Dear Fellow Parishioners,
Given the speed with which news travels in our 21st century internet environment, many of you will no doubt have heard by now of Fr. Andrew’s decision to retire in the late spring or early summer of this year. We know you join your wardens and vestry as we say, “Congratulations on your impending retirement Fr. Andrew!”
Last week we sent a formal notification of Fr. Andrew’s retirement to Bishop Sisk as required by canon law. In our letter we took the opportunity to tell Bishop Sisk that we would appreciate any information that the Diocese can provide, and we look forward to receiving support and guidance from diocesan staff during this transition period.
There are steps and guidelines for a parish to follow in order to mount a successful search for a new rector. First of all, all parishioners will be asked to complete a self-study questionnaire so that we can prepare a parish profile that properly reflects who we are. When this is published, the search committee begins its task of seeking a new Rector who fits our profile. The steps are many and the process can seem arduous, but with the commitment of those on the search committee, we look forward to calling the next Rector to the Church of the Ascension. For those who are interested, the diocesan website has information here on “Leading a Parish through a Transition in Clergy Leadership” and indicates that the transition generally takes from twelve to eighteen months to complete.
Throughout the coming months we are committed to sending out communications on a regular basis so that you are kept informed as we move through each step of the transition period. Certainly, if you have questions or concerns, you are welcome to bring them to a warden or member of vestry.
We will be planning formal and informal opportunities to say thank you to Fr. Andrew for his years of service to the Church of the Ascension and to wish him and Lynda well as they leave us and embark on this new and exciting chapter in their lives. As these plans are formed, they too will be shared with you in our ongoing communication.
Please join us in praying for God’s guidance for the Fosters as they enter retirement and pray for all of us at Ascension as we prepare to say goodbye and then enter our search for the next Rector.
John Grimes and Sibyl Piccone