When COVID hit, the Church was already in a period of transition. Clergy retirements were increasing year-over-year. Some churches with years of stable clergy leadership were faced with finding new clergy persons. Then an unprecedented disruption to the system hit and our entire common life was turned upside down. As with other professions, clergy, even those not at retirement age, began evaluating whether or not they are still in a calling that is right for them.
In short, the church has not been immune from the “Great Resignation.” As the pandemic wore on increasing numbers of rectors retired or moved into new jobs not involving running a church. While this is a challenge for parishes seeking new clergy leaders, it is an opportunity as well. Anecdotal evidence suggests congregations are venturing outside their traditional hiring profiles and calling younger and more diverse clergy leaders. Join a group of these recently called rectors for a discussion of how they are redefining the role and what inspired them to answer the call. The panel will reflect on how, after existing through these last few curious years, we can reimagine parish ministry and strengthen our congregations while engaging our communities.