Commission on Ministry Retreat - A New Model for Supporting Postulants

By The Rev. Canon Hannah Anderson

On Friday and Saturday, March 4-5, the Commission on Ministry sponsored a gathering for the women and men who are postulants or candidates in the ordination process for Holy Orders (deacon, priest).  Included in the gathering were all members of the Commission on Ministry, members of the Standing Committee, Canon Hannah and Bishop Rob.  Lynn Eaton, the Diocesan Administrator was present to welcome everyone at the St. Methodius Heritage Center where the retreat was held.  Dave Young, Chair of the COM, helped organize everything and everybody for our time together.

The intentions of the retreat were to build relationships, deepen trust and encourage collaborative ministry and creative thinking.  Over the past few years, the COM developed a new model for this event to live more fully into these intentions.  Three case studies were designed by COM members:  Evangelism, Stewardship and Managing Change.  These were used as a springboard for small group discussion involving COM and Standing Committee members around the table along with our postulants and candidates. Opportunities to design and lead worship were assigned to those who will be our future leaders of faith communities.  We were enriched by their unique contribution at each service!

The Episcopal Church of New Hampshire is modeling a completely different approach to how we interface and support those whose call to ordained ministry has been discerned by the wider Church and affirmed by the COM, Standing Committee and Bishop Rob.  Our Postulants and Candidates currently in diaconal formation are:  Johanna Young, Maryan Davis, Shawn LaFrance, Charlie Nichols.  Postulants and Candidates currently in priestly formation are:  Joshua Bruner, Steve Ekerberg, Sandi Albom, Betsy Hess and Ethan Falleur.