On behalf of the Transition Committee, I would like to thank all of you who suggested questions to be asked during the plenary sessions of the upcoming evening walk-abouts. The questions were numerous and extremely thoughtful. Frankly, it was something of a daunting task for the Walk-about Task Force to arrive at three questions that would engage our nominees on issues of concern to the widest number of members of the diocese.
The following questions will be addressed to the nominees at the plenary sessions, with all five nominees answering all three questions, each nominee having two minutes for each answer:
- There are numerous parishes in the diocese which would be described as Family Size, that is, places where the number of people attending a Sunday service is 25 or fewer. Several of these parishes are in older communities or communities in transition; many struggle with limited resources and part time clergy. What skill set do you bring that could assist small churches to grow and/or move to a renewed sense of mission?
- The issues of partnered gay clergy and same sex blessings have been controversial in this diocese and the broader Episcopal Church. Where do you find yourself now on these issues and how have you worked pastorally with people of differing views?
- How have you experienced the Triune God in your life? How has that experience formed your understanding of mission and ministry?
During the breakout sessions, participants will have the opportunity to address further questions to the nominees. In order to assure that as many questions as possible are asked and answered, we are asking that, at the time of registration, people write down one question, which may addressed either to one nominee or to all of them. If, after hearing the plenary session, a person wants to change his or her question, there will be an opportunity to do so at the beginning of the breakout sessions. Each breakout room will have a moderator who will ask the questions randomly and a timekeeper who will hold the nominees to a two minute answer.
As a reminder, the walk-abouts are scheduled from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. in the following locations:
- Tuesday, March 20, at St. Brendan's, Franklin Park;
- Wednesday, March 21, at St. Peter's, Brentwood;
- Thursday, March 22, at Holy Cross, Homewood;
- Friday, March 23, at St. Michael's of the Valley, Ligonier.
The nominee information on the Bishop Search web site has been updated to include the résumés of each nominee, providing additional background information that may not have been covered in their brief biographies or Q&As.
Once again, I am very grateful for your thoughtful involvement in this process of listening to God, to the nominees and to each other. This is an exciting time for our diocese. We follow a God who is the God of resurrection and new beginnings. The walk-about is the next step towards our own new beginning.
Yours in Christ,
The Rev. Nancy Chalfant-Walker
Chair, Transition Committee
Rector, St, Stephen's Episcopal Church, Wilkinsburg