Wednesday, September 05, 2007

ECUSA satellite offices: resistance is futile

From EpiscopalLife Online:

Service, collaboration central in reorganization set for Church Center: Presiding Bishop, colleagues outline recommendations; plan includes satellite offices

Raising levels of service to dioceses, congregations, and individuals -- "equipping people to use their gifts" -- is at the heart of recommendations to reorganize work based at the Episcopal Church Center, Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori said in a September 5 presentation to staff.

The goal "is to use the gifts and skills of the staff for the good of the whole Church," she noted, inviting participants in the staff-wide assembly to contemplate in new ways what it means to take on the "role of servant leaders" for the Episcopal Church, formed of 110 dioceses configured in some 16 nations and territories.

"This is about being the body of Christ," Jefferts Schori added, underscoring that healthy bodies are capable of demonstrating flexibility, adaptability, and "building new connections." Every member of Christ's body is valued and essential, she said.

The Presiding Bishop said the reorganization would facilitate "excellence in management," encourage "churchwide thinking in all mission programs," and be "responsive and supportive of those who lead ministries." She emphasized that the reorganization "is not about budget cutting" but about establishing the best possible deployment of personnel; "it is about effectiveness and servant leadership.". . .

. . . Other highlights include steps to create "an inspired workforce," and satellite offices launched in several cities to operate in collaboration with the Church Center, located at 815 Second Avenue in New York City. . .

. . . [Linda Watt, the Episcopal Church's chief operating officer and a vice president of the DFMS] said satellite offices -- with staffs of about three persons each -- are planned for Los Angeles and Atlanta, with conversations continuing with regard to a Midwest location, and to explore opportunities in Seattle. The plan leaves room for consideration designation of other sites in the future.

The Los Angeles office will be strategic for media work, ethnic ministries and preparations for the 2009 General Convention meeting in nearby Anaheim, Watt said, noting that the Atlanta office is envisioned to specialize in evangelism and growth, as well as seminary partnerships. Congregational life, ecumenical partners, and philanthropy are focus areas for the Midwest location, while a Seattle site would afford connections with local environmental advocacy work and Pacific Rim relationships.

The satellite offices are to be "co-located" with diocesan or parish facilities, she said. The Los Angeles office, for example, is planned for the Cathedral Center of St. Paul, located in the Echo Park district with an on-site, 14-room retreat center to support overnight conferences. Location for the Atlanta site is yet to be confirmed.

Satellite office staff members are meant to be "out and about in the region," serving as "church diplomats," Watt said. . .

. . . The Presiding Bishop also acknowledged that she is "aware of the anxiety" created by the reorganization plan, but encouraged staff members to "stay open" to the opportunities created by change. She also added her "abundant thanks" for each Church Center staff member and "all that each of you contribute.". . .

Read it all, but it definitely sounds like some budget cutting to me.

No comments: