About Our Profile
Just prior to Christmas 2019, St. Stephen’s Profile Committee met for the first time. Our mission was clear: paint an authentic, compelling picture of our beloved community for rector candidates. From the start, our efforts were grounded in prayer and faith – faith in one another, faith in the candidates, and most especially faith in God.
Prior to that meeting, parishioners had been asked to take a survey about their parish experience. The Congregational Assessment Tool (CAT) from Holy Cow Consulting gave us some initial data about our community. We spent January and February 2020 collecting additional information through more personal opportunities. Two well-attended listening sessions were held. Each session generated high levels of participation and valuable input. Individual parishioners, staff members, and community representatives were interviewed. Filming for an accompanying video began.
Then in March, the COVID-19 public health emergency took hold and changed everything. Suddenly our committee, which had bonded wonderfully in our in-person meetings, had to rely solely on electronic communication. We found digital tools cumbersome at best and largely ill-suited for our chief tasks: synthesizing large volumes of information, integrating a variety of perspectives, and forging a clear consensus. And yet, we persisted. The result is this profile.
We thank everyone who provided information, answered questions, or assisted us along the way. This profile is truly a product of the entire faith community called St. Stephen’s. We’re delighted to present this to readers and hope you enjoy getting to know us a little better.
Maribeth Barney, Co-Chair
Craig Reynolds, Co-Chair
Chris Plankey, Vestry Liaison
For more information about St. Stephen’s and the application process please email:
The Rev. Rich Simpson, Canon to the Ordinary for the Episcopal Diocese of Western Massachusetts at RSimpson@diocesewma.org.