the election of The Very Rev. Dr. Douglas Scharf as Bishop of Southwest Florida. Kyle moved consent to elect. Rhodes seconded the motion which carried unanimously.

June 2022

The Standing Committee (SC) was called to order shortly after 4:00 p.m. Those present included Shirley Bolden (president), John Spicer, Alexandra Connors, Ted Estes, Marsha Patterson, Eric Rhodes, Jonathan Frazier, Anne Kyle, and Bishop Dian Bruce.

  1. Comments from Bishop Diane – Bishop Diane shared the following details of her busy schedule:
    • The background check, and psych eval will take place before meeting with the COM and postulancy.
    • Kent McCall will retire from the Diaconate
    • Michael Johns will continue as a Deacon
    • Bishop met with Charles Everson and Bob Maynard to roll out the new process for ordination. This process will help with discernment for diaconate or presbytery. The process will formally go to COM and the Clergy in September and roll out in October.
      • Congregational Discernment
      • Psych Eval & Background Check
      • Meet with COM
      • Serve in a different congregation for more discernment
      • One Saturday per month meet with mentors (1 clergy & 1 lay)
      • Postulancy
      • Seminary
      • BKSM students will take National GOES
    • Ordinations will take place as follows:
      • Presbyterate – First Saturday in January
      • Transitional Diaconate – First Saturday in Feb or May
      • Vocational Diaconate – First Saturday in June 
    • There will be yearly classes of priests, and deacons
    • Ordinands will meet with the preachers for their ordination a few days before.
    • Bishop Diane is the Co-Consecrator at Fr. Jos’ Consecration as Bishop of Idaho and will be Bishop Jos’ coach.
    • Bishop Diane presented her schedule for the next several months including her plans to be present when the triplets come home from hospital.
    • Bishop Diane and Shirley will write up-date from SC to the Diocese.
    • Bishop Diane left to go to G&HT for the vigil.
  2. Approval of the April 2022 minutes – Estes moved the approval of the April 2022 minutes.  Frazier seconded.  The motion carried.
  3. There are no candidates for postulancy to be presented at this time.
  4. Consent to the election of The Rev Phillis Spiegel as Bishop of the Diocese of Utah. Kyle moved to consent to elect. Rhodes seconded the motion which carried unanimously.
  5. Consent to the election of The Rev Jeffrey Mello as Bishop of the Diocese of Connecticut. Estes moved to consent to elect. Spicer seconded the motion which carried unanimously.
  6. Consent to the election of The Rev Canon Shannon Rogers-Duckworth of the Bishop of the Diocese of Louisiana. Spicer moved to consent to elect. Estes seconded the motion which carried unanimously.
  7. Shirley said she is receiving comments/letters concerning the election of the Bishop Coadjutor of the Diocese of Florida.  She will forward all information to us. The election has been challenged and is now with the Presiding Bishop.

July 2022

The Standing Committee (SC) was called to order shortly after 2:00 p.m. Those present included Shirley Bolden (president), Ted Estes (vice-President), John Spicer, Alexandra Connors, Eric Rhodes, Bishop Diane Bruce.

Absent with excuse: Marsha Patterson, Anne Kyle, and Jonathan Frazier

  1. Comments from Bishop Diane – Bishop Diane shared the following details of her busy schedule:
    • Continuing with visitations
    • K C Pride as a Diocesan event
    • Kent McCall will retire from the Diaconate
    • Michael Johns will continue as a Deacon-in-charge.
    • Bishop Diane was the Co-Consecrator at Father Jos’ Ordination as Bishop of Idaho. She will be his mentor/coach.
    • Stewardship Committee has met once and will be working along with congregations on stewardship and plan giving.
    • The Peace and Justice Committee has been re-established after the prayer vigil.
    • Budget for 2023 were due on July 15, 2022.
    • The job description for the youth director is complete and will be forwarded to Josh for review.
    • The 2022 Convention Planning Committee has been working very hard. A suggestion was made to have a Chaplain for the Diocesan Convention.
    • Mark Galus is putting together an attorney list.  The list will include attorneys who handle various areas of law.
    • There will be a Women Retreat on Saturday, August 6 at Good Shepherd.
    • Bishop Diane informed the Standing Committee as part of her letter of agreement a Mutual Ministry Review was to be discussed as it determines   the continuation of her position as provisional bishop. It was suggested and agreed that we have input from the Diocesan Council. 
  2. Approval of the June21, 2022 minutes -Father John Spicer moved the approval of the June 2022 minutes.  Father Ted seconded.  The motion carried.
  3. The Standing Committee interviewed David Wilcox as a candidate to the priesthood.  A motion was made by Father John and seconded by Father Ted to accept David Wilcox as a candidate to the priesthood.  Motion Carried.
  4. The Standing Committee interviewed Ryan Zavacky as a candidate to the priesthood.  A motion was made by Eric Rhodes and seconded by Father John Spicer to accept Ryan Zavacky as a candidate to the priesthood. Motion Carried.
  5. Consent to the election of The Rev. Canon E. Mark Stevenson as bishop elect to the Diocese of Virginia. A motion was made by Father John Spicer and seconded by Father Ted Estes to consent to the election. Motion Carried.

August 2022

The Standing Committee (SC) was called to order shortly after 2:00 p.m. Those

present included Shirley Bolden (president), John Spicer, Alexandra Connors,

Marsha Patterson, Jonathan Frazier and Bishop Diane Bruce Ted Estes (by phone).

Absent with excuse: Anne Kyle, and Eric Rhodes.

  1. Comments from Bishop Bruce
    • Visitations continue to go well. No one is running out screaming, per the Bishop.
    • Deanery picnics were very successful with attendance well over a 120 at each one. People were happy to be together and picnics will be scheduled for next year when it isn’t quite so HOT outside!
    • The staff cleaned out the office and basement of the Diocesan Office. Some things were donated or sold, put together for shredding, or thrown away. Many items were placed in the archives for the archivist to go through. Chandler will be up next week to start this work, and indicate what needs to be in the archives — the rest will be shredded or trashed. After that, it will be “clean” upstairs and downstairs — FYI Marty left 2 – 4 drawer filing cabinets FULL of every seminary papers, sermons written, military info — from early in his career. Everything but the sermons he preached here (and he preached many of the same sermons over the years, BTW because he noted it) were thrown away, and some military info was shredded. What he preached here was put down in the archives. 
    • Bishop Bruce in the most recent New Spirit put out a letter to all about when clergy in charge of congregations retire or resign to take another post. This is going to meet with some disagreement from some of the currently retired clergy, whose boundaries are not firmly set. Only positive feedback so far, however the bishop is anticipating push back from one retired clergy person in particular who is a bit, well, vocal. 
    • The vocations process is being revamped to move away from Regional Vocational Committees to full COM Committee reviews of candidates, including any members of the standing committee who can come to those to interview candidates and to offer their opinions — the standing committee will not have vote, only voice, on the COM for those events. COM meetings are now moved to monthly meetings to make sure everything is in order and people in the process are being cared for by the COM members assigned to them. 
    • “Beginning Well” will be the program set for the new ordinands or new to cure people in the Diocese, i.e., Many thanks to Deacon Beck Schubert and her team for this good work
    • Ordinations each year at a set time — all at the Cathedral.
      • Priest: January
      • Transitional Deacons/Priest: June
      • Permanent Deacons: spring
    • The job description for the Youth Missioner is completed and being reviewed. Hoping to start a national search soon. 
    • Information on the election in the Diocese of Florida — Not moving forward. Shirley references the email I sent you earlier today.
    • Bishop Bruce is heading to Irvine California on 8/25 and returning to the Diocese on Labor Day — she has medical appointments including the one she dreads which shows if any breast cancer is back, so she covets our prayers.
    • Labor Day Weekend the Bishop will be in Milwaukee Wisconsin as celebrant at  the wedding of one of her acolytes from when she was a Rector in a Brewery. Okay, she wasn’t a Rector in a brewery, but the wedding will be in a brewery. Really.
  2. Approval of the July 2022 minutes – Connors moved the approval of the July 2022 minutes. Spicer seconded. The motion carried.
  3. The motion to consent to the ordination to the Diaconate Priesthood of Brittany Sparrow-Savage was moved by Patterson and seconded by Estes. The motion carried.
  4. The motion to consent to the ordination to the Diaconate Priesthood of Ryan Williams was moved by Spicer and seconded by Patterson. The motion carried.
  5. Consent to the election to the Diaconate of Vicky Anderson was moved by Bolden and seconded by Patterson. The motion carried.
  6. Consent to the election to the Diaconate of Adam James was moved by Spicer and seconded by Frazier. The motion carried.
  7. Consent to the election to the Diaconate of Barbara Wegener was moved by Spicer and seconded by Estes. The motion carried.
  8. The motion to consent to the ordination to the Priesthood of Krista Heuett was moved by Estes and seconded by Connors. The motion carried.
  9. The motion to consent to the ordination to the Priesthood of Collin Larimore was moved by Patterson and seconded by Estes. The motion carried.
  10. The Standing Committee interviewed Brian Cowley for consent to candidacy. After discussion, a motion was made by Frazier and seconded by Estes to table consent pending further information from Bishop Diane, information concerning Brian’s move from the Cathedral to St. Mary’s and Brian’s Lay Ministry. The motion carried.
  11. Shirley announced that they will send out the Mutual Ministry Survey to Emily for distribution to the Standing Committee, Diocesan Council and Diocesan Staff by Wednesday or Thursday of this week. The survey will be due back by 5:00 p.m. on Friday, September 9, 2022.

Attachments:

Statement on bishop election in the Episcopal Diocese of Florida

The Episcopal Diocese of Florida and the Rev. Charlie Holt have notified Presiding Bishop Michael Curry that—in light of the report of the Court of Review regarding the recent episcopal election in Florida—Fr. Holt has rescinded his acceptance of the election. As a result, the consent process set out in Episcopal Church Canon III.11.3 will not go forward. The Standing Committee of the diocese has indicated that it is considering next steps as it prepares for the resignation of Bishop Diocesan Samuel Johnson Howard at the end of 2023.

Diocesan Council – Standing Committee Presentation

August 13, 2022

Dear Members of Diocesan Council

As you may know, the letter of agreement with Bishop Diane Bruce includes a provision for a Mutual Ministry Review to be completed each year. Completion of this Mutual Ministry Review is the Standing Committee’s responsibility. However, the Standing Committee is striving for as much transparency as possible throughout the entire transition process with Bishop Diane. To support this transparency and broaden the sources of information, the Standing Committee decided to seek input from members of the Diocesan Council and Diocesan Staff. We intend to gather this input using a brief Google review form sent to each member of Diocesan Council and Diocesan Staff. Once the reviews are returned, Father Ted and I will put together a summary of scores and comments for the Standing Committee to review. The Google reviews and summary will have no signature or names connected to responses. This will allow the opportunity for each person to voice their true opinions. The Google Review will be time sensitive with the deadline for completion clearly communicated at the time the review is received. The Standing Committee will do the same review. After review of all relevant information, we will conduct the Mutual Ministry conversation with Bishop Bruce and a written report will be filed with the Standing Committee’s minutes. Thank you for your cooperation in this review.

Shirley Bolden, President of the Standing Committee

CC: The Rev. Ted Estes, Vice-President of the Standing Committee

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