This last Tuesday, pitchers and catchers reported to spring training! Throughout Arizona and Florida, every major league baseball team began working full time on a process that will end months from now with a new world champion. For now, a quiet process has begun as each team works on fundamentals: developing player skills, character, and making tough roster decisions before the season begins. I imagine, inside the teams, the work is hard and players’ lives are far from idyllic, as cuts and trades come day after day. For fans though, blessed to watch a little removed, it is just a glorious spring, full of fresh expectations, green grass, sunshine, and limitless opportunities.
We are entering a quiet period in our rector transition process. Shortly after Fr. George announced his plans to leave St. Edmund’s after 23 successful years, we had a warm meeting with Bishop Taylor and were assured of his complete support for our parish throughout the transition. The Vestry then met with the Rev. Canon Joanna Satorius from the Diocese Office for Clergy Formation and Transitional Ministries. Canon Satorius will be assisting us in the rector search process, and she spent a full day describing the transition process recommended by the Diocese.
We are beginning this process immediately. Gail Rolfe has agreed to lead a newly formed Transition Committee as its Chair; Mike Harrigian, serving as a liaison to the Vestry; Amy Hulick, Debra Spaulding and Alan Steinbrecher also as members.
This committee is intended to provide continuity and guidance throughout the rector transition process. The calling of a new rector is going to take an extended period of time, and the Vestry has not put a timetable or expected end date on the process. Canon Satorius advised us that the most thoughtful, wise approaches to the rector calling require much information gathering, team building, and reflection on the character of our parish.
We expect to begin arranging small group discussions to address this step soon. Additional parishioners with time and interest will need to be involved throughout, too. So, if you can volunteer time, your help will be welcomed. If you can only cheer or boo, we will welcome that too! Your feedback as to what we are doing well, what we need to do differently, ministries that are currently important to you, and what is not now adequately provided will need to serve as the basis for a coming St. Edmund’s profile that will serve as a foundation for our search.
We do need to ask for your immediate help. Continue to support St. Edmund’s, mostly with your attendance at services, but as you can, in the small groups offered through Lent. This will be a time to especially appreciate the remaining sermons and homilies from Fr. George! Please stay current on your pledges, and if possible, prepay before summer.
But most importantly, remember us in your prayers:
For Fr. George, our friend and Rector for 23 years, as he goes through transition too, deserving of our full and complete support, and with thanks for his service;
For St. Edmund’s, as we work through the process of our new rector calling; and,
For our Vestry and others leading this process, they will need wisdom, grace and all the support you can give.
We are just beginning, and to be sure, there are challenges ahead. But for now, let’s enjoy a glorious spring.