To St. Thomas’s Parishioners,
As we move into the summer, your vestry would like to update you on several issues.
First, great thanks and appreciation to all for our big events in May and June—the 175th anniversary gala, the tribute to Bob Rys, and the Pentecost/175th anniversary picnic. All of them were wonderful expressions of joy and fellowship, the result of many hours of work by dedicated parishioners.
Many of you are probably wondering about the transition process as Father Paul prepares to retire. First, we have the gift of his presence until the end of October. It’s a time to reflect on and give thanks for what his ministry has meant for the parish and for each of us personally.
The vestry is beginning to work on transition plans. We’ve met with the Rev. Canon Gary Rowe of the diocesan staff and we’re studying the diocesan guidelines for parishes in transition. We are working on arrangements for a priest to be with us beginning the first Sunday in November.
Some things in the transition process will be as they have been in the past, but there have been some changes. One big change is the form of the parish profile. In the past, it has been a printed document. Now the diocesan procedure is for the profile to be on the parish web site, as a separate section of the site. Prospective candidates for the position of rector will first meet us through the web site. The web site is also how most visitors and prospective members get acquainted with us. That’s why a welcoming and accurate web site is essential—it’s our front door, in a manner of speaking, and we want to make a good impression on all who seek us out.
Finally, the transition process requires two committees, the transition committee and the search committee. These committees are appointed by and responsible to the vestry. The transition committee, with three to five members, will be in operation from late summer through the first year of the new rector’s tenure. It will handle tasks like farewells, welcomes, and assisting the new rector to settle in to life at St. Thomas’s. The search committee will begin its work after Fr. Paul leaves. It will develop the parish profile and handle the search and interview process, ending up with a candidate to recommend to the vestry. The search committee will have eight to ten members.
The vestry is in the early stages of developing these committees. If you have suggestions of people who might be possible members of the committees, please inform me or any vestry member. You don’t need the person’s consent at this point—once the vestry chooses the possible candidates for each committee, they will be contacted, given a full description of the task, and will be free to make their own decision on whether to accept the call. All suggestions will be held in confidence.
Thank you for your support of St. Thomas’s. Please hold the church in your prayers.