Rector Search at St. James'
Town Hall Updates
Dear St. James’-in-the-City,
As part of the Rector Search Process, we have organized 3 congregational discernment events to reap your input and insights in order to create an honest and faithful description of St. James’ for the parish profile. These three events are not the same; they build on each other progressively covering:
1. Celebrating our history
2. Learning from where and who we are now
3. Discerning what and where God is calling us to be in the future
I want to thank the good people who came and participated in the first congregational discernment event on February 12, when we explored and learned from the great history of St. James’. The next discernment event – learning from where we are now – is scheduled on Sunday, March 12, after the 10:30 a.m. service. We need you, representing the spectrum of ministries and experiences, to come to this event to share your knowledge and experience of St James’ – our ministries representing Christ in the Wilshire area, our ministries in nurturing and supporting the church members and our organizational structure and relational network that support these ministries.
I look forward to working with you.
The Rev. Canon Eric H. F. Law
Questions/Comments about the Rector Search
Our Search For A New Rector
The search process has three phases. On February 4, the vestry will have an all-day retreat at the Cathedral Center, where we will meet both with Canon Joanna Satorius and other diocesan officers and begin conversations about the shape of the search.
Then—and this is where we need everyone’s help—in a series of “Second Sunday Town Meetings” the whole parish will meet after the 10:30 service under the expert guidance of Canon Eric Law, who will take us through an exploration of where we have been as a parish and where we hope collectively to go. I earnestly invite all of you to attend as many of these sessions as possible: only when we hear all voices can we be sure that the Holy Spirit is working among us. The result of these events will be a parish profile, which will be posted on the web site of the national church (as well as on St. James’s site). The posting of that profile opens the process in which clergy can indicate their interest in the rectorship. At this point all members of the parish are welcome and invited to put forward candidates they think would be a good fit.
Culminating these two stages will be a special Pentecost service on Sunday June 4 at which former Presiding Bishop Frank Griswold will preach and bless our search.
In the third phase, the vestry and search committee will interview candidates, and prayerfully seek to discern who might best move this parish forward to the next stage of our mission. The Rev. Betsy Anderson, a lifelong member of this parish now retired from St. Mathews Pacific Palisades, has offered to serve as Chaplain to the search, for which we are immensely grateful.
Our goal is to have a new rector “called” by the end of 2017, though it’s possible that she or he may not physically be present until sometime after that; meanwhile, Bishop Catherine has kindly agreed to guide us until we call a new rector.
Two words about transparency and confidentiality are in order. The first stages of the search, particularly the Town Meetings are open to all. Once we begin to interview individual candidates, however, confidentiality is necessary: no worthy candidate will want to undergo a public process, and we shall respect that need for confidentiality. Nevertheless, throughout the process we’ll regularly brief the whole congregation about the stage of the search and solicit your prayers—and we will once again invite all to welcome a new rector!
Second Sundays with Canon Eric Law
As you likely know, we are embarked on a search for a new rector. The first stage in that process asks us to look deep into our past, present, and future—and to capture the result of that reflection in a document with a bureaucratic name: a “parish profile.” As banal as the name is, it’s a document that tries to reflect the memories, hopes and dreams of all of us.
The most important word in that last sentence is all: a prospective new rector needs to know who we are, where we have been, and where we hope to go. The only way for that to happen is for all of us to participate in the conversation.
We are fortunate to have Canon Eric Law to lead us in these conversations—the first of which will occur on Sunday, February 12 at 12:15 p.m., and continue for several months. I can personally testify that Canon Law is a gifted facilitator of wonderful conversations—who brings all voices forward in a respectful environment.
So—I urge all of us to participate in these conversations, which will occur on February 12, March 12, April 9 and May 14.
Please come and help mold the next phase of our parish life.