What Others Have said

“FRESH START has given our diocese a wonderful new perspective on ministry with congregations and clergy in transition. We are building stronger congregations through the opportunities for learning and from the supportive community of our FRESH START group.”
The Rev. Canon Kristi Philip
Canon to the Ordinary
Diocese of Spokane

“Our diocese is faced with a tremendous geographical spread. We have congregations 8 1/2 hours away from the Diocesan Office … When you have a group of clergy gather together to hear and reflect and respond to the same material, they begin to form community.  This community is then spread throughout the diocese as these clergy interact with others in their own areas.”
The Rt. Rev. Jerry A. Lamb
Bishop of the Diocese of Northern California

“I recently lived, with my parish, through a period of deeply divisive conflict. FRESH START helped me to put the last two years’ events into a much different “systems” perspective. I see that what our church community experienced is not uncommon to other such systems, and that it was the strength of the leadership of the church, that moved the parish forward in living the Gospel during a time of great discord.”
A Vestry Member

“For over 15 years the Diocese of Alabama has utilized a clergy transition program as one method of introducing new clergy into our diocese and assisting our own clergy in transitions from one parish to another. Three years ago, we were delighted to be introduced to the Fresh Start materials and methodology. Fresh Start has since provided our diocese with tested materials to be shared with clergy in transition and a method of full participation by clergy in transition. It has greatly helped clergy reflect on their new roles in ministry and assisted our clergy in becoming part of a community of clergy rather than functioning alone.”
The Rt. Rev. Henry Parsley
Bishop of the Diocese of Alabama

“FRESH START has changed the way our diocesan clergy relate to one another from the very beginning of their new ministry. They are more quickly integrated into the life of the diocese, given new and renewed tools for their ministry and find a supportive and caring community in which they can share and learn.”
The Rt. Rev. Gethin Hughes
Bishop of the Diocese of San Diego (Retired)

“[Fresh Start] has been very successful in this diocese and has, indeed, even become a factor in attracting new clergy to serve here. I cannot speak highly enough of its value to my office and enthusiasm with which it has been received by the participants. Facilitating greater communication and deeper trust among colleagues, the program has helped to combat isolation and the resulting ‘lone ranger’ mentality which is often so destructive to ministry. The mentoring aspect of the program helps to break down barriers between new and long-term clergy and it has greatly enhanced collegiality among the participants. I can think of no more effective diocesan program in enhancing the pastoral ministry of the bishop and the overall well-being and effectiveness of clergy.”
The Rt. Rev. Douglas E. Theuner
Bishop of the Diocese of New Hampshire (Retired)

“For the Diocese of East Tennessee, Fresh Start has been a particularly enriching blessing. New clergy – including the bishop – have felt intentionally oriented in helpful ways. Collegial communities have developed. Truths have been shared within confidential frameworks. As bishop, I especially have appreciated the opportunity to spend “quality time” with clergy new to the diocese, in order to share and discuss expectations and to talk about some of the unique attributes of our diocesan and area cultures.

I welcome the opportunity to participate in the enlargement of this fine offering to include lay people. Church transitions surely involve laity as well as clergy, and to the extent that the large church can provide insights and support to laity in transition, we will address our baptismal promises to continue in apostolic teaching and fellowship and to seek and serve Christ in all persons.”
The Rt. Rev. Charles G. vonRosenberg
Bishop of the Diocese of East Tennessee

“Before we began Fresh Start in the diocese, in theory I believed it to have the potential to transform the clergy leadership in systemic ways. Now, two years into the program, with over thirty clergy involved, I have experienced the results first hand. Some of the comments that have been passed along from participants.

  • “This is the one thing in my routine that I never miss, it’s just too valuable.”
  • “Being new to the diocese the group gave me immediate connections and allowed me to set up a support group of colleagues that now meets regularly outside of Fresh Start”
  • “Fresh Start made me feel immediately connected into the diocese and with a large group of colleagues that were experiencing many of the same problems I was”
  • “The modules are educational, challenging and especially appropriate to what I’m struggling with in my first time as a rector”

Within the next five years somewhere between forty and seventy percent of the clergy in this diocese will have experienced this two year program and its benefits. These benefits are clearly both educational and collegial. Fresh Start has been a wonderful addition to this diocese and has fostered my ability to provide clergy and congregations the resources they need to do the ministry to which they have been called.”
The Rt. Rev. John Palmer Croneberger
Bishop of the Diocese of Newark