June 15, 2011
Today I completed the first and most difficult step in restructuring the diocesan office and the bishop’s staff. In order to make best use of our resources, we have regretfully eliminated nine staff positions, and today we said goodbye to the employees who have held these jobs:
- Canon for Transition Ministry and Pastoral Care
- Canon for Communications
- Canon for Development
- Building & Production Manager
- Administrative Assistant for Transition Ministry and Pastoral Care
- Administrative Assistant for Christian Formation
- Administrative Assistant for Communications and Development
- Administrative Assistant to the Assistant Bishop
- Receptionist/Switchboard Operator
Eliminating jobs is painful and very difficult even when it’s done in the service of mission and ministry. I want you to know that my decision to do so is in the service of restructuring the diocese so we can better do God’s work in the world. No one’s job has ended due to performance issues or disciplinary problems, and I am eager to see all of our former employees find new positions worthy of their gifts and skills.
To that end, each person whose job was eliminated will receive pay and benefits for the remainder of the month, additional severance pay based on years of service according to the diocesan policy, and extensive outplacement assistance and vocational counseling. No matter how much support we provide, however, this is bound to be a difficult time for each person who is leaving us. Please join me in expressing heartfelt thanks for the ministries of Randall Warren, David Skidmore, Michael Stephenson, Michael Bond, Elizabeth Erickson, Barbara Rasero, Elizabeth Nelson, Juleigh Ruby and Tracey James, and please pray for them now and in the weeks to come.
I hope that you will support our remaining staff members as they learn new ways of working and serving you. Later this summer, we will take the next step in restructuring by hiring the three members of my new executive team; those positions are posted at www.episcopalchicago.org. Once those people are in place, they will work with me to determine what additional support we might need to carry out our ministry. In the meantime, if you have questions about the restructuring process, please call or email Jim Steen at 312-751-4210 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
I am grateful for your support and your confidence, especially on difficult days, that God is calling to us and the Spirit is moving among us.
Your servant in Christ,
Jeffrey D. Lee
Bishop of Chicago