The Election Committee meeting on Saturday, February 13, 2021 began with a devotional by Henri Nouwen which reminded us that “whenever we opt for and not against one another, we make God’s unconditional love visible; we are diminishing violence and giving birth to a new community.” It is with that love in mind that we labor and are thus happy to present you with an update.
We are hopeful that you have by now seen the timeline on the Diocesan website. An agreement with the University of Illinois Springfield has been completed and they will be they will be handling the administration and tabulation of the Diocesan survey, much of which will then feed into our Diocesan Profile. The Listening Committee has been hard at work and have seen a preliminary survey. Some changes were requested, and it is hoped that it will be approved by the time you are reading this.
In addition to writing survey questions, and handling survey processing contracts, the Listening Committee has polled our Eucharistic Communities to learn of their technological capabilities and needs. They have also asked for estimates on the number of surveys each community is likely to complete and whether those surveys will be paper or digital. When the surveys are disseminated it will be important to hear from a broad swath of our Eucharistic Communities, so please watch here and contact your parish or deanery leadership if you do not receive anything.
Finally, the Listening Committee has also worked out a format for the Listening Sessions, which will be held to discuss the survey results. There will be separate sessions for clergy/laypersons, each discussing three questions/issues which will come ultimately from the Standing Committee. There will be two virtual sessions for clergy. All six deaneries will have two meetings, one virtual and one in-person, with two moderators (one Standing Committee member and one of the Election Committee co-chairs), and members of the Election Committee will take notes. Those meetings will require pre-registration and have not yet been scheduled.
The first Listening Session, which will be something of a trial run for the Listening Session format, will be held on Saturday, March 13th, with Fr. Ron Clingenpeel from the Office of Pastoral Development moderating, and members of the Election Committee and Standing Committee participating. That meeting will be held virtually in conjunction with the next scheduled Election Committee meeting. We are hopeful that session will be fruitful and will help us prepare for the sessions within each deanery.
As always, thank you for entrusting us with this work, and please continue to pray for us.
Mtr Sherry Black
Chair, Election Committee
Co-Chair, Election Committee
Mtr Beth Maynard
President, Standing Committee