The current staffing of the Bishop’s Office includes the Bishop and three full-time assistants (two of whom have served since 1988), plus three full-time support staff and one half-time ELCA deployed staff. There are diverse opinions (and lack of knowledge) about the Synod staff. Congregational members expressed a clear desire that the Bishop and staff be more present in their congregations, not just in times of crisis, transition, or when asking for money.
It is also recognized that the current staff possesses a vast amount of knowledge about the past 20 years of mission and ministry in the Synod; that, of course, can be both an asset and a liability. There is strong support for a younger, more diverse staff, one perceived to be less bound to “the way we’ve always done it before.”
How do you understand the purpose of the Bishop’s staff?
How might the new bishop take advantage of the institutional knowledge of the current staff and, at the same time, create a “new” staff that is effective?
In what ways do you want to see the Synod staff present in congregations? To do what?