Spiritual Discernment Is The Search To

Discover God’s Will For Us

November-December Discernment Committee News

Initial findings from the July Congregational Conversation have been tabulated into a draft document which is the first official document leading to a Diocesan posting for our Rector search. However, as we strive to develop key parish views as well as needs and hopes of as many of our congregational members as possible, it has been recommended that we offer an additional congregational conversation to gather input from members not heard from to this date.

We now have an updated list of parishioners who could not attend the July meeting. Watch your email and Sunday bulletins for a November Congregational Conversation event announcement. This meeting will present you with an opportunity to still add your input to the parish comments list. Mark your calendar for the date of November 18 after the Sunday School cookie walk coffee hour to participate and add your ideas and comments to the congregational conversation. 

If you attended the July Congregational Conversation, your work is done and tabulated. If you did not attend, then the November Congregational Conversation is your chance to still participate.

This information will be added to the next step of finalizing our church portfolio document and then advertising for our next Rector. Also, please follow the discernment activity checklist posted currently in Martin Hall to gain a perspective on steps taken and an idea of next steps to be taken in the discernment and search process.

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.

The Episcopal Church of the Holy Innocents