January Updates from the

Standing Committee

January 22, 2024


We are writing to you after a joyous first visit from Bishop Scott Benhase, our assisting bishop. His visit began at Good Shepherd for the ordination of our seminarian and newest deacon, Teri Calinao.

During his time in the diocese, Bishop Benhase spent time with our diocesan office staff. On Saturday, he met with clergy from both the First Coast West and the First Coast East regions for a regional clericus, and worshiped with the people of St. John's Cathedral on Sunday. 

Also last week, we announced that the Standing Committee has invited Bishop Chip Stokes, retired bishop of New Jersey, to assist us. He will provide a pastoral and sacramental presence on occasions when Bishop Benhase is not available. It was a blessed beginning to this season in the life of our diocese.  

In December, we informed the diocese of the many areas in which we are currently working. While the task list remains very long, we continue to make progress in key areas. We continue our process to triage and engage this important work for the health and vitality of our diocese.  

Among our many goals is to assess the current diocesan needs and opportunities so we may provide our diocesan office and Camp Weed personnel with the tools they need. We want to strengthen the Diocese from an organizational structure and process standpoint during our current circumstances and for the future. 

To that end, we have engaged Elaine Johnson, founder and Chief Vision Officer of Excelan Advisors. Elaine is a highly regarded human resources and organizational management consultant. In the coming days, she will be working in our diocesan offices and at Camp Weed to help the Standing Committee with the assessment of organizational needs and formulation and implementation of organizational improvement plans of action. Elaine is a delightful person of faith and integrity; we are confident her work will be beneficial to our valued office and Camp Weed personnel and to our diocese.

We also continue our ongoing relationship with Bishop Mary Gray-Reeves. The first of three convocations will be held January 27 with two other dates set for April 6 and May 18. Though these are only steps, this time to gather together are significant steps in our relationships with one another. We thank the Convocation Steering Committee for their work on this.

In addition to guiding our Convocation Steering Committee, Bishop Mary Gray-Reeves continues to serve as a consultant to the Standing Committee. In 2023, she began the listening process in our diocese, which included meeting with key leadership groups and then providing a confidential email address available to all persons. Bishop Mary responded to all those who used the confidential email and has written a report. 

Bishop Mary Gray-Reeves has provided a summary of the confidential email findings which you will find here. The Standing Committee is immensely grateful for the responses received to Bishop Gray-Reeves confidential e-mail invitation.  We recognize that those responses reflect those respondents' views and that a number of our diocesan family may not have used that opportunity to respond.

After the January Convocation, in which Bishop Mary will be present, the Standing Committee will further discern how Bishop Mary can serve us.

View Listening Process Summary Report

Please pray for your Standing Committee as we join together for our own spiritual retreat prior to the Convocation. While our work is and has been difficult, it is also Holy work as we serve you and our Lord and Savior. As we continue to seek the manifestation of Christ in our lives, may we all seek ways to make Christ visible in our diocese and in our world.


Your Standing Committee

The Rev. Teresa Seagle        Mr. Keith Daw

The Rev. Sarah Minton         Ms. Jackie Jones

The Rev. Justin Yawn           Ms. Heather Prox