Monday, April 27, 2015

Transition Update #1

Episcopal shield
Transition Updates

from the Vestry of St. Michael and All Angels

A Note from the Senior Warden:

Fr. Smith has announced that he will celebrate his last Sunday mass with us on 28 June 2015 and he will then leave Tucson with his wife, Terri, to become a mission priest at St. Alban’s Mission in Antiqua, under Bishop Armando Guerra of Guatemala. Upon hearing this news, many of you want to know what will happen to us. How are we to manage?

The Episcopal Church is an orderly structured institution with sound theologies, rich traditions and rational minds. There are well-tested procedures for the transition. Before Bishop Smith would install for us a new Rector, here is our journey.

Self-study: Immediately after 28 June, we are to build a parish profile describing ourselves by reflecting on our past and current emphases and practices to identify our strengths and weaknesses, from which we articulate our passion, vision and mission for the future. This will need your deliberate participation. Specific steps involving specific talents among us will take place. At each step, you will be informed and may be called upon. To get it started, planning for the formation of committees is underway. This phase of self-study is necessary before we could start the search for a new Rector.

Search: With our parish profile in hand, the Bishop and the Canon of the Ordinary will help our Search or Nomination Committee go through the steps of collecting names, vetting, interviewing on Skype, and visiting the shortlisted to arrive at inviting the finalist(s) for a visit.

Discernment: The visitation(s) of the finalist(s) will include meeting with the Bishop, a tour of the church and school, and a full interview with the Vestry. It is the duty of the Vestry to discern prayerfully before issuing a call. No name shall be revealed to anyone until the Bishop and the candidate come to an agreement. Then the parish will go into our welcome mode.

The above description is abbreviated, but you will be kept up to date in greater detail as we proceed. Confidentially is, however, strictly kept. During the process, which takes about a year, our regular worship will be maintained by our Mo. Clare, Fr. Jorge, Fr. Jeffrey, Fr. Peter and other supply priests, before the arrival of an interim rector, who will then be our pastor until the coming of our new Rector. So, fear not; the flock will not be without a shepherd.

Between now and 28 June, our immediate task is to thank Fr. John for his twenty years of tireless and faithful service to this parish. Yes, what he has done for the community at large has always been on our behalf. Be reflective and creative in your thanksgiving! If you have any questions or suggestions concerning this transition period, please do not hesitate to contact me, the Junior Warden or any Vestry member. Be prayerful and grateful in all you do. Amen.

Your Senior Warden,
John Hsieh †

Vestry’s Report on Transition #1
from the Vestry of St. Michael and All Angels
26 April 2015

As the Senior Warden promised in The Messenger, Spring 2015, here is our first progress report.

Bishop Smith met with the Vestry, Treasurer, Clerk, Parish Secretary, Bookkeeper, Editor and Web-master, and School Headmaster on Saturday, 18 April 2015, as a follow-up to an earlier meeting with Canon Traquair. Both meetings provided comfort and confidence. Here we address the respective responsibilities of each parishioner in this transitional process.

We all must stay calm and carry on faithfully our worship, ministries and stewardship; and pray for guidance and wisdom, so that we may emerge from our inner reflection and external search with a new Rector, who will lead us to new horizons inspired by the Holy Spirit.

In the absence of the Rector, the Senior Warden is the parish’s ecclesiastical authority. The Vestry is responsible for forming the Nominating Committee, preparing the Parish Profile and the Portfolio needed for the search, approving and supporting the Interim Rector, and choosing the new Rector from the finalists recommended by the Nominating Committee.

The Nominating Committee is to receive and evaluate the names from the Bishop’s Office in order to recommend finalists to the Vestry. This Committee shall consist 8 to 12 parishioners, including two Vestry members. It shall elect a non-Vestry member as its Chair, while the Senior Warden serves ex-officio without vote.

In forming the Parish Profile and Portfolio, the Nominating Committee shall assist the Vestry to hear from all parishioners their respective visions of the parish’s future mission and character. The meetings and surveys will follow the formats recommended by the Bishop’s Office.

The Bishop will assign a consultant to assist us in the process. The first of the four to five meetings between the Consultant and the Nomination Committee will occur as soon as the that Committee is formed. Between now and 10 May, all parishioners are encouraged to submit names to the Vestry for consideration. Wisdom and commitment to the hard work over long hours with confidentially, not special interest or group identity, are the basic criteria for Nominating Committee membership.

Bishop’s Office stays ready to assist us. The search for the Interim Rector has begun. The aim is to have the Interim Rector installed immediately after 28 June, if possible. The Bishop also suggests that the nomination process occur in the winter/spring period with the hope of having a new Rector by Fall of 2016.

Presently, please do not forget to give thanks for Fr. Smith’s faithful and caring service among us for over 20 years.

John Hsieh, Senior Warden
Lisa Sharp, Junior Warden
Jo Leeming, Treasurer
Carolyn Schlager, Clerk
Andy Harris
Reed Karaim
Alec Kennedy
Marjorie King
Chris Lewis
Linda Morrison
Katrina Noble
Todd Vick
Joel Williams