May 14, 2021
A week ago today was Fr. Pierre-Henry’s last day in the office as our Rector and he and Sophie will soon be winging their way East to their new home in Virginia. Our farewell services the weekend of May 1st and 2nd were well attended and gave us all a wonderful opportunity to be with them and say our goodbyes. I did want to mention to you that if you are planning on contributing to the “purse” we are gathering for them as a farewell gift, we will be doing a final tally and cutting the check next week, so please get your gift to the office no later than Wednesday, May 19, if you wish to participate. Thank you to all of you who have contributed to this point.
Don McKellar and I had a thorough and very good conversation this morning with the Canon to the Ordinary, Anita Braden. We are preparing for the more active portions of the process of finding a new Rector for St. Luke’s and you will begin to see tangible evidence of that as well as chances for your participation in the next several weeks. There is still the opportunity for you to make your interest known if you would like to have active involvement in the process that we will be undergoing that will culminate in the actual search for our new shepherd. Some have already reached out to me to indicate an interest in serving on one of the committees we will be setting up to facilitate the search process. Next week we will be reaching out to those who have expressed an interest to explain in more detail what that would entail. If this is something that might be of interest to you, please send me an e-mail to [email protected] indicating your interest as soon as possible.
We will be looking for volunteers to serve on three different committees in the search process. The first to be formed and activated is the Parish Discernment and Profile Committee which will be a group who will be charged with seeking the broadest input possible from the congregation on what are the factors from our past that have made St. Luke’s the vibrant, involved congregation that it is, what are the attributes that we as individuals will be looking for in our new Rector and what are our fondest hopes for St. Luke’s future. This will culminate in the preparation of the Parish Profile that will be the primary source document for individual clergy to either be recommended to St. Luke’s or who may want to put themselves forward for our consideration.
The second committee will be the Recruitment Committee that will be charged with actually reviewing those recommended and applying, interviewing the top candidates, and ultimately recommending 1 to 3 final candidates to the Vestry for their final decision. I think it is pretty obvious that this is a huge and critical undertaking. We intend to keep the committee to no fewer than five and no more than seven members chosen from a broad cross section of St. Luke’s members.
The third committee will be the Transition Committee. Their primary responsibilities will be to plan an appropriate welcome and orientation to our interim Rector when that person is identified and selected, plan an appropriate farewell for the Interim when that time comes and finally to provide a St. Luke’s welcome to our new Rector. If you would like to serve on any of these committees or only on one, please make your interests known to me as soon as you can.
In the meantime, I am so heartened by the response from our assisting priests who have given so generously of their time and talent in this “in-between” period. We are in good hands with this loving and active group and I am confident we have the help we need to make sure we have wonderful pastoral care and worship leadership at this time. They are mostly known to you, but I would like to name them individually so it is clear to all who these fine people are. They are: Rev. Kimball Arnold, Rev. Bonnie Cain, Rev. Chris Christy, Rev. Richard Lassiter, Rev. Jim Schubert, Rev. Susan Schubert, Rev. Bob Wills and Rev. Jack Wolter. If you don’t know any of them, please be sure to introduce yourself when you see them presiding, preaching and providing pastoral care in the coming months. We are truly blessed.
Lastly, I want to thank you for the wonderful calls, e-mails and notes I have already gotten from so many of you. I am so appreciative and simply ask for your continued support and prayers for our leadership and staff as we work our way through this process. It is so good to see so many of you back in church and we are hopeful that we will be able to continue to be able to meet and worship more freely in the near future.
Under the Mercy,
George Chesney, Sr. Warden