FROM THE SENIOR WARDEN
This past weekend (January 25 and 26) the new vestry participated in a retreat that was in part, facilitated by Dr. Beverley Buston, the consultant from the diocese that met with many of us this past summer as we contemplated the future for St. Aidan’s. The new vestry is coming together thoughtfully, prayerfully, and with active participation by all as we guide our parish community through the current transition. I, for one, left the retreat with a calm sense of purpose and positive expectations for the future for both Mark our Rector, and for the Parish community of St. Aidan’s. I would like to share some of the insights from the weekend.
A parish transition such as the one we are experiencing can be broken down into steps or phases that overlap and sometimes run concurrently. The first phase is the “leaving” that started last year when Mark announced that he would seek another calling. This period will end when Mark departs after Easter Sunday, April 21st. The second phase is a discernment period where we, as a church community, contemplate what we think we need as we call our next rector. To be honest, this really started back in 2016 as we embarked on our Mission and Vision effort with two surveys, the Church Assessment survey we conducted in 2017, and the consultation we conducted with Dr. Buston in 2018. That work will continue with the help of the diocese this year. The third phase is the “process” of calling a rector using either an Interim Rector who guides us to call a permanent rector, or a Priest in Charge who we will place under contract for a period of time as we contemplate calling the Priest in Charge to be our permanent rector. You will be hearing much more about this as the year unfolds. The “process” also tends to be the portion of the transition that most dwell on when discussing such transitions. The final phase of this transition will be the start of a new relationship with the individual called to serve as St. Aidan’s next rector.
Throughout the phases of transition, we need to be mindful of the need to heal and be supportive of each other. There are folks in our community that are grieving and will grieve through the transition. There are other folks that will want the transition to move as quickly as possible - to get on with it. We need to be mindful that we are on this journey as a community and must find a balance that supports all of our members, knowing that each of us is important to our St. Aidan community. The vestry would like to use the opportunity of Lent 2019 to focus on healing and giving voice to those that would like to share further as we continue this transition journey. We also plan to celebrate Mark’s ten years plus of ministry with us and ensure he leaves St. Aidan’s with positive wishes and support from our community. I for one believe Mark’s next calling will be positive and will help him continue his own faith journey.
The vestry is committed to helping to ensure that we do the best we can do accommodate all needs in our community. We will provide periodic updates as we seek to balance the generational work of transition with the day-to-day work of sustaining a great parish community. Please feel free to reach out to any member of the vestry with ideas, thoughts, and input as we continue this journey together.
Chuck Marks, Senior Warden