Board of Directors Discernment Applications

Dear colleagues,

We are certainly in exciting times with so much to look forward to in ministry, especially through In Word and Witness. This past year has brought a significant change for this membership community and an immense opportunity for the ministries of evangelization and catechesis.

The time has come to begin the process of searching for new In Word and Witness board members.  The past election process began with the Board and Representative Council listing needed gifts and charisms to serve the community. That list, along with potential names, was provided to the Leadership Discernment Committee. They refined the list and ultimately presented the names for the membership to vote on. The discernment process was limited to the input and vote of those provinces that had representation. The voting procedure was also narrowly constricted. During the At-Large Board elections, only the Representative Council members could vote. During Executive Committee cycles, in-person voting was the only option, even for proxy allocation of the diocesan vote.The Meitler process helped us recognize the unfair distribution of member input and encouraged us to shift our structural model. Thus, with our new bylaws, we have been able to transition this process to include discernment by the entire membership community. This open format allows for the inclusive and wide-reaching representation of all members. Any member of the In Word and Witness community may apply, or encourage others, to be part of the Board of Directors.

We ask you to join us in prayer over the next few months as we actively discern our Board leadership representation from the whole of the membership. As we move forward, we want to ensure that Board members represent the full scope of ministry, have needed gifts for the membership community’s governance and long-term visioning, and are selected prayerfully. This new practice embraces our core values of Stewardship and Inclusion, and ensures that our community is served effectively.

As the Vice President of the Board, I want to highlight how we will fill the seats on the Board in this new reality for our membership community. “A phrase that is often used in Jesuit/Ignatian circles is discernment. Some refer to discernment as making decisions in the presence of God while others refer to a more structured approach that arises from rules set down in the Spiritual Exercises of Ignatius.” To best discern a Board of Directors that most represents the Church and is strategic, a Nominating Committee was convened through the installation of the updated bylaws. This committee currently consists of a Nominating Committee Chair, Vice-Chair of the Board of Directors, and at least two (2) other In Word and Witness Members. The members of this committee are John Rinaldo, Chair of the Nominating Committee, timone davis, José Amaya, and myself. The discernment model is about the Nominating Committee and the current Board of Directors prayerfully choosing members to serve on the Board based on the needs of the organization through your unique contribution to surfacing and encouraging candidates. We are excited about this new way of intentionally finding and placing leadership in the governance roles.

You can find more information about the discernment process here. We invite you to personally consider applying. We also encourage you to connect with those in your circle of influence and invite them to discern how their charisms could foster In Word and Witness to a new level of leadership.

If you have any questions, or concerns, please fill out this contact form, and I will be in touch. I am extremely excited for this process and look forward to building a Board with our membership community to serve!

In Christ’s Peace,

Jackie Hopper