Ascension’s Twelfth Rector

by the Wardens
The Rev. Elizabeth G. Maxwell

The Rev. Elizabeth G. Maxwell

It is with great pleasure that the wardens and vestry announce that we have called the Reverend Elizabeth G. Maxwell as the twelfth Rector of The Church of the Ascension in the City of New York, and that she has accepted the call. She will take up her duties on January 12, and her first services at Ascension will be on the second Sunday after the Epiphany (January 18).

Mother Liz and her daughter, Mihret Lucy, along with their dog, Finn, currently reside in Manhattan. Mother Liz is completing her service as Interim Pastor at St. Michael’s Church, Manhattan, a position she has held for the past three years.

Mother Liz brings many years of experience to her rectorship. During her time at St. Michael’s, she has led the parish through a period of transition filled with many challenges and complexities, and has begun a process of renewal and growth there. Prior to St. Michael’s, Mother Liz served at The Church of the Holy Apostles, Manhattan, for 21 years, where she acted in various capacities including Associate Rector, Program Director, Interim Rector, and Interim Executive Director of Holy Apostles’ Soup Kitchen, the largest emergency feeding program in New York City and in the Episcopal Church nationally. She has been involved with numerous committees on the diocesan level, and is currently serving on the Committee on the Environment in the Diocese of New York. Mother Liz is a long-time New Yorker and knows the city well.

Mihret Lucy, Mother Liz, and Finn

Mihret Lucy, Mother Liz, and Finn

The vestry unanimously agreed that Mother Liz’s qualities as a priest, as a spiritual guide, and as a person are perfectly suited to bring us to that new flowering that we as a parish envisioned in our parish profile. It is exciting, too, to recognize that we are also making history in calling the parish’s first woman Rector.

Our dear Interim Pastor, the Reverend Shelley McDade, will celebrate her last Eucharist in that capacity on Christmas Eve, December 24. Mother Shelley came to us four years ago as our Associate Rector and has served as our Interim Pastor since April 2013. It has been a wonderful time of challenging our faith, our vision and our leadership, and we will make an opportunity in December to express our love for her and our profound sense of the numerous blessings she has shown to us and helped us realize in our midst.

We must also express our deep thanks to our fellow vestry members and to the Search Committee. The participation of the members of the vestry in multiple interviews during late July and throughout August was a token of their dedication to the parish and the process. The vestry’s deliberations were lively and heartfelt, but at all times a spirit of collegiality and mutual respect sustained us in close community.

As for the Search Committee — they did a phenomenal job as individuals and as a group in service of God’s church and this parish. They faithfully engaged and persevered through a large field of candidates and the shifting perspectives and subtle revelations that is discernment. Ascension owes them a large debt of gratitude in guiding us toward our next exciting chapter as God’s people in community.

Sincerely,
David Cholcher
Steven Hubbard
Wardens, The Church of the Ascension

Members of the Search Committee Members of the Vestry
Meredith Ward, Chair
Eve Beglarian
Barbara M. Burns
Peter Clark
Janet Fisher
Ned Fitch
Sirkka Kyle
Jennifer Lemaigre
Ethan Mandel
David Cholcher, Warden
Steven Hubbard, Warden
Derek Baker
Dorothy Dinsmoor
Stephen Donato
Lisa Dunn
Ned Fitch
Barbara Head
Tom Rice
Charles Schmidt
Isabel Spencer
Stacy Spikes
Meredith Ward
Bora Yoon