We had a fine farewell for Fr. Scott and Victoria last Sunday, and I am deeply thankful for the energy and generosity St. John’s showed over the last few weeks of Scott’s ministry. The depth and quality of our relationships is revealed at times like this and is a measure of the church’s spiritual wellness. After a couple of days of respite in Charleston, the Fleischers are moving along in the moving process. Keep them in your prayers.
I’m your remaining full-time priest for now but am so glad that the Rev. Deedie Phillips Marshall has been back at St. John’s as Priest Associate for a couple of years. Deedie will serve on Sunday during our interim period and assist in our pastoral care ministries. She will be in the office for the equivalent of one day a week, in addition to her Sunday ministry. You can find her in Fr. Scott’s old office on Tuesday and Friday mornings. Please welcome Deedie into this bigger role while we search for our next Associate Rector.
How goes that search? We have several applications and are getting ready to schedule a first set of interviews, as the application deadline nears. We hope to call a new priest before the end of the year, but it is entirely possible that it will take much of the next school year to get someone moved and underway in ministry. I’m determined to call someone who is the very best fit for our ministry, even if it takes a little longer. I am organizing an interview committee that will help me with this search.
Our new Parish Administrator starts on Tuesday! You may have met Rebekah O’Donnell at St. John’s. She and her family arrived here from Southern Pines/Ft. Bragg, NC about a year ago. Her husband Mike is a battalion commander at Ft. Jackson. Rebekah and Mike have three children, William, Louise, and Thompson; she is working during school hours on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday, coordinated with our Administrative Assistant Megan Griffin. We will keep Rebekah as long as the Army keeps Mike in Columbia and are fortunate to have her in an intense hiring environment. Let me also mention a new addition to our custodial staff. Gertrude Wallace is working at St. John’s on Monday and Thursday mornings in a housekeeping role.
Please see other announcements for some revisions to our fall plans required by our continuing COVID problems. There are signs that this recent rise in cases is peaking and that an improved situation might not be far away. While we wait and hope for that, we’ll make some minor adjustments. I’ll be thankful for your patience as we navigate the continued problems of the pandemic and some transitions on the staff. I’ll be praying for your safety and continued spiritual growth amidst the challenges of life. Nicholas †