Dear members and friends of Good Samaritan,
Thanks to everyone who contributed to making Father Steve’s last service with us so special! I know both he and David are very appreciative and will always hold the people of Good Samaritan Church in a special place in their hearts.
We wanted to provide an update on next steps as together we venture forth into the next stage of our spiritual and congregational life together. As communicated in our last note, the Vestry has created a four-phased Rector Transition Plan, specifically: Saying Goodbye, Developing a Parish Profile, Identifying and Discerning Candidates, and Welcoming a New Rector.
During the ‘Saying Goodbye’ phase, our goal was to see Father Steve off respectfully, in a manner consistent with how we engage as a community. Well done everyone! We feel very good about the approach and again thank all who participated in making last Sunday such a memorable day. Having completed this phase, we’re guessing the question now on everyone’s mind is, quite simply, ‘What’s Next’? Following are updates on key aspects of our Rector Transition effort:
Interim Rector – we are working with the Diocese (Canon Arienne Davison and Bishop Greg Rickel) to identify candidates for our Interim Rector. We anticipate the Vestry will be interviewing candidates over the next few weeks and will update everyone as soon as there is news to share. Our goal is to have an Interim in place sometime in September. Note that the focus of an Interim Rector is typically in the area of spiritual and pastoral care. During the so-called ‘Interim Time’ between permanent rectors, your Vestry is primarily charged with administrative oversight.
Staffing the Transition – your Vestry is convening a special meeting this week entirely dedicated to Transition Planning. During this meeting, we’ll be reviewing the specific skills and experiences needed for the upcoming Transition phases (Developing a Parish Profile, Identifying and Discerning Candidates) and beginning to identify potential candidates to fill these critical roles. As mentioned, there are two distinct focus areas for these Transition sub-groups:
• Phase II – Developing a Parish Profile. This phase is meant to address questions such as: Who are we? What do we see as our future? and What are our Strength and Opportunity areas? It is important that we ‘take a deep breath’ and engage as a community to discern our future. Each of us are critically needed to participate and ensure our voices are heard. This Phase will feature a range of exercises such as a congregation-wide work session, on-line surveys, and small group conversations in which we can all participate.
• Phase III – Identifying and Discerning Candidates. Once the Parish Profile is developed, we will share it broadly and begin the work of identifying Rector candidates. This will be a national search and we’ve heard Good Samaritan Church will be attractive to many candidates. The work of this phase is accomplished through a Call Committee who, informed by the Parish Profile, will work with the Diocese to develop a job description, initiate the search, assess candidates, and ultimately make a Rector recommendation to the Vestry.
Stewardship Update – even as we anticipate the next phases of the Rector transition, the critical work of the church must continue. Stewardship is a critical time for Good Samaritan, and it will be particularly important that it be done well this year. The good news is a very strong leader has agreed to Chair the Stewardship Committee and the team is being assembled. Look for an initial communication from the group in September with the Stewardship program in full swing by October.
A Word on Mthr. Charissa – as she draws near the end of her curacy, and with the blessing of Bishop Greg, Mthr. Charissa is pursuing her own Call with the goal of securing a position close to her family back East. We are uniquely fortunate to have her in position as we navigate our way forward to a new Rector. The current plan is for her to be here at Good Samaritan Church until the end of December, although that could change based on how her Call unfolds. She invites you to chat with her about her possible next steps. Your Wardens meet with her regularly, and please know the Vestry is supporting her in every way possible.
What You Can Do during this Transition Time – First and foremost, stay engaged! As Fr. Steve referenced in his last sermon, it is up to each of us to take care of each other. We Are The Church. Keep showing up, look for ways to get involved, and seek out opportunities to support each other.
Communication and Transparency – your Vestry is fully committed to communicating regularly, with full transparency, about the Transition Plan and all things Good Samaritan. What that means is, if you have a question or are not feeling in the loop, reach out to your Wardens or any Vestry member. And remember, we’re all in this together!
Thank you and do not hesitate to reach out with questions, concerns, ideas or if we can help in any way.
Tom Ehlers (Sr. Warden)
Megan Anderson (Jr. Warden)