PROPOSED AGENDA FOR

SATURDAYS

OF

BISHOP'S VISITATIONS

TO

PARISHES




6/17/90



Purposes:

1. Promote communications in a visible, structured manner.

2. Promote planning in the parishes.

3. Promote linkage between planning in the parishes and planning at the diocesan level.



Standard Agenda

Bishop's meeting with vestry

(Saturday of Bishop's visitation weekend)

Prior to the weekend, the Bishop has received a one-paragraph curriculum vita of each member of the vestry, including nick- name, secular job, family situation, history of involvement in the church, etc., and vestry members have received a one- page c. v. on the Bishop and on the other member of diocesan staff who is attending the (whole) weekend with the Bishop, as well as receiving the info on each other.

9:00 Opening prayers, followed by get-acquainted session in which each person verbally describes the info in the c. v. filling in a bit more on their history of involvement in the church and any recent significant events in their life. The Rector acts as meeting chair.

9:30 Parish report to the Bishop.

1. Update of the most recent available profile of the parish, as used in the rector calling process. (In Diocesan House, the bishop has a file on each parish, and will have referred to the most recent profile, as well as to the data provided by the vestry in prior visitations using this format.)

2. Ten-year graphs of vital statistics from the parochial reports. These will show trends in attendance, baptisms, etc. as well as financial trends. (Standard graph formats will have been provided by the diocese, so that there is a consistency between parishes, and so that the diocesan data to be reported later will be in the same format.)

3. Description of plans for the next two or three years, with particular reference to any important issues or problems.

(Each of these three agenda topics should be accompanied by hard-copy outlines of the specific items of discussion, as well as hard copies of the graphs. Time should be allowed for a presentation of each of the three areas, followed by discussion. The Bishop should not be expected to be able to solve all the problems on the spot: the purpose is communication, which is only one of the early steps which leads to a plan to deal with a problem.)

A 15-minute break should be scheduled at a convenient point in roughly the middle of the morning.

11:30 One minute stand up and stretch. (Not a break.)

11:31 Bible study led by the Bishop, begun by the Senior Warden leading the group in reading aloud together a lection selected by the Bishop.

12:00 Noon-day prayers, followed by lunch.

1:00
Continuation of bible study/discussion.

1:30
Bishop (and attending diocesan staff member) report to the vestry. The same format is followed as in the morning, using the same graphical formats, etc. Data are given on both the diocese and the national church. The attending staff member gives more details on what is going on in that staff person's area, in other deaneries, at the diocesan staff level, and at the national level.

3:00 Adjourn.

6:00 Parish Supper. The main idea here is to have fun, as well as to convey a little info, and good feelings. The Bishop's spouse may attend. A brief skit may be put on by members of the parish, designed to communicate something that is important to the parish, or a group may sing a song that is especially composed for the occasion (make sure that printed copies of the words are available, as it is sometimes hard to make out what the words are!), etc. The Bishop gives about 10 minutes worth of remarks, summarizing the day, and his reactions to it.

Confirmands and their families, including any people who are visiting from out of town, are particularly invited to attend the supper.

* * * * *

Sunday: The Bishop preaches at all services, as well as making a few friendly informal remarks during the announcement period, hitting highlights of the day before.



Note: the preceding is meant to give a vision of what could be the relationship between the episcopal authority (episcope means oversight, or supervision) and the parish. Particulars can be changed.

A. T. Mollegen, Jr. 6/17/90