6 June 2017
I have found our first month together as diocese and bishop to be an exhilarating ride. My excitement for what God is doing in our midst continues to grow. As we begin the season of Pentecost, I’m aware that this time in our church calendar that is also known as “ordinary time” feels anything but.
When I arrived as bishop-elect in February, two long-serving members of the bishop’s staff announced their desire to retire at the end of the calendar year—Marsha Gebuhr, the Canon for Administration, and Sally Cassidy, Executive Assistant to the Bishop. While I began listening and learning the needs of our diocese, it seemed important to move forward with discerning these positions right away. It gives me great joy to announce that I’ve called Mr. Brendan O’Sullivan-Hale to the position of Canon to the Ordinary for Administration and Evangelism. The title of this position makes explicit that all canons are “canons to the ordinary” with a particular ministry focus. The “ordinary” being the diocesan bishop.
Many of you will know Brendan as an active lay leader at his parish, the Episcopal Church of All Saints in Indianapolis, and by his roles on the bishop’s search committee, the Diocesan Task Force for Reimagining the Episcopal Church, deputy to General Convention, and a member of the Acts 8 Movement. Brendan brings 16 years of experience with the Oxford Financial Group where he has had research and advisory responsibility for over $3 billion in assets. He has experience with endowments and pension plans as well as providing strategic counsel for organizational health. Brendan has a combination of financial acumen, experience in missional evangelism and a love for the Diocese of Indianapolis that makes him right for this role in this time.
As Canon to the Ordinary for Administration and Evangelism Brendan will provide the leadership, management, and vision necessary to ensure that the Diocese has the proper operational controls and administrative reporting procedures in place to ensure organizational strength and operating efficiency. The Canon will also support clergy and lay leaders in congregations in developing the evangelistic and missional strategy for reaching out beyond our parochial campuses.
The expansion of this position to include evangelism reflects the desire I’ve already heard from so many of you for resources and support to tend to the deep work of sharing the good news of the Gospel. It is my hope that all members of the bishop’s staff will have some aspect of this work in their portfolio. As the listening sessions begin later this week and through the fall, I hope to hear even more from you that will assist me in shaping a bishop’s staff that can support you in your ministries. This includes the position of executive assistant to the bishop—of which the ministry description is currently under review.
Anticipated beginning, pending clear background checks or other requirements, is October 1 giving Brendan and Marsha overlap until her retirement at the end of the calendar year. Details about our celebrations of retiring staff members will be forthcoming later this summer.
In this time of ongoing transition, I bid your prayers for your bishop’s staff and for Brendan O’Sullivan-Hale as he prepares to join us later this fall. May God continue to bless and keep you.