Fresh Start is a collaborative effort of The Episcopal
Church, through the Office for Ministry Development and the Church
Deployment Office, and Cornerstone, a ministry of The Episcopal
Church Foundation. Over the past seven years, clergy and laity
from across the country have developed Fresh Start to equip
congregations and clergy to grow during their ministry. Fresh
Start contributes to healthy systemic change in dioceses,
congregations, and clergy.
Start seeks to strengthen the relationships among Episcopal
clergy, congregations, and dioceses during critical periods of
transition in clergy leadership of the congregation.
Start is a diocesan-led program for clergy in new cures and
for lay leaders in the congregations where they serve, which enables
assisting with transitional issues which affect both clergy
and laity during a new ministry;
sharpening skills for congregational development;
strengthening collegial relationships among diocesan clergy,
as well as relationships between clergy and their congregations;
deepening trust between the clergy, congregations, the Bishop,
and the diocesan staff.
in congregational leadership can be a problem and an opportunity
for clergy and communities. Recent statistics indicate that the
turnover for all Episcopal clergy averages slightly over six years.
Over 1200 congregations will experience calling new clergy leadership
each year. Recognizing that the first years in a new relationship
are a critical, formational opportunity, Fresh Start equips
and trains diocesan staff to guide clergy and congregations in
these transition periods.
Strengthens bonds between clergy and congregational leaders
so that their ministry together is a fresh start.
Increases participant's capacity to minister to each other and
the wider community.
the bonds between clergy, congregations, and the diocese.
the scope of a bishop's teaching ministry to clergy and congregations
in the diocese.
an opportunity for clergy to experience each other's openness
to God and to deepen their capacity to be ministers of Jesus
Start is a program in which issues of transition affecting
both clergy and congregations can be discussed openly and honestly.
It is a set of 25 curriculum modules, each designed to be adaptable
to your diocese's circumstances and program format. The modules
offer a menu - you have the flexibility to pick and choose the
ones you wish to use, or you can offer the complete set. Each
module includes a statement of purpose, Biblical/theological underpinnings
for the topic being covered, a teaching component, and a "desired
series will be available in hard copy, with graphics suitable
for use as overheads, handouts, or slides; and on CD-rom in a
Getting to Know You - Builds community and lays the groundwork
for understanding the issues.
and Entrance Issues - Explores the tasks/issues inherent
in and assists participants in understanding the dynamics of
leaving and saying goodbye.
Theory as Applied to Congregations - Introduces family systems
theory and provides some common concepts with which to understand
the dynamics of congregations.
Taking and Understanding - Encourages participants to pay
attention to the people and events which have shaped their congregations
The Bishop - Outlines some of the issues the Bishop might
wish to address with her/his new clergy and offers an opportunity
for new clergy to get to know their bishop.
Management - Introduces ways of viewing conflict, judging
the intensity/seriousness of the conflict, and responding to
these various levels of intensity.
Management and Church Size - Explores the relationship between
the size of a congregation and the way it fights.
Development 101 - Combines a review of church size theory
and examines the leadership style required in a new.
Setting for the Future - Reminds participants that goal
setting begins with articulating where you've been and where
you are now and offers suggestions for setting this task within
a religious context
of Family and Friends - Explores the relationship of a clergyperson's
work to the people who love and support that person and stresses
the importance of personal and professional support as a key
to wellness and vitality.
Change - Explores the variables in managing change and discusses
how leadership styles affect these variables.
of Leadership and Authority - Explores the five levels of
leadership and examines participant's own leadership styles
in relation to the congregations they serve.
Ministry Reviews - Seeks to break the employee-employer
model, offers a regular review process which is theologically
based, and offers guidelines for when and how to conduct them.
Relationships - Looks at how clergy can respond to prior
congregational expectations and negotiate a relationship with
the congregation in light of the clergyperson's particular gifts,
skills, and expectations.
Re-Negotiation - Explores what happens when you are unwilling
or unable to fulfill an agreed-upon (or sometimes unspoken)
expectation and strategies for dealing with the "pinch" that
Analysis - Introduces participants to a power analysis of
a congregation: what power is, how it is amassed, and ways of
understanding and dealing with it.
vs. Reality - Explores how the parish profile compares to
the reality found upon arrival, what the congregation wants
versus what you bring, and what to do about the discrepancy.
Leadership - Stretches our understandings of what makes
for good leadership.
Clarity - Seeks to clarify the roles implicit in certain
job descriptions and acknowledges that, in ministry, "being"
is as important as "doing."
Formation in Transition - Encourages participants to talk
about how they maintain their own lives with God during the
stresses and strains of transition.
for Achieving Personal Balance - Focuses on the prevention
of undue stress and burnout and explores clergy support groups
as one means of maintaining balance.
for Organizing Your Professional Life - Explores learnings
from the areas of organizational development and time management
Church Type - Addresses the issue of respecting both our
tradition and our need to reach beyond traditional constituents
and invite non-Episcopalians and even non-Christians to experience
God's presence in our worship.
Stress and Burnout - Introduces participants to issues of
wellness, stress and burnout and focuses on coping with the
"disease of the over-committed" and strategies for self-care.
Retreats - Explores the vestry retreat as a way of fostering
collaboration between clergy and their vestries and discusses
the content and logistics for retreats.
comprehensive resource guide (bibliography) covering
general topics related to transitions issues and specific topics
related to each module
An ongoing evaluation process designed to encourage diocesan
facilitators to assist in developing future modules and program
components. The evaluation will measure the effectiveness of
the materials, the impact n relationships between clergy and
their congregations, and the aspects of the project that have
long-term benefits. .
can my diocese participate?
Start will be made available to all dioceses through Training
Conferences beginning in 2000. Fresh Start is designed
for diocesan personnel who can facilitate the program with clergy
in their diocese. It is best executed by officers in congregational
development, deployment, or education.
are the qualifications to participate?
The support and commitment of the Diocesan Bishop
availability of a qualified person (with skills in facilitating
and in group process) to become the facilitator in a diocese
commitment to participate in the evaluation process, an integral
part of this program
A passion for this type of ministry
your diocese would like to learn more about Fresh Start
and how to assist clergy and congregations during times of transition,
please use the submit form below or print out and complete the
form below and return it to:
Rev. Dr. Melford E. Holland, Jr.
Coordinator for Ministry Development
Episcopal Church Center
815 Second Avenue
New York, New York 10017
IN THE EPISCOPAL CHURCH..........