This note is to think out loud about ways we can help our new Rector Rev. Todd Bryant get introduced, incorporated and feel supported in our new beginning together. It is also a great way to channel the enthusiasm we feel at Todd’s arrival to encourage more parish participation in doing God’s work.
REMEMBER OUR PARISH PRIORITIES. The 15 parish engagement workshops used to produce the parish profile gathered views about parish priorities. This insight is both an introduction to the parish for our new rector and a guide for Vestry commissions as inputs into an integrated road-map around living into our parish aspirations:
- Be a People Person, a dynamic, collaborative leader, wise steward and manager
- Make pastoral care a priority and empower lay involvement in pastoral care
- Celebrate our faith in new and familiar ways with engaging sermons and liturgy
- Be one of us, know our names, look us in the eye, accept us as we are
- Support a welcoming inclusive tradition and be in community across the DioCal.
CELEBRATE OUR NEW RECTOR’S ARRIVAL AND INSTALLATION. Yes, there will be partying and celebration! We welcome the Rector and his family as they become part of our parish community family. Welcome Home Sunday feast day this year is symbolically important for us as we mark this new beginning. We also look forward to a visit by Bishop Marc being planned for the installation ceremony as another parish feast day event for giving thanks to God for all the blessings in our community life. And if we need other excuses to celebrate September is St. Timothy’s 64th birthday month.
BE INTENTIONAL ABOUT OUR MUTUAL MINISTRY GOALS for 2018. We committed to Bishop Marc that the Vestry and new Rector would take part in a mutual ministry review one year after the rector’s arrival. Turning these Mutual Ministry Goals into a 2018 visioning and appreciative inquiry process for developing consensus on our way forward around our four mutual ministry goals:
- Pastoral Care and Caring for our Community
- Children & Youth Formation
- Enriching our Variety of Worship Styles
EMPOWER LAY LEADERSHIP AND PARTICIPATION. The Rector’s warden traditionally chairs Vestry meetings, manages its agenda and is the elected lay leader voice of the congregation. The junior warden or People’s Warden as we called that role traditionally serves as the voice from the pews articulating community concerns. Now is the time for the Vestry to return to ‘regular order’. No slight is meant to the ‘new guy’ but this tradition of visible lay leadership reminds us how important it is for many hands to do God’s work in the vineyard. We want the new Rector’s arrival to be a call to action for the parish community to get involved in doing God’s work.
I recommend a New Beginnings Strategy something like this as the Vestry and Rector settle into a new normal for our parish.