The Episcopal Church's Office for Transition Ministry, formally known as the Church Deployment Office, has developed a new tool for engaging its system.
The OTM Portfolio is meant for clergy who are seeking new ministry opportunities, lay persons pursuing a position in the church, and congregations and institutions looking for new leaders, according to a press release from the church's Office of Public Affairs.
The portfolio offers more options for the user, and focuses on individual's gifts, strengths, abilities and interests to open new ways of service to the church, the release said. It allows a user to include a narrative description of his or her ministry based on a series of questions. Web links can be added to connect to a user's work, including such things as sermons, videos, educational resources developed by the person and publications that feature his or her work.
"The intent of the new system is to make the transition process easier and more intuitive," the Rev. Victoria Duncan, missioner for transition ministry, said in the release. "Who we are as gifted and talented individuals and worshipping communities can now be more fully expressed, thereby availing ourselves more fully to the church and to God's mission."
Clergy and lay leaders can develop individual portfolios while churches and institutions, organizations, schools and groups seeking candidates for positions can develop what are called community portfolios, according to Duncan.
With the portfolio model, "we no longer talk about who you are by selecting a category," she said. "Now, you tell us who you are, you have the freedom to explain more."
The portfolios are meant to replace the CDO Profile, Duncan told ENS. That system will be shut down sometime in the coming winter months, she said, adding that registered users will receive word of the coming shutdown a month in advance. The nearly 16,000 people who maintained a CDO Profile have been notified about the switch and invited to register on the OTM Portfolio site. New OTM Profile users can register here.
A video introduction to the portfolio is available here.
"This is an outstanding tool for someone looking for new opportunities as well as for those congregations and institutions seeking candidates," Duncan said in the release.
The new system includes information on the community and regional area because "we received so much feedback and requests for regional data that we built it into the new process," Duncan said.
Among the new features are:
- the ability to use tag words, chosen to describe ministry gifts and skills;
- an opportunity to add comments throughout the portfolio to explain or enhance circumstances and situations;
- a narrative section addressing questions on such topics as recognizing success and fulfillment; liturgical style and practice; incorporating others in ministry; self care; involvement in wider church or geographical community; ministry projects and preparing for the church of the future; and
- a location for links to sermons, classes, resource materials, publications, affiliations, etc, along with an individual's résumé or a community's strategic plan.
References are invited, but not required, from the diocesan bishop, transition minister, clergy, and colleagues in various church relationships.