Arranging a Date
Once you have decided to invite the bishop please complete the Request a Visit Form and use the “Submit” button to send it to Marva Andrews, Administrative Assistant. Marva will reply to your invitation as soon as possible to let you know if the Bishop’s calendar can accommodate your request. You may check Bishop Dyck’s Public Appearances at this link before you decide on the date. However, if the date you desire appears to be open please understand that some meetings and commitments that are not public events may be scheduled on these dates, therefore not all blank dates are available days. Requests do not have to originate with the Lead Pastor however he/she must be in the loop and approve of your request.
If you are interested in publicizing the Bishop’s visit, her bio may be found on the conference website at www.umcnic.org, under the About Us tab. If you need additional information, or a photograph, please contact either Anne Marie Gerhardt (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Marva Andrews (email@example.com).
Bishop Dyck prefers to give her approval prior to you scheduling a press conference. However, if you are simply inviting the press to be present at the event please let the Episcopal office know in advance — no surprises please.
Once the visit is scheduled, what’s next?
Complete the Church Visit Online Form (click here) and submit it two months before the date of the visit. You can also print the blank form and mail it back to the Chicago office. (instructions at bottom of form) Be sure to include any special expectations; i.e. will the bishop serve communion, assist with a baptism, give the benediction, etc. Bishop Dyck uses this information to help prepare for her visit with you. You may either email the form or mail it following the instructions on the bottom of the form. Be certain to include all of the plans for the time together. The Episcopal office will provide you with the sermon title and scripture passage/s by the date you indicate on the Church Visit Form.
Please send the order for the worship service to Marva firstname.lastname@example.org at least one week prior to the visit. It is okay to send it without all the details so she will understand the flow of your service.
How can you help the Bishop the day of the visit?
When you return the Church Visit Form be sure to indicate where it is best for the Bishop to park.
Assign a lay person in advance to act as coordinator for the visit. Frequently pastors are very busy on the day of the visit and a coordinator would be helpful to answer any questions the bishop may have. This is not to exclude the pastor but to assist.
Ask the Bishop if there is something in particular she would like included during the introduction.
Be sure the phone number that is provided on the Church Visit Form for her to use the day of the event is monitored. Should she encounter unexpected and unavoidable travel delays she wants to be assured she can contact you.
Please understand that Bishop Dyck has other commitments, so feel free to inquire as to when she needs to depart and assist her in taking leave as appropriate.
Introduction of Bishop Dyck during the service
The best guide is to keep the introduction short and simple and plan for it to be made immediately prior to the Bishop’s reading of the scripture. The sermon will then follow the scripture reading. It is unnecessary to read her biography. If you would like your congregation to know more about her include her bio in your bulletin or as a separate handout. If there is to be an informal time for Bishop Dyck to greet those attending be sure to announce that either during the introduction or before the benediction.
Processional, Recessional and Receiving Lines
When Bishop Dyck is with you she is the Presiding Elder of your worship service. If you process into worship the bishop will be the last to enter the worship space/sanctuary and when recessing she is to be the first to lead the people into the world to represent Christ.
The Bishop is happy to greet your congregants in a receiving line following the worship service, if it is your practice to do so. However, if you are planning an informal time or meal following the service that may be the best time for Bishop Dyck to visit with your members and guests.
Don’t hesitate to contact the Bishop Dyck’s Administrative Assistant should have any questions. Marva Andrews 312-346-9766 extension 702 or email@example.com.