On Sunday, June 3rd, 2012, we said farewell to Father Andrew and his family as they prepare for their move to California. We celebrated in true Ascension style with a wonderful reception following his last Sunday Eucharist with us, an enjoyable dinner in the Parish Hall, a portrait unveiling on Ascension Sunday, and several other smaller events for friends and family. Many people were involved in planning and carrying out these events. In addition, many of you contributed with your financial support and/or time and talent. As Wardens, we are very grateful for the support and volunteer spirit the congregation has given us during this transition time.
Now we move on to the next phase. On Wednesday, June 13th, the Vestry met with the New York Diocese’s Canon for Deployment, Tom Orso. Canon Orso gave us an outline of how to move forward with selecting interim clergy and planning the search process. Since we have such a strong congregation at Ascension, we both feel that we are well prepared to embark on a very successful search. We also feel (and Canon Orso agrees) that our search will be a high profile search in the Diocese and that we will have many qualified candidates.
Going forward, we are working with the Vestry to set goals and plan the transition and interim period. We also plan to move forward with our search for a new Rector. The first step in the search process is to find a Search Committee Chair. Currently we are accepting nominations for the chair position and will discuss the position at our next Vestry meeting in mid-July. The Vestry will select the Search Committee Chair. If you would like to nominate a member of the church to be Search Committee Chair, please contact one of the Vestry members or Wardens with your nomination before July 18. The Search Chair is an important position because she or he will be the regular contact and the human face of the Parish to the candidates. The Search Chair must also be a person of prayer, a team builder, well organized, able to use e-mail, a “bridge” person, and a leader who is able to delegate.
Once we select a Search Chair, we will next accept nominations for the Search Committee members. Those interested in serving on the Search Committee will be asked to submit an application. We will have more details on what will need to be included in the Search Committee application and the application due date once we select the Search Committee Chair. We do know, however, that the selection process for the Search Committee members will include the following requirements:
– Wardens do not serve
– No assisting clergy, deacons or parish staff
– Six to nine members
– Balanced (age, sex, groups, length of membership)
– No two from same household
– One-third from the Vestry
– The committee will select a chaplain from among its members
We do understand that transitions can be unsettling at times, and we know that many of you will have questions during the search process. We are committed to keep you updated with letters like this one and brief presentations during Sunday services and coffee hours. Also, many of you have asked how you can help support us, the Vestry, and staff during the transition. At this time, your continued prayers for and participation in the life of The Church of the Ascension will be a great asset and source of support to our church community. If you already volunteer, consider adding an additional activity. Or if you have never volunteered, this is a good time to talk with Mother Shelley, the Wardens, or Vestry members on how you can get more involved with Ascension.
John Grimes and Steve Hubbard