Transition Update: Going Forward with the “Priest in Charge” Model

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On behalf of the Good Shepherd Vestry, I want to share our gratitude and appreciation to the Good Shepherd congregation for its encouragement, prayers, and input regarding the process for selecting a new Rector.  Hundreds of parishioners attended meetings to learn about the selection process options, as well as to provide thoughtful comments, questions, and opinions.  Members of the Vestry prayerfully considered this feedback, as well as information and recommendations obtained from the Office of the Bishop.   

Much time was devoted to careful consideration and thoughtful discussion at the April 17 Vestry meeting.  Ultimately, the Vestry voted to select the “Priest-in-Charge” model for finding our new Rector.  A number of factors contributed to this decision.  The Vestry believes this process offers a unique opportunity for the congregation to work hand-in-hand with a skilled priest, through a specific and detailed process.  In collaboration with the Priest-in-Charge, our congregation will be provided the opportunity to develop a vision for the church, as well as the ability to partner with the Priest-in-Charge to take steps to make that vision a reality.

Good Shepherd has much to be proud of.  We are situated in an active, vital community and ours is a parish that actively participates in the world around us.  We offer a variety of worship styles using a blend of musical forms, and we have developed cutting edge programs to fund outreach efforts, such as our Pumpkin Patch and the Music with a Mission concert series.  These are all important and influential characteristics that we believe will enable Good Shepherd to secure a knowledgeable and energetic priest – one who understands the advantages of the Priest-in-Charge process.  

Moving forward, a team of Vestry members and I are working with the member clergy of Good Shepherd, as well as the Office of the Bishop to assure that pastoral support is secured as we move toward the selection of our Priest-in-Charge.  At the same time, Deborah Sampson is forming a group of parishioners who will be doing various forms of needs assessment work. There will be an initial meeting to discuss hopes, fears, desires and dreams for our church and our new priest. The Good Shepherd website (gshep.org) includes a form where you can sign up to be part of the planning group or to share your comments, questions, or concerns about the transition. At any time, you may contact any member of the Vestry.

What can you do? You can sign up to help conduct the needs assessment activities. You can attend events and meetings and honestly share your thoughts. You can communicate with the Vestry. And, as always, please PRAY! Pray that you will know how you can be part of the process, pray for wisdom for all of us at Good Shepherd, pray for those who will help us in the process and pray for the priest who will become our next Rector.