Consulting Services for Bishop Nominees

 In 2008 at my second CREDO conference, I heard a very clear and undeniable call from God, “I want you to change the face of the House of Bishops.” 

I have been supporting women considering a call to the episcopate in focused ways since 2014 when I created the cohort model for discernment, Women Embodying Executive Leadership (WEEL).  With a handful of others, we created the Leading Women conferences in 2016, 2019, 2022, and 2023/2024 for women considering becoming bishop, canon to the ordinary, dean, or cardinal rectors. I am grateful that Bishop Chilton Knudsen has taught me in her style of mentoring women through the bishop nomination process, and much of what I do in this individual process comes from her foundation and guidance.

Statement of Purpose  

To be faithful to my call to “change the face of the House of Bishops,” I am committed to supporting qualified women, BIPOC and LGBTQIA2S+ clergy to become bishops.  Support for individuals working with me includes: prayer, coaching, mentoring, feedback and more, depending on the individual’s need. All feedback/coaching is offered in a candid and straightforward spirit.  Nominees are free to engage or disengage this work at any time, and will continue in my prayers.

Cost  

I do not charge for the particular services of preparing an individual bishop nominee.  Financial support and tokens of appreciation are gratefully accepted, but not expected or required.  

Services Offered

Written Materials Review

Editorial advice for written submission materials at initial stages and any other points needed is often the first step in our work together.  Send me the questions and your draft responses, and I will offer comments.  Typically by email.

Clarification Conversation

I ask clarifying questions about your gifts for the work of bishop, and what calls you to this diocese at this time.  We prayerfully and carefully reviewing the diocesan profile and your materials to name and claim your gifts for this call.  You begin developing your Key Personal Points (KPP).  Typically on zoom.

Video Interview Preparation

This may include a detailed preparation plan, a large list of possible questions and more by email.  Many nominees find it helpful to Zoom with me after reviewing the above material.

Discernment Retreat Preparation

Together we discuss the general feel of discernment retreats as we work with the specifics the nominees knows about this particular process.  I can help you refine any presentations you are asked to prepare, and will give you feedback.  We will also talk through the rigors of the discernment retreat.  Email and Zoom are both often used in this work.

Meet and Greet Prep

The Meet and Greets are where many minds are made up about how they will vote.  In its simplest form, I have a document for review as you prepare.  Many nominees include some form of practice with several others, either online or in person.

Online

The online format allows us to work with one or more groups who will give you feedback as you practice answering meet-and-greet type questions.  This process is tailored to the specific needs of the candidate.  At times I will train a few volunteers who do not know the candidate.  At other times, I will work with groups gathered by the candidate.  Typically candidates find this time extremely valuable.

In Person

Bishop Chilton Knudsen mentored me in her style of in-person Practice Interviews which are a powerful gift for the nominee.  We gather 2-3 volunteers who review your materials and meet with us in person for a one-day Mock Meet-and-Greet.  We ask you the kind of questions you are likely to get during meet-and-greets and we listen to any prepared remarks you have.  We then give you feedback about everything from body language to the use of pauses, eye contact, the content of your answers, the kind of language you use and more.

This in-person work is especially helpful for first-time candidates.  Typically you travel to Durham, NC for this practice interview, spending 1 or 2 nights.  You cover the cost of your flights and $25 per night for simple accommodations at my cohousing Common House (or you book your own accommodations).  The team members and I do not charge for our time.  Alternately, in many cases we can create a walkabout team near you. In this case, you will pay for my flight and accommodations to do this prep at your locale.  

Often, the bishop with whom you serve is willing to compensate these travel expenses. Ask!

Other Information

Self-care

Begin right now: Double down on your self-care!  Increase the frequency of your therapy and spiritual direction sessions.  Recommit to a regular practice of exercise, yoga and/or massage therapy.  Book at least one retreat during this time, away from home and unencumbered by your daily work.  Intentionally reconnect with friends and supporters.  Ask for prayer.  Pray more!

Confidentiality

All discussions between us are confidential. 

Non-Exclusivity

Somewhat regularly I mentor more than one person in a given search process.  I take no sides, nor do I function as an advocate for one candidate over others.  I offer my best support and advice to each candidate who engages this mentoring.

Availability

This is a “side gig” I offer for free.  I may not be able to work with all nominees at this level.  I intend to offer all women, BIPOC, and LGBTQAI2S+ nominees at least a one-hour Zoom and some written communication if they desire it.

Interested?

If you would like to engage in this work, please use the contact form to begin our conversation.

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