The Episcopal Church of the Holy Innocents 












Spiritual Discernment Is The Search To

Discover God’s Will For Us

September-October Discernment Committee News

September and October are planned to really get the discernment process in high gear. Initial findings from the July Congregational Conversation have been tabulated and will be utilized to develop key parish views, needs and hopes to be incorporated into the formal discernment process forms as we strive to select our next Priest.

We are still in the process of developing a list of parishioners who could not attend the July meeting so as to contact you by email and present you with an opportunity to still add your input to the parish comments list. If you do not want to wait to be contacted, feel free to email me and I can send you an email questionnaire for you to complete. It consists of 4 questions that you consider and then respond in very brief responses on a comment list. Quick and easy to do and it gives us additional feedback from as many parishioners as want to participate.

Contact me at if you would like to complete a comments list. I will email it directly to you ahead of our planned mass email to parishioners who could not attend the July Congregational Conversation meeting. If email is not your favorite thing, let me know at church or with a phone call to me on my cell number 814-598-0116 and I can give you a paper copy to complete.

And, for Discernment Committee members, please mark your calendars for a committee meeting with our consultant, Michael Redpath, for Thursday evening, September 6, 2018 at 7:00 PM in Martin Hall.

God’s Peace

Bill Kehr

Your Discernment Committee:

Gail South, Susan Hughes, Kay DeCicco, Suzette Whiting Janine Kleber, Rich Vaughan, Larry Peacock, Judy Hamilton Bill Kehr, Rob Meyer, Rich Cashel, Barry Longenbach

Discernment Process Right On Schedule
     I want to assure the congregation that you are right on schedule with your Discernment Process. In my sixteen years of specializing in Interim Ministry, it has been my experience thjat it typically takes twelve to eighteen months for a new Rector to be called after the old Rector formally ends their relationship with a parish. Sometimes the process takes longer depending upon circumstances. It is now only six months since your last Rector retired at the end of February.

     Two important questions must be prayerfully considered by any Discernment Committee preparing to call a new parish priest. What is the new mission that God is calling your parish to in the future? And given that new vision, what kind of priest should be called to fulfill God’s new vision with you? Answering these questions takes time and commitment.

     The Discernment Committee has already been formed and has begun to meet. Data on Holy Innocents’ Church is being collected and compiled for inclusion in the Church Portfolio. When completed, this will be sent to the bishop for final approval. He will then post the church as open and receiving names with the National Church’s Deployment Office. Holy Innocents’ will be listed as open for about a month. Sometimes churches are open for a longer period of time. From now on, the process will be confidential.

    The bishop will then forward to the Discernment Committee the materials of several good candidates and the interviewing and visiting will begin. I estimate that interviewing will begin soon after the Christmas holidays. Depending on the Charge the Vestry gives to the Discernment Committee, one or more finalists will be presented to the Vestry.

     In the Episcopal Church, the Vestry calls the new Rector of a parish and the Bishop extends that call to the finalist. The Vestry will set up times to meet and greet the finalists and their spouses. (This is not another interview.) The Vestry will then inform the bishop of the name of the candidate it wants to call to be the next Rector of Holy Innocents’ Church. The Bishop will contact and let that candidate know the good news. Assuming the candidate accepts the call, the whole congregation (including myself) will then learn the name of its new Rector. God willing, your new Rector should be called sometime soon after Easter April 21, 2018 and begin their new ministry with you by next summer.

     As you can see, it will take a lot of time and commitment on the part of those who have agreed to serve on the Discernment Committee. It is important to the future well being of the parish that the process not be rushed and that it be done well. Every member of the committee will need the prayers and support of the whole congregation in the months ahead.