Diocese of Fond du Lac Commission on Ministry (COM)
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Diocese of Fond du Lac

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Commission on Ministry (COM)

Contact: The Rev. Jane Johnson, Chair mthrjane@gmail.com

"The process of "discernment" or "spiritual direction" draws our participation in God up into consciousness. It is more than "feeling" that God is calling us to a certain task or state of life. Discernment relies on bringing our lives, concerns, and questions into the presence of scripture, reason, and prayer."
(Circles of Light, Introduction)

Circles of Light

The next session of Circles of Light will begin March 18 (9am-12noon) at Good Samaritan Health Center (DeAngelis Room) in Merrill, WI. This is the first step in diocesan discernment for ministry, baptismal or ordained. This process of inquiry and discernment about God's desire for our lives and our vocation is a six month journey of meeting in small groups with a facilitator to explore where God is calling one to ministry.

The second meeting is April 1 with future meeting times and locations determined based on those who take part in the process. The commitment participants should expect to make is 10 sessions, each lasting between 2 and 3 hours, paced 1 to 3 weeks apart. If interested, please contact the Chair of the Commission on Ministry, Mother Jane Johnson at rector@intercessionsp.org and indicate your desire to attend, home congregation (name and city, please) and contact information.


Ministry in the Episcopal Church

Ministry is reaching out to others with knowledge, love and passion in order to continue the reconciling work of Christ by building up the people around us and helping others to experience God's love.

  • Ministry happens 24/7--coming from who we are as Christians and our desire to use our God-given gifts for God's mission
  • Ministry enables the Kingdom of God to break into our everyday world through our actions, words, and choices as members of the Body of Christ.

According to our Catechism in The Book of Common Prayer, God's mission for the Church is " to restore all people to unity with God and each other in Christ" (BCP, 855). In the Episcopal Church, we believe we are being the church (doing the work of the church) when we live out our Baptismal vows:

  • With God's help, I will continue in the apostles' teaching and fellowship, in the breaking of bread, and in the prayers.
  • With God's help, I will persevere in resisting evil, and, whenever you fall inot sin, repent and return to the Lord.
  • With God's help, I will proclaim by word and example the Good News of God in Christ.
  • With God's help, I will seek and serve Christ in all persons, loving my neighbor as myself.
  • With God's help, I will strive for justice and peace among all people, and respect the dignity of every human being.

*According to Title III of the Canons of the General Convention and the Canons of the Episcopal Diocese of Fond du Lac


Discernment for Ministry

We believe that all individuals, and all parishes, should be involved in discernment. As individuals, we seek to discern what our gifts are and how those gifts might be used for God's ministry---at church, at home, at work, and in the world. This discernment should lead us to ministry---lay or ordained. As parishes, discernment involved seeking to identify the gifts and resources we have as a community and how to utilize those gifts and resources in ministry with one another as well as how we use our gifts in ministry to those outside our parish walls. Discernment is meant to be an ongoing process in the lives of individuals and parishes.


Discernment Processes

Discernment processes involve the church as a whole, whether one is looking to be more intentional about their ministry as a lay person or seeking ordination as a deacon or priest. The Commission on Ministry has detalied a number of expectations for those in the discernment process. Questions about the Commission on Ministry should be addressed Mthr. Jane Johnson.

  • Expectations of Seekers and Facilitators in Discernment Process (3 pages)
  • A Parish Priests Role in Discernment (1 page)
  • Circles of Light - Workbook Discernment Processes (64 pages)
  • Discernment - Reading the Signs of Daily Life (8 pages)
  • Press on the Kingdom - Priestly Ordination Process DioFDL (14 pages)
  • folder Open all documents in a folder

Deacons School

Read more about it here...


Commission on Ministry

The Commission on Ministry (COM)* assists the Bishop and the Standing Committee in the following ways:

  • to determine the present and future needs for ministry in the Diocese
  • to provide discernment processes for parishes and individuals seeking to identify and use their gifts in ministry
  • to provide continuing education for all people, lay and ordained, in their ministries
  • to support the development of the ministry of the laity in the Diocese and within parishes
  • to identify persons for Holy Orders, and to guide and examine seekers, aspirtants, postulants, and candidates for the diaconate and priesthood in their journey toward ordination

COM Members

  • Mr. Richard Bidwell, St. Mark's, Waupaca
  • Ms. Diane Bywaters, Intercession, Stevens Point
  • Ms. Cathy Cowling, Trinity, Oshkosh
  • Mrs. Jeanne Marg, St. James, Mosinee
  • The Rev. Jane Johnson Chair, Intercession, Stevens Point
  • The Rev. Dcn. Rodger Patience, St. Thomas, Menasha
  • The Rev. John Peterson, Canonically Resident
  • The Rev. Linda Schmidt, Ascension, Merrill
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