This is my response to the third and final question on the diocesan profile. My complete candidate profile and the profiles of all the candidates, including their responses to the same three questions, can be found here.
Given the concerns, challenges, ministries identified in the diocesan profile and the challenges facing the wider Church in this present age, what vision and gifts do you have to assist the diocese in more ably living and proclaiming the Gospel of Jesus Christ?
I think I bring three unique gifts to this process.
1. My work in the Navy, particularly in the latter years, where I was responsible for the education and formation of junior officers, led me to read and reflect extensively on the nature of leadership to a degree which likely would not have happened had I remained in parish ministry during that period.
2. My work in public relations gives me particular insight and expertise in how organizations communicate complex ideas to a broad range of audiences outside the institution itself, using a variety of tools and techniques. Again, this likely would not have been the case had I remained in parish ministry.
3. The circumstances which led to my time away from the exercise of my ordained ministry led to an extended period of alienation from the Church. This experience, I believe, gives me a particular capacity to understand the perspective of those who are likewise alienated. At the same time, the experience of grace in my life, which overcame that alienation and which eventually led to my return to active ministry gives me a particular capacity to speak to the transformative power of God’s love. I was not the debtor forgiven 50 denarii, but the one forgiven 500 (Luke 7: 41 – 44). To my surprise, many of those who encouraged me to let my name stand pointed to this as the most important experience I have to offer in this process.
The Church I want to see proclaims this kind of transformative power to the world using every means available. That is the mission Christ has given us.