When I joined the diocesan staff in August, the Bishop asked me to work with the staff to review the communications infrastructure and processes of the diocese. It is truly amazing to look at the journey our processes and infrastructure have taken over the past 6 years. Grace Happens is just one example.

  • March 12, 2009 – Our 1st Grace Happens was sent to 111 email addresses
  • May 27, 2009 – Our 3rd Grace Happens was sent to 867 email addresses
  • October 14, 2014 – Our 222nd Grace Happens is being sent to more than 2,200 email addresses. 

Our communications infrastructure goes well beyond Grace Happens of course, but we need to start somewhere. Grace Happens offers us an important way to share our stories of how Christ is at work in the world and to invite others to participate in making real the Kingdom of God. It also provides an effective method for communicating the business of the diocese (the recent pre-convention issue).

I am focused on putting in place a process that can do the best job possible in serving the needs of the diocese within the resources we have available. We cannot be all things to all people. Our diocese ranges from parishes that have no computer access at all to parishes that have extensive computer-based systems and professional communications staff. It will be an ongoing process to balance all these factors to best support our diocesan mission.

We are working on a new process for Grace Happens which includes a pre-planned publication schedule and material submission guidelines. These guidelines will allow us to reduce the work spent readying material for publication and I believe the schedule will enable us to be less reactive and more thoughtful about serving the needs of the whole diocese. The end of each GH will include details about the next date along with submission instructions.

I look forward to learning together through this pilot phase how we can best serve God and you. I am glad to hear your comments and I will provide an update at the end of December as to how we need to adjust this process going forward based on our experience.

In the Name of Christ the Servant,

The Ven. Jean Chess, Archdeacon
Director of Administration
jchess@episcopalpgh.org