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Interim Process

Almighty and ever living God, ruler of all things in heaven and earth, hear our prayers for this parish family, now in this time of pastoral transition. Grant that your Word may be truly preached and truly heard, your Sacraments faithfully administered and faithfully received, and your people equipped and empowered for ministry. Grant us all things necessary for our common life, and bring us all to be of one heart and mind within your holy Church; through Jesus Christ our Lord.


Transition / Search Process
(March 18, 2018)

“To everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven: A time to get, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away;” (Ecclesiastes 3:1, 6)

Times of transition are times of both grief and joy; of death and new life. Congregations have been known to withhold giving and even withhold their involvement, until the new rector comes along. But our transition doesn’t have to be that way. It can be an opportunity for us to grow. During this interim time, it has been my goal to encourage stability, and to sustain the momentum of ministry. I want you to know that I will continue to do so, to the best of my abilities. Please choose to stay engaged in the coming weeks and months. In the words of the writer of the book of Hebrews, “Let us not neglect to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encourage one another, and all the more as you see the Day approaching” (Heb. 10:25). I appreciate your prayers, and please know that I am praying for you as we start a new chapter in the life of our parish.

Yours in Christ,
The Rev. Scott Fleischer, Associate Priest

As we move though this time of transition, we are all well aware of how this impacts Scott and his family.  This is not an easy time for them. Scott’s endearing and faithful ministry to us is a true blessing. Please keep Scott and his family in your prayers.

For those of you who were not able to be at the forum last Sunday or who still have questions or concerns about our Priest-in-Charge process, I remain open to discuss at any time.

As Scott so appropriately notes, we are instructed to stay engaged and to encourage one another during this time of transition.

We move forward in faith; for we are people of faith.

Benton Williamson, Senior Warden


Transition / Search Process Update

(March 2018)

After much discussion, your Vestry has decided to proceed with the opportunity to call a priest-in-charge instead of having an interim rector and conducting the traditional rector search. This priest-in-charge process is a different process than what we had been considering, but is an opportunity I feel has very positive benefits for St. John’s.

I realize this may be very confusing to many, as admittedly it was to me when this opportunity was first brought to my attention. In order to explain the priest-in-charge process a bit more and to address any questions or concerns you may have, we will have a parish forum on Sunday, March 11 at 9:30 a.m. in the Barr Center after the Sunday Breakfast. Come at 9 for breakfast!

What is a Priest-in-Charge?
A priest-in-charge is a priest who, for all intents and purposes, is and acts like the rector, but is under a 3-year agreement with a parish. The idea is that during this 3-year period (or up to 3 years), the priest-in-charge will lead the parish through a transition period with the intention that the priest-in-charge would be called to be our rector during this 3-year period.

Why a Priest-in-Charge?
The primary benefit of calling a priest-in-charge is that we will have a newly called priest who serves St. John's during the transition phase and who as noted may well be asked to be the rector going forward. Also, by pursuing this route we will have a priest-in-charge acting as our rector sooner rather than later. We will forego, however, a traditional interim rector, a rector search committee and a rector search process, which can be a prolonged process. In essence, we secure a leader of the parish who would be very qualified to be our rector in the years to come.

What is the Priest-in-Charge Process?
In this priest-in-charge process, we consider only one candidate to be our priest-in-charge. Further, the Vestry acts as the search committee and conducts traditional search committee activities, such as interviews, visits, reference checks and the like with a priest-in-charge candidate. At the end of the process and in consultation with Bishop Waldo, the Vestry will vote and if approved will invite the candidate to be our priest-in-charge. If the candidate is not so invited, an interim rector will then be selected and we will commence a traditional rector search process.

Who is our Priest-in-Charge Candidate?
A very qualified and accomplished candidate has been introduced to us by Bishop Waldo for our consideration as a priest-in-charge. Over the last two months, Martha Smith as your Junior Warden and I have had several telephone discussions and one lengthy meeting with him. The Vestry has reviewed his biographical materials and plans to undertake visits to his parish and have interviews with him, just as a search committee would do with candidates for a rector. Unfortunately, confidentiality is very important at this stage and we cannot reveal any specifics about the candidate at this time.

On March 11, we will begin the distribution of a congregational life survey which will help us ascertain who we are and our vision for the future. This survey will be a tremendous tool for the congregation, our priest-in-charge and your Vestry as we move through this transition period and forward in our ministry here at St. John’s.

The new rector search process is more about finding the right person than following a process. I feel this opportunity to call a priest-in-charge will be the best for St. John’s now and on into the future.

Benton Williamson, Senior Warden

Rector Transition/Search Process Update

(February 2018)

The rector transition/search process continues very deliberately. At our recent retreat, your Vestry discussed in depth various questions and issues related to creating a parish profile which will be used in this process. Also, we will be commencing a survey of the congregation to gauge who we are and who we wish to be, which will be very helpful in assessing our parish needs and desires, as well as proving interested clergy a valuable profile of the parish. This survey will be similar to a parish-wide survey that was done several years ago. More details on this will follow.

While this transition process may seem slow to some, the Vestry is committed to making certain we discern the right person to lead our ministry at St. John’s and that all appropriate groundwork is laid. We all want the transition to our new rector to proceed very smoothly.

I ask for and need your continued support, prayers and patience as your Wardens and the Vestry continue our work during this time of transition.

Benton Williamson, Senior Warden


(January, 2018)

I know many of you are curious as to the status of the interim/rector search process. Your Wardens and Vestry have been engaged in several initial matters in the process since Fletcher’s departure. Now that the Christmas Holidays are behind us, we are moving forward. As I outlined at the Annual Meeting, there are essentially 4 steps (as I see them) in the process: interim rector, visioning, rector search and the call of a rector. A more detailed explanation will be posted on our website.
Obviously, we are at stage 1, and have been working with Bishop Waldo and the Diocesan House for a few weeks now to identify appropriate interim rector candidates. The first formal step is a completion of an abbreviated parish profile which will be used to reflect St. John’s character, desires, mission and ministries. We hope to complete this at the Vestry retreat at the end of January. The Diocesan House continues to work diligently, however, to identify interim rector candidates for us, and we are in regular contact with the Diocesan House.

While there is an interim/rector search process which we will be following, the next few months are about discerning the appropriate new rector for St. John’s. Accordingly, we will be open at all times to consider the right person to be our rector, whether on an interim or long-term basis.

In the meantime, we are all blessed to have Scott and our wonderful program and administrative staff, who are maintaining and improving our ministries.

I remain very excited about the opportunities before us not only during this interim period, but on into the formal rector search process. In the event you have any questions or comments, do not hesitate to contact any Vestry member.

Your support, prayers and input are most appreciated.
Benton Williamson, Senior Warden

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