WHO WE ARE
Although the wider community could identify us merely as “the people who worship in the historic church building on the hill,” we self-describe as a caring, warm, and loving community of believers, committed, heart and soul, to Christ and to our parish. Our church is noticeably hospitable, and welcomes all people as they are, without exception.
Even though we historically respect and adhere to traditional Episcopal worship in a reverent atmosphere and prize our maintenance of weekly Rite I and Rite II services, we are theologically progressive and blest with many highly educated and gifted parishioners, who regularly invite us to multiple ways of doing and thinking. We consider the unique diversity of our worshipers, many of whom are not cradle Episcopalians, to be both a blessing and an enrichment.
Like many, many other congregations, we have experienced fallout from generational decline. We know that the reduction in numbers leads to numerous other challenges, such as how to improve local outreach, how to increase financial stewardship, and how to launch new initiatives like our growing interest in “creation care.” It should be said, too, that moving forward after the departure of a Rector whose tenure was almost twenty-nine years, presents its own expected challenges.
But we are not a parish prone to run from such challenges! At this important juncture in our history, we see opportunity. Shared stories from our congregants indicate that, indeed, we are resilient. Although our congregation is aging, we are not inactive. We thrive on a broad volunteer base of contributors to all aspects in the life of the church. As we turn a page in our history, we are anticipating a release of energy to share the love of Christ with each other and with the wider world, and are seeking a Rector to join us in reaching that goal.
THE RECTOR WE SEEK
Information gathered from the CAT (Congregation Assessment Tool) and Focus Group surveys confirms that our congregation desires a Rector who is an effective preacher, committed to thoughtful preparation and to creating meaningful, liturgically dynamic worship experiences. Understanding that historically our parish has been slow to change, our next Rector should be open to retaining some existing traditions and regularly articulating Episcopal polity; at the same time, she or he should inspire a joyful journey toward exciting and untapped possibilities. Those same surveys also indicate that we want and need someone who is attentive to the responsibilities of pastoral care, by fully understanding the importance of good relational and communication skills as highlighted by empathy, unconditional compassion, wise counsel, and more.
The new Rector should not expect that she or he needs to move forward alone. Therefore, we seek a Rector who possesses excellent leadership and organizational skills in the general sense and who also is skillful in recognizing and empowering congregants’ talents and capacities to shoulder some of the work needed to develop a vibrant parish. Being able to create a collaborative environment for work with parishioners, with the Vestry, and with staff at all levels is very important. Doing so will enable the Rector to maintain a healthy balance between the personal and the professional. Furthermore, our new Rector should be pleased to know that we have a full-time Deacon who is actively engaged in community outreach ministry. We also are currently blest to have in our membership an Emeritus Deacon and two Priest Associates, retired from parishes elsewhere; all are willing to participate, if asked and as needed, in the work of the church.
We look forward to welcoming a new Rector who, fueled by a positive attitude, by a strong sense of mission, and by the desire to be an energetic ambassador for All Saints’ Episcopal Church in our community and the world at large, will help to strategically lead us into a bright and productive future.