All baptized members, be they lay persons or clergy, are ministers of the church. All are charged with representing Christ and his Church, and all have responsibility for the church’s life, work and governance. For clergy, as for lay persons, there are specific roles and functions for carrying out this charge. Bishops serve as apostles and chief pastors of a diocese, and guard and guide the church’s faith, unity and discipline. Priests serve as pastors to the people, primarily through the administration of the sacraments, and also assist the bishop in the oversight of the church. Deacons serve those in need, and share with bishops and priests in the administration of sacraments and the proclamation of the Gospel.
Clergy in the Diocese of Milwaukee fulfill this charge in a variety of roles and settings. Some exercise pastoral leadership of a congregation, some serve on the bishop’s staff or the staff of a diocesan ministry, some use their gifts in various helping professions, some carry out ministry through secular employment, and some continue to serve the church after retirement.
Maintaining close connections with a clergy community numbering nearly 200 and spread across southern Wisconsin is a primary concern for the bishop. Personal interaction is achieved through frequent clergy days, and congregational visits. Communication tools such as the weekly E-News email newsletter, a monthly news bulletin for the clergy, the clergy Facebook page http://www.facebook.com/groups/98932475648/ , and the bishop’s blog further enhance this sense of shared purpose and identity.
Developing and advancing gifted pastoral leaders is another key priority for the bishop. Among the resources available to clergy are the Church Development Institute, Fresh Start for clergy entering new calls and ministry, and continuing education opportunities.
“As a staff we work hard to bring faithful, energetic, and hardworking priests to this diocese and to continue to equip and empower all our clergy. I am privileged to serve with some of the finest and most dedicated priests and deacons in the Episcopal Church.”
─ Bishop Steven Miller, 2010 Convention Address