- Trinity Voices
An Update from the Ministry Collaborative
Dear Trinity Church and friends,
We write to you as the “Ministry Collaborative,” a working group launched at our 2021 Annual Parish Meeting as the successor to last year’s Leadership Development Task Force (LDTF). Our name intends to announce our work in both substance and spirit: as a collection of parishioners and staff members, we partner collaboratively with one another and with Trinity’s ministries to build upon the work of the LDTF and to operationalize the recommendations of its report.
In all we do, we seek to serve you: supporting our leaders with tools and equipping our ministries with best-practices that
. enhance their effectiveness,
. increase their diversity,
. expand their membership,
. and nurture their connections to one another and to the whole parish.
The committed parishioners of Trinity Church serve in more than 50 energetic, varied ministries, from governance to outreach to worship. Yet, the LDTF found our programs have become increasingly siloed, operating independent of one another – and even independent of the parish itself. In no small measure, this tendency results from the near-constant transition Trinity has experienced during the last sixteen years. As one symbol of this turbulence, consider that we have cycled through a combined seven interim and tenured rectorates during this time. Any environment enduring that level of change incentivizes “every-ministry-for-itself” protectionism, and, despite our best intentions, these tendencies have cluttered the pathways to leadership with obstacles and confusions.
Thanks be to God and despite all these headwinds, our ministries have tirelessly pressed forward with their work. In support of them and their leaders’ fortitude, the Ministry Collaborative now seeks to inaugurate a fresh, dynamic season of cooperation, creativity, and mutual support by preparing a comprehensive guide for ministry leaders. In the shortest term, we recognize this month and the close of the Program Year as a time of leadership transitions. Therefore, we are asking ministries to take a few specific steps toward the best practices we will commonly share:
. create a concise description of the program or ministry;
. create a job description for the ministry’s convener/facilitator/ministry leader(s);
. identify a term length of no more than three years for the new ministry leader;
. confirm that any prospective leader meets the canonical standard of “good standing” in our parish community, “faithfully pledging, praying, and working for the reign of God” – fidelities measured by constancy and commitment to our annual Stewardship, Sunday worship, and parish programming;
. if the ministry leader has served six years or more, invite the retiring leader into a season of Sabbath and to join a cohort of fellow ministry veterans for a time of reflection, renewal, and discernment supported by a newly named “Sabbath Committee.”
Later today, the Ministry Collaborative will reach out to our ministries’ contacts with more details and timelines, ready to directly support their development of these standards. Additionally, if anyone has any questions or concerns, please email the Director of the Rector’s Office, Alison Poor, at email@example.com, and we will look forward to being in touch with you, as well.
Finally, implementing these best-practices in some settings – such as the Vestry – will impact Trinity’s by-laws. The process to amend our by-laws must be completed by the end of summer to meet deadlines required by the Diocese. In the fall, we expect to update the parish on this work and all our progresses. The Ministry Collaborative will present to the Vestry by January 2022 and publish our report to the parish in advance of the Annual Parish Meeting in February of 2022. Between now and then, we ask for your prayers, even as we covenant ours for you and your ministries.
With thanks and optimism,
On behalf of the Ministry Collaborative
Barbara Dortch-Okara, Junior Warden & Ministry Collaborative Co-Chair
The Rev. Morgan S. Allen, Rector & Ministry Collaborative Co-Chair
Kathryn Kempton Amaral