Rector Discernment Process: Update on August 21st, 2022
As shared last week, we together as a church family learned that Fr. Brian is following the Lord’s leading to step away from being Rector of a local church and be more present with his family for a season of release and rest and waiting on the Lord. Sometimes God’s reasons and leading do not always make sense to us but we trust the Lord and know he will be with the Pape family and this church. Many of you have taken steps of faith and know the courage that takes. Remember that individually as we collectively remember God’s continued faithfulness to this church: from a people meeting at Rockpoint, to the Shadow Ridge Cafeteria, to Morriss Road, to the YMCA gym, the Lord has always been faithful to raise up leaders for the right time.
We do want to leave time for all of us to process our sadness of loss for ourselves and our Parish properly and wade through those waves to get to joy, but we also want to keep all of you informed of the transition plans that your Leadership Council and the Bishop have been working on.
As Jeremy Hansen shared briefly last week in our Sunday service, we are delighted to have Fr. David Smith serving as our Interim Rector starting immediately after Brian’s last Sunday on October 30th. David has served in a variety of leadership roles these last five years and will be a blessing to us in this capacity. At this time, Fr. David feels called to be considered for the permanent Rector position. Starting November 1st, when David starts serving as Interim Rector, we will commence a mutual discernment process with our Bishop, the Council Rector Discernment Team, and Fr. David. It might be helpful for you to imagine a three-legged stool, made up of these three parts: (1) Our Bishop (2) Our Council/Rector Discernment Team and (3) Fr. David Smith. There has to be alignment of all three to move forward together.
This discernment as to whether God’s choice will be Fr. David as our next Rector will officially start on November 1st. We hope to complete it by the end of January. We have the benefit of 5 years of history together, so we believe these 3 months will be sufficient. We won't rush things; however. We will ensure the process is prayerful and diligent and loving to Fr. David and his family. If the alignment of discernment by Fr. David, the Bishop, and the Council/Rector Discernment team does not occur as quickly as we hope or if we go to an outside search, Fr. David has given us a great gift of his love and commitment to serve us in the Interim capacity through June to allow time for that.
In consultation with our Bishop, we have decided to add two additional members to the discernment process who will assist the Leadership Council. These two members will be our incoming Council Members for 2023; however, they will begin serving on the Council/Rector Discernment Team for Fr. David effective November 1st. So the Council/Rector Discernment Team for Fr. David will consist of the 6 current Council members (Vicky Gunning, Kris Peterson, Ryan Perkins, Jon Malden, Ken Metcalf, and Jeremy Hansen) and the 2 new 2023 Council Members for a total of 8.
Please reach out to any of the Leadership Council members or call Fr. Brian or Fr. David for coffee as you have questions. There is nothing hidden, though some things are still being sorted out and the answer may not be known yet. Most importantly, we ask for your prayer. The selection of new leaders is no small thing. We want to follow the Church’s pattern of fasting and praying when significant decisions or sacred moments are upon us. (see Acts 6 and Acts 14:23). We invite your commitment to prayer over (1) the next month as Leadership Council nominations come in, (2) over the next 2 1/2 months as the new Council members are discerned and as Fr. Brian leads us through October 30th and has a whole bunch of coffees with you, and (3) over Fr. David’s Interim Rector term and the discernment we hope to complete by January with the Bishop and him. All of this prayer support is vital to the very bright future of our Parish. So please pray, this is in God’s hands and He loves His church.
Senior Lay Leader