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Copy of Leadership: OSF Congregational Chapter 2014

Process of Discernment and Election of Leadership
by

Janet Thiel

on 11 April 2013

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Transcript of Copy of Leadership: OSF Congregational Chapter 2014

As midwives, soul companions to one another, we are privileged to invite sisters to discern if they are equally free to be called or not to be called to serve in the ministry of leadership. Election of Congregational Leadership Area Chapter Process Leadership Election Who to invite? The area chapter ritual will allow us to surface names of sisters who possess qualities of leadership and to share this information with each other within the context of prayer and reverence.

The area chapter ritual will include writing letters of invitation. A template will be provided. Sisters will write separate letters of invitation to congregational minister and to congregational council to any sister they feel is qualified for these positions.

Rather than mailing these letters to the individual sisters as we have done in the past, we will use Survey Monkey to submit each letter. Sisters will be allowed to submit up to ten (10) letters.

The Invitation Committee will process these letters from Survey Monkey. They will send copies (via email) of these letters to the sisters who qualify to be invited to the discernment weekend. During the weekend of discernment, all letters sent to sisters present at the weekend will be made available.

In the spirit of communal discernment, the letters sent to the leadership invitees who remain in the process at the time of chapter will also be made available to those attending the chapter. Area Chapter Ritual Individual sisters who receive a minimum of seven (7) letters of invitation to congregational minister and/or ten (10) letters of invitation to congregational council will be contacted by the Chapter Planning Committee and invited to attend the Discernment Weekend on February 28-March 2, 2014, in Aston.

The congregation will also be invited to enter into a Communal Day of Prayer in support of the sisters attending the Discernment Weekend. Discernment Weekend Following the Discernment Weekend, invitees will inform the Chapter Planning Committee if they are choosing to remain in the process and for which position.

A list of invitees for congregational minister and council will then be published.

Continued discernment will continue within the chapter process.

The letters of invitation sent to those sisters remaining in the process will be made available to the chapter delegates prior to the chapter and to all chapter attendees during the chapter. Selection and Election of Leadership A process of communal discernment for congregational leadership will occur during the congregational chapter. During the chapter there will be a process to formalize the nomination to leadership.

Election by ballot of congregational minister and council will occur during the week of chapter 2014 (Constitutions 96, 99).

Within the process of communal discernment, ballot election will occur after there is a clear consensus on the selection of congregational minister and the team of councilors. As we continue our preparation for our 2014 Congregational Chapter,
we will discern together who among us might be invited
to serve in the ministry of congregational leadership. How to invite? Our area chapters provide the formal means for calling one another
to enter into discernment of leadership. Principles of communal discernment Principles of communal discernment
Compiled by S. Barbara Valuckas, SSND

 All of the information important to the discernment is available to everyone in the discernment; there is no secret information.
 It assumes a commitment to the integrity of the dialogue; as far as possible, I speak my truth to persons, not about them behind their backs.
 It assumes a commitment to have the meeting at the meeting; it is appropriate to reflect with a few people in the evenings about what happened during the day. It is not appropriate to meet with a few people in the evening to “arrange” what is going to happen the next day.
 All discernment takes place in real time.

 Communal discernment does not necessarily produce the (absolute) best result, only the best possible result given the conditions present:
o The quality of the information available to the discerners
o The commitment to the integrity of the dialogue; to speak my truth without judgment or blame
o The time available for the discernment
o The spiritual freedom of the discerners with respect to the outcome

Communal discernment is a movement from the “I” to the “WE”; it means that, in the course of the prayer and dialogue, I may need to let go of my original preferences. It is fine to have preferences at the beginning of the discernment as long as I am willing to let my preferences be influenced by the prayer and the dialogue.

If I come into the communal discernment like a “rock( with rigidity) and go out like a rock,” even though I may be legally qualified to be a participant in the discernment, I have spiritually disqualified myself by my unwillingness to be influenced in any way by the prayer and the dialogue.

The underlying question is always, “What is for the greater common good of the whole?” which is sometimes different from my personal preferences.
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