Fresh Start: A Program for Clergy Entering New Positions in the Diocese
Fresh Start is a diocesan-led program for clergy in new positions. Fresh Start is designed to:
- Assist with the transition issues inherent in any new ministry.
- Sharpen the skills of clergy for congregational development.
- Strengthen relationships needed for ministry among the clergy of a diocese.
- Deepen the trust and interconnectedness between clergy and the bishop.
Fresh Start seeks to strengthen the relationships among Episcopal clergy, congregations and dioceses during critical periods of transition in clergy leadership of the congregation.
- Helps to honor the ministry of all leaders, lay and ordained, in the life of the congregation.
- Helps to establish a common language to talk about issues of transition.
- Increases participants’ capacity to minister to each other and the wider community.
- Provides an opportunity for leaders to experience openness to God and to deepen their capacity to be ministers of Jesus Christ.
What is the format?
Fresh Start meets monthly from September through June. The program uses theories, practical tools and small group discussions to help participants address issues of concern around the transitions they are facing.
When and where does the group meet?
The group meets every third Thursday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at different churches throughout the diocese. Scheduling/hosting is done at the opening overnight retreat in September.
When can clergy join Fresh Start?
New clergy are invited to join Fresh Start at two points during the year: in September and January.
What topics are discussed?
There are four core modules which are always covered: Transition (the underlying theory behind Fresh Start); History-Sharing and Understanding; Entering a New System; and Family and Friends: Leading an Integrated Life. Other topics such as conflict management, decision-making, and role clarity are included based on an assessment of the needs and concerns of participants and may vary from year to year.