Category Archives: Rector Transition

Live, it’s the COTC profile!

Our parish profile is up and running on the Diocesan website, on its page for the Office of Transition Ministry.  You can take a look at this link: http://www.dionc.org/transition-ministry.html

 

The profile is also available on various sites across the country, including the national church site and the Transition Ministries Conference.   It will be posted now through May 1.

 

The listing features the parish profile, a link to our website, the search status, and a link to Catherine Massey, Canon of Transition and Pastoral Ministries at the Diocese, who is the contact person for our search.

 

Right now we are “receiving names.”   If you have names of persons you think would be interested in our search, encourage them to go to this link, where they can express interest in the position, find out more about us, and apply to be our next Rector.

 

Dick Taylor

Search Committee Chair

Leave a comment

Filed under Rector Transition

Rector Search Committee Update

From search committee chair Dick Taylor:

Parishioners frequently ask me — “What is going on in the Rector search?”  — underscoring how much we all care about this process and need to communicate with one another about it.

The search committee intends to communicate regularly with the vestry and the congregation, at least monthly, or more often as we have news to report.

It may not seem like much is happening, but rest assured that progress is being made.   The first and most significant step was the October congregation-wide conversation about who we are, what we value, and what we hope for in the future.   Hundreds of parishioners contributed thousands of individual sticky-notes or survey responses with their thoughts and hopes for this process.

In early November, the vestry, search committee and profile writing committee met together to review your input in light of the format for the parish profile which is, in effect, our job announcement.  It was a wonderful, if somewhat chaotic, exercise in which we reached shared understandings about the importance of worship and music, outreach and social ministry, and Christian community to the people of the Chapel of the Cross.

It was clear that we are proud of our church and love it deeply, while at the same time share a sense that we want to be more – A Light on the Hill.

It then became the task of Doug Kelly and the members of the profile writing committee to faithfully capture that information and insight, and draft a parish profile for consideration by the search committee and the vestry.  They skillfully completed their task on time in mid-December.   Thanks go to Patty Courtright, Andrew Joyner, Doug Kelly, Ted Vaden, Eliza Wolff, and Robert Wright for their excellent work.

The search committee met this week to work with the parish profile and review a likely timetable for the process going forward.   We will be meeting regularly, at least monthly, going forward.  Search committee members are Virginia Carson, Leigh Ann Dasher, David Dodson, Joe Ferrell, Sarah Hybels, James Moeser, Melody Savage, Dick Taylor, and Kevin Trapani.

We intend to submit the parish profile to the vestry for a first reading at its January meeting, and for adoption at the February meeting.

On March 1, we will “go live!”   Our profile will be posted on the websites of the parish, the national church, the Diocese, and several Episcopal consortia for sharing job announcements and applications for clergy positions.   This is the window in which positions are often posted and where interested candidates respond to those announcements.  The months of March and April will be somewhat quiet for us, as aspirants for our position send their information to the Diocese, background checks occur, and the Diocese gathers applicants for our consideration.

On or around May 1, we will receive our applications.   We are told that ours will be a very attractive position, and we should expect a pool of highly-qualified applicants.   In May and June, the search committee will screen the applicants, conduct on-line interviews, interview a smaller number in person, and finally select a candidate for presentation to the vestry.  The vestry will then interview the candidate and decide whether to issue a call.

If all goes well we will call a Rector in late summer to begin work in the fall.

Leave a comment

Filed under Rector Transition

The Search for a New Rector

We invite members of the congregation to nominate other members or themselves for service on one of two committees that will lead the search process for a new Rector.

The first committee that we will ask the Vestry to appoint will be the Parish Profile Writing Group. This committee will be charged with leading the process of listening to the congregation (starting with special called meetings of the congregation with Canon Hunn at 10:15 AM on Sunday, October 25, and at 7:00 p. m. on Thursday, October 29). The work of this committee will continue through the remainder of the fall, with the deadline for completion of the Parish Profile by Christmas.

Why is the Parish Profile important? First of all, this is a critical time for us as a parish to describe to potential candidates who we are. What do we value about the Chapel of the Cross? What best describes this church to someone who has never been here? What is special about it? What are our challenges? What qualities do we seek in our next Rector? What changes would we like next Rector to initiate? What kind of changes do we want to avoid?

This is, by no means, an exhaustive list of questions. We will ask the Writing Group to expand this list. Asking the right questions of ourselves is the first critical step. This will be the most important period of introspective discernment and reflection about ourselves in thirty years. We will ask the Writing Group to use the Strategic Mission and Ministry Plan, adopted in 2013, as well as documentation from the most recent Vestry retreat, which was focused on Rector transition issues, as a starting point. The Writing Group will hand its proposed Parish Profile to the Search Committee and the Vestry for approval. We will then post it on the Episcopal Church website, where priests know to look.

We also seek nominations and applications for service on the Search Committee. (If you nominate someone else, please secure their permission and also make sure that they are willing to commit to a serious commitment of time in the months of March through June.) Our goal is a committee of nine persons, including three members of the Vestry.

Using guidelines from Canon Hunn, we will seek people with the following qualities for service on the Search Committee:

  • Mature Christians
  • People of Prayer
  • Not necessarily the loudest, flashiest leaders
  • The Trusted Ones
  • People who can see what’s best for the whole congregation
  • Good listeners rather than good talkers

We realize the challenge of finding the right six people to complement three current members of the Vestry, a challenge enlarged by the fact that we are a parish of multiple congregations, age groups, and diverse activities and experiences in the church.

Each application or nomination should include a brief description of the person’s involvement with the church and the unique perspective that he or she would bring to the search. In the case of nominations, be sure to include confirmation of the person’s willingness to serve.

Please pray for the church, for the people who may consider serving on one of these committees, for the Vestry, and for priests who may want to be considered for being our next Rector.

James Moeser
Senior Warden

Leave a comment

Filed under Rector Transition

The Vestry Calls the Rev. Robert Davenport to be Interim Rector

Bishop Curry has approved the Vestry’s request to call the Rev. Robert Davenport, Interim Rector of Emmanuel Episcopal Church in Southern Pines, NC, to be our Interim Rector.

The Vestry met on Tuesday, September 8, in a four-hour meeting to consider three candidates nominated by Canon to the Ordinary Michael Hunn on behalf of Bishop Curry. Our process was deliberate, thoughtful, and prayerful, assessing the strengths of each of the three candidates and measuring them against what we believe the parish needs as we move into this period of transition. We discussed each of the three candidates in depth, avoiding comparisons among the candidates, but rather seeking to assess their individual strengths as matched against the perceived needs of the parish.

After extensive prayer and discussion, the strong consensus of the Vestry emerged that Robert Davenport was our choice. He is a native of Virginia, the son of a priest, as is his wife, Lizzie, also the daughter of a priest. (The Vestry met both Robert and Lizzie, and it is safe to say that we fell in love with both of them.) Robert has considerable experience as a full-time Rector, most recently at the Episcopal Church of the Good Shepherd in Norfolk, VA (2004-2013).

Most recently, he has been the Interim Rector of Emmanuel Church in Southern Pines and has been a healing presence in a church that was in difficulty. While we believe we are a very healthy and vibrant parish, we also know that the Chapel of the Cross will experience a sense of loss and anxiety when Stephen departs after a thirty-year tenure. We see Robert as a pastor who will love the people, love and lead our talented staff, and help lead us into our future.

He will begin to inject a modest amount of change into the life of the parish, to ready us for the more significant change of a new Rector. At Southern Pines, he constantly said to that congregation, “My job is to help you get ready for a new Rector.” They had just completed a renovation of the church’s nave and chancel, and he said, “Let’s not bolt anything down so that everything is movable for the new Rector.” I think that is a good metaphor for his concept of interim leadership.

He was described by his references as a great teacher with an amazing aptitude for history and Scriptural context. He has an informal, down-to-earth style of communication, which we witnessed when he preached during a Eucharist with the Vestry.

“A relational person,” is how one staff member at Emmanuel in Southern Pines described him, pointing out the “amazing amount of time that Robert spent with me and with the staff as a whole.”
Robert is deeply committed to global mission, and his eyes lit up when we described our sister-church relationship with St. Paul AME. He is deeply involved with a medical mission in Malawi (where coincidentally UNC has a major medical presence).

With Robert’s appointment we have now completed the first step in the process of transition to a new Rector. One of the happy by-products of this important work is the effect it has had on the Vestry itself. We have spent countless hours together interviewing candidates and in closeted discussion among ourselves. We have really bonded together as a group. You have elected a very strong Vestry made up of thoughtful, prayerful, committed people. It is a privilege to serve with them.

James Moeser
Senior Warden

Leave a comment

Filed under Rector Transition

Interim Rector Update from James Moeser

On July 9, the Vestry met with Canon Hunn to learn more about the search process for an interim Rector. As you know, the Vestry will act as the search committee for the Interim Rector. Next week, I expect the Vestry to approve a salary line for the new Rector. (We will offer the same salary to the Interim, on the advice of Canon Hunn.)

 

Heather Benjamin and the Personnel Committee have been gathering information about salaries and benefits from the national church and the Diocese of North Carolina for the last several weeks. She has been in communication with Ann Craver, the chair of the Finance Committee, to make sure that what we propose is financially doable.

 

Once the Vestry has approved an amount for salary and benefits, we shall communicate that to Canon Hunn. Things should begin to move rapidly after that. Canon Hunn has already been in preliminary communication for possible candidates for our position. He has been in conversation with Bishop Curry about individuals who have served successfully in parishes of similar size and complexity. He has already been in touch with several possible candidates to gauge their interest.  They are developing their list for us.

 

I anticipate that Canon Hunn will recommend two, or at the most, three candidates for us to consider for Interim Rector. The Vestry will hold two-day interview sessions with each of the candidates through the month of August. These interviews will be conducted in an atmosphere of prayer and a framework of total confidentiality. We will not reveal the names of the persons being considered to anyone, including our own staff. We will ask each of the candidates to celebrate a Eucharist and preach a sermon for the Vestry during this interview period. We will share a meal with them, show them the building and the town of Chapel Hill.

 

Some of you have approached members of the Vestry with suggestions for persons who should be considered for the Interim Rector position. Please know that you may communicate directly to Canon Hunn at michael.hunn@episdionc.org. He suggested that if you know of priests who may want to be considered for our position, you should advise them to be in direct touch with him. The Vestry will consider only candidates nominated by Canon Hunn on behalf of Bishop Curry.

 

Let me assure you that the Vestry is approaching this task with humility and in a spirit of prayer, that we may discern God’s will for us and our church.

 

Please pray for the Vestry and pray for those who may be hearing God’s call to serve as the Interim Rector for the Chapel of the Cross.

 

James Moeser

Senior Warden

 

 

Stay updated on our Rector transition

The transition to a new Rector comprises three distinct parts: celebration, interim, and search.  Click here for a link to YouTube videos of the meeting with Canon Hunn on June 14. Throughout the summer vestry members will be available after the 10 am service for informal conversations about the rector transition process.  Click here for a link to James Moeser’s transition Q&A; you can see his most recent email by clicking here.   You can stay up to date any time by going to announcements on the home page or using the Cross Roads blog and searching for rector transition.  We want you to know everything about our celebration of Stephen Elkins-Williams, the selection of an interim rector, and the new rector search process. For more transition information, check the kiosk in the Great Hall!
Celebration Calendar

You will want to be part of the parishwide events we are planning for the summer and fall:

  • August 23 — Dinner on the Grounds in conjunction with our annual Outreach and Engagement Fair
  • August 30 — Clergy and staff speak about Stephen Elkins Williams — pot luck supper after the 5:15 service
  • September 13 — Church School Kick-off and skit
  • September 27 — Parish BBQ with music from the Pentecost Pickers and farewell presentations to the Rector
  • October 4 — Blessing of the Animals at 9 am followed by cake; special music at 11:15 am; preaching at both services by Stephen Elkins-Williams
  • October 11 — One combined service at 10 am with special music; Stephen Elkins-Williams to preach and celebrate; farewell reception in the Great Hall following

Leave a comment

Filed under Rector Transition

Rector Transition

Dear Friends,

I am pleased to report that the Vestry has elected Dick Taylor to chair the search committee for a new Rector.  As you know, Dick is a recent Senior Warden, very active with the church at the Diocesan level, and is well known and respected by all.  I am delighted that he has agreed to serve in this critical leadership role.

The next step in the transition process will be on Sunday, June 14, when the Rev. Michael Hunn, Canon to the Ordinary of the Diocese of North Carolina, will preach at our 10:00 am service.  After the service there will be an informational meeting with Canon Hunn for the entire congregation in the Great Hall.  Child care will be provided.  As I indicated to you in my earlier message, the Vestry was really impressed by Canon Hunn’s professionalism and experience in facilitating more than ninety searches for Rectors in this Diocese in the last decade.   He will give those present an overview of the entire transition process, including:

  • the selection of an Interim Rector
  • how the congregation can provide direct input into the Parish Profile that will describe us to those who may consider a call to our parish
  • the search process for a new Rector

So, come with all your questions.

For the remaining Sundays of June, July and August, we will plan for different members of the Vestry to be available in the parlor or the Great Hall following the 10 am service to answer questions and to hear any suggestions or comments from members of the parish.

Late this summer or in early fall, Dick and I will issue a call for applications for the Rector Search Committee.  Please be thinking now about whether you wish to serve on this committee.  It will be very time intensive in the spring and summer of 2016.  When we issue the call, we will ask you to write a brief paragraph about why you would like to serve and the perspective(s) you would bring to the committee.

Once this application period of about three weeks is over, Dick Taylor and I will put together a proposed search committee slate and take it to the Vestry for approval.  Once the Vestry approves this committee, the search will be in its hands, working with the Canon to the Ordinary and the Bishop.

Our hope is that the entire process of transition for the Chapel of the Cross will be a process of prayerful discernment — our discernment of who we are as people and parish; the discernment of God’s call to the right person to lead us through this transition as our Interim Rector; and ultimately the discernment of that call to our next Rector.

James Moeser

Senior Warden

Click here for a link to the most recent information on our celebration of Stephen Elkins-Williams, the selection of an interim Rector, and the new Rector search process. For more transition information, check the kiosk in the Great Hall!

 

Celebration Calendar

You will want to be part of the parishwide events we are planning for the summer and fall:

  • June 28 — Dinner on the Grounds following the 10 am service — bring a side dish to share; fried chicken and tea provided
  • July 19 — Dinner on the Grounds with the Royal School of Church Music
  • August 23 — Dinner on the Grounds in conjunction with our annual Outreach and Engagement Fair
  • August 30 — Clergy and staff speak about Stephen Elkins Williams — pot luck supper after the 5:15 service
  • September 13 — Church School Kick-off and skit
  • September 27 — Parish BBQ with music from the Pentecost Pickers and farewell presentations to the Rector
  • October 4 — Blessing of the Animals at 9 am followed by cake; special music at 11:15 am; preaching at both services by Stephen Elkins-Williams
  • October 11 — One combined service at 10 am with special music; Stephen Elkins-Williams to preach and celebrate; farewell reception in the Great Hall following

Leave a comment

Filed under Rector Transition

The Search for a New Rector for the Chapel of the Cross

The new Vestry met last Thursday night with the Rev. Canon Michael Hunn, Canon to the Ordinary of the Diocese of North Carolina, and Catherine Massey, Deputy Transition Officer for the Diocese.  The purpose of this two-hour meeting was to learn about the search process for a new Rector and the more immediate search for an Interim Rector.  At the beginning of the meeting, I asked each member of the Vestry to put on the table every question they had heard from members of the congregation.   By the end of the meeting, Canon Hunn and Ms. Massey had answered all of our questions and given us a great deal of information.

In addition to information, they also gave us confidence that we are not alone in this. I think we were all impressed by the professionalism that they bring to this process, having assisted over 90 parishes across the diocese in rector searches in the last nine years.  In former times, we might have been faced with having to retain the professional services of a search firm with attendant fees.  Now this service is provided to us by the Diocese, at no additional cost.   As I said to them after the meeting, we know that we are in God’s hands, but it is good to know that God has real professionals on the ground to help us.

I think the single most important message I can relay to the congregation from this meeting is how different this entire process is from an academic or corporate search.  This is a Spiritual Process, not a hiring process.  We seek God’s will for our congregation.  We are not hiring an employee, but calling a Priest, Pastor, and Spiritual Leader.

So what were the questions that the Vestry asked on your behalf?  (I shall try to organize these questions in a logical sequence rather than in the random order in which they were asked, and I shall add questions that weren’t asked but which were addressed in discussion.)

A. What are the next steps in the process?
B. Why do we need an Interim Rector?
C. How long should the Interim Rector serve?
D. How is the Interim selected? 
E. When does the actual search for a new Rector officially begin?
F. How is the Search Committee selected?
G. How confidential is the search itself?
H. What is the role of the Bishop in the selection of a new Rector?
I. Does the congregation have any role in the selection process?
J. Does the Interim Rector have any role in the search process?
K. Will Canon Hunn meet with the congregation to discuss the process?
L. How is compensation for both the Interim Rector and the new Rector determined?
M. The Chapel of the Cross has just built new buildings and incurred major debt in financing
this new construction.  How does this impact the search?
N. During the period of interim leadership, who will name the next Senior Warden?  Who is the
canonical authority for the parish?
O. It is good that we are taking time as a congregation to celebrate the 30-year tenure of our
Rector,
but are we neglecting doing the serious work of preparing for the coming transition?

P. What happens to our associate priests whom we love and care about?

Below, I shall try to summarize the discussion in terms of answers to the above questions.

A.      Next Steps 
Below is a summary of the entire process, which Canon Hunn gave the Vestry.  We are essentially at stage 3 in a 19-step process.  For those of you who served on a search committee thirty years ago or who have served on committees in other parishes, you will note a number of changes in process, not the least of which is the assistance provided by the Diocese and the national church.

1.    Rector announces departure
2.    Vestry meets with Canon to the Ordinary and receives Vestry search packets
3.    With advice from the Bishop, Vestry selects search style.

(The Vestry has decided to empanel a Search Committee of 6 to 10 persons; the advice from Canon Hunn is that at least 3 members of the Vestry be on the Search Committee including someone in their last term on the Vestry (for history), and someone new to the Vestry to be with the new Rector for the next two years).  More about the Search Committee later.)

B.     Why do we need an Interim Rector?
Many of you have asked this question.  The Vestry is convinced that interim leadership is required in order to give the parish sufficient time to do the hard work to prepare for a search of this magnitude.  It is increasingly common in the Episcopal Church to have an interim, especially when replacing a long-serving Rector.  We need a period of transition to help the congregation envision a new future, vision and direction.  During this period, the Vestry will appoint a Transition Committee, which will be charged with preparing an Episcopal Church Office of Transition Ministry (OTM) Portfolio to be approved by the Vestry.

Early in the interim period (mid-October through Advent) we will hold a series of congregational meetings, facilitated by Canon Hunn, in which we will discern who we are as a parish, exploring our history and heritage and any issues of concern that need to be resolved in order to move freely into the future.  At least one of these meetings would be in the evening.  These congregational discussions will feed material to the construction of the COTC portfolio on the OTM website, which will be seen and read by any and all persons who might consider being a candidate for our position.  (The OTM has been described as the national church’s dating service for clergy and parishes.  This is where the internet has totally transformed the search process.)

This is the point in the process where the entire parish has an active role.  We need to describe ourselves and our vision for the future.  How well we do this will have a lot to do with who hears a call to be our next Rector.

C.    How long should the Interim Rector serve?
D.    How is the Interim Rector selected?
The Interim Rector will be our spiritual leader during this period.  He or she may not be a candidate to be our Rector nor have any role in the search process.  The Vestry serves as the search committee for the Interim.  This summer the Diocese will provide to the Vestry a short list of priests who have served successfully in interim capacities.   The Vestry will interview two or more candidates, who will come to Chapel Hill, preach a sermon, and celebrate the Eucharist with the Vestry, after which the Vestry will make a selection.  We anticipate that the Interim Rector will begin in October and serve for approximately a year or until a new Rector is selected.

E.     When does the actual search for a new Rector officially begin?
Drawing from the congregational meetings in the fall of 2015 and the OTM portfolio, the Vestry will approve a position description for the new Rector.  The most important step for the Vestry to this point will be the approval of the Rector Search Committee.

The active hiring season for priests in the Episcopal Church is in the spring months of March, April, and May.  Assuming it takes most of the fall through Advent to complete the OTM portfolio, the Search Committee would not begin to receive applications until early in the new year, with an application deadline around Easter.   I think the Search Committee will most likely be interviewing candidates and their spouses in Chapel Hill in late spring and/or early summer, with the goal of making a call by June or July.   There will be a significant time commitment for members of this committee, however quite different from searches in the past where committee members travelled to other churches in small teams to interview candidates and see and hear them on their own turf.  The internet has turned this process upside down.  More about this below.

F.     How is the Search Committee Selected?
My next task is to choose a Search Committee chair and to take that name to the Vestry for approval.  I anticipate doing that very shortly.  Sometime in the fall, I will issue a call to all members of the congregation asking for expressions of interest in serving on the Search Committee.  The Search Committee chair and I will prepare a proposed slate of members for this committee for Vestry approval, no later than the October Vestry meeting.   Canon Hunn recommends that we empanel a committee of six to ten persons, including three members of the Vestry, with one person in their last Vestry term and one person in their first term.   He has given us some good advice about the kind of people we should have on the Search Committee.

G.     How confidential is the search itself?
Our search will be both transparent and confidential.  For transparency, both the Vestry and the Search Committee will make regular reports to the congregation on the status of the search with the exception of two matters that will be held in strictest confidence:  the names of the persons under consideration (or those not under consideration), in other words, no names;  and second, the demographics of the search.  We will not release the numbers of candidates or the numbers of people by category (race, gender, or any other defining characteristic.)

H.     What is the role of the Bishop (and the Diocese) in the search process?
Canon Hunn made it clear that the choice of our new Rector lies with the Search Committee and the Vestry, with the approval of the Bishop.  Initially, the Search Committee will get the names of all individuals who apply for the position.  He said that in this age of the internet, with potential candidates able to educate themselves on the community and the parish, there is a greater degree of self-elimination today than in prior years, resulting in smaller but higher quality applicant pools.  The Search Committee will reduce the initial number to about 12 semi-finalist candidates.  At this point, OTM will conduct a “pre-flight check” by contacting each candidate’s Bishop and Canon to the Ordinary.  Meanwhile, the Search Committee will also be doing reference checks on these candidates.  The candidates on this “semi-short” list would be invited to come to Chapel Hill with spouses for meetings with the Search Committee, a tour of the community and our facilities, and an opportunity to preach and celebrate the Eucharist with the Search Committee.  (These visits would be for the Search Committee only, and they replace the former practice of  travel by panels of the Search Committee to the home sites of candidates.)

Once the list has been reduced to three candidates, a second and more intense background check will take place.  At this point, the Diocese uses Secure Search to complete a thorough background check.  Bishop Curry will interview any candidates from outside our Diocese and approve a final list of three for the Search Committee.

The final stage of the process for the Search Committee will be to meet with the entire Vestry in a joint meeting, to summarize the process, and to recommend one candidate to the Vestry.  The Vestry will have the opportunity to spend two days of interviews with the candidate before approving that candidate for the position.  (The Vestry could, of course, reject the candidate and ask for another.)

I.     What is the role of the congregation in the search process?
The major role of the congregation is active participation in the congregational meetings in the fall of 2015, as we seek to define who we are as a parish for those whom God may call to be our Rector.  We should all pray for potential candidates, for the Search Committee, the Vestry, and the Bishop, that God’s will is done in this search.

J.     Does the Interim Rector have any role in the search process?
No.  The Interim Rector’s  role is to be a shepherd to this flock for the transition period.

K.     Will Canon Hunn meet with the congregation to discuss the process?
Yes.  He will facilitate the congregational meetings in October and November, 2015.  Canon Hunn will preach at the 10:00 service on Sunday, June 14, and discuss the entire search process at a special adult forum following that service.  That will be the first opportunity for members of the congregation to ask questions directly to him about the search for a new Rector or about the interim transition.

L.     How is compensation for the Interim and new Rector determined?Here is where the church is very different from academe or the corporate world.  This is what we learned from Canon Hunn.  First, we should set the salary for the Interim Rector at the level of what we expect to compensate our new Rector.  The salary should be an absolute number, not a range.  Clergy who are thinking about our position will see what we are paying the Interim, and they will understand that is the salary.  There is no negotiation at the end stage, as there is in most other situations.  It is what it is.  Therefore, I have asked Heather Benjamin, the chair of the Personnel Committee, to make a recommendation to the Finance Committee and the Vestry with regard to compensation and budget for the 2016 budget.  If nothing else tells us that this is upon us, this does.

M.     Does our construction debt load deter good candidates?
Some concern was expressed that some candidates might see our construction debt as a deterring factor, that they would see development and stewardship as a major part of their responsibility as Rector.  Others countered that the new buildings themselves bring tremendous excitement to this parish, opening up amazing new possibilities for ministry and outreach.  My own personal opinion is that the positives greatly outweigh the negatives here.  I don’t think there is a parish priest in this country who doesn’t realize that stewardship is part of his or her call.

N.     During the interim, who is the canonical authority?  Who will name the next Senior Warden?  
The Interim Rector is the canonical authority and would appoint the next Senior Warden.

O.    It is good that we are taking time as a congregation to celebrate the 30-year tenure of our Rector, but are we neglecting doing the serious work of preparing for the coming transition?  
No, the celebration period is a critical part of the transition.  It is the first stage of taking stock of our tradition and heritage.  It is important that we celebrate Stephen’s thirty-year pastoral ministry, not only because he deserves it, but because a future Rector will look to see how we treated our current Rector.  We must remember that this is a time of separation for Stephen and Betsy from us as well as for us from them.  As in all separations, there is sadness as well as joy.  We have a pastoral responsibility to our pastor in this situation.

We are called to love one another.  That is what the Gospel tells us to do.  That is who we are as a people.

P.     What happens to our associate priests, whom we love and care about?
This is also a difficult time for Vicky, Tammy, and David.  The good news is that they will continue in their roles with the Interim Rector.  It is not true, as some have feared, that they must turn in their resignations on the new Rector’s first day.  It is, of course, true that the Rector has absolute authority to determine his or her staff, and I have encouraged all of our clergy to be in prayerful discernment and conversation with Canon Hunn about what God is calling each of them to do in their respective ministries.  Here, I believe that we must all have faith that God is working his purpose out in their lives as well as ours.

I apologize for the length of this message, but I have attempted to answer every question I have heard from members of the church on this important topic.  If I haven’t answered your specific question, rest assured there will be ample opportunity in the future to answer your questions.

Soli Deo Gloria.
James Moeser, Senior Warden

Leave a comment

Filed under Rector Transition