Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category
Bishop Marc Andrus and the St. Timothy’s Vestry has approved the updated parish Executive Summary and our parish OTM (Office of Transition Ministry) profile formally launching the application period for new Rector candidates. The rector search committee prepared an executive summary profile to provide potential candidates a clear understanding of our values and the St. Timothy’s congregation’s sense of what God is calling us to be in His service.
The profile material summarizes the results of the 15 parish engagement meetings. The search committee met regularly with the vestry to report progress, conducted an online parish survey, and used social media to gather youth input.
St. Timothy’s seeks a rector to help us live into spiritual values enunciated through this parish engagement using an appreciative inquiry process. Our selection process seeks to enable the vestry to call a new rector by Pentecost.
St. Timothy’s Parish Values
During the parish engagement process the search committee asked the parish what they value most about our community.
Community: To us St. Timothy’s feels like home. We value our strong, inclusive sense of community where everyone is welcomed and made to feel like family. We want everyone crossing our doorstep to feel they are welcome and at home in God’s house.
Worship: Our parish values joyful worship and music experiences. St. Timothy’s currently provides a variety of worship styles. These include intergenerational spiritual experiences to help everyone live into their faith journey. These worship styles range from the traditional with organ, contemplative with no music, to Taizé with chants and meditation, and family-oriented with lively music and children’s liturgy to provide our children an embracing experience to build an enduring faith foundation.
Outreach:St. Timothy’s has a high level of commitment to outreach and service to those who are in need. The parish encourages active participation in service ministries and outreach to bring us together, help us live into our baptismal covenant and discern what God is calling us to be as the Body of Christ in our wider community.
Pastoral Care: St. Timothy’s cares. As our parish demographics change we seek to adapt by expanding our lay participation in pastoral care ministries and service to respond to those needs. We value having a caring community that helps each other and where every member feels embraced and held up in their times of need.
Fellowship: Our parish values intergenerational fellowship. Just as we celebrate together and serve others in need we want to be a beloved community of faith among our parish family members and the wider church.
In response to what the parish values most about the church, the search committee asked the parish about their top qualities for a new rector.
What We Seek in a New Rector: The parish seeks an enthusiastic, progressive person to inspire our faith journey, celebrate our inclusive diversity, and help us live into our Episcopal faith traditions. We know from experience that the parish responds most to someone with strong inter-personal skills, i.e. a “people person”.
Leader: St. Timothy’s seeks a dynamic, collaborative leader, a wise steward and manager with a well-rounded and evident experience.
Pastoral: The parish seeks a rector who enjoys pastoral care, and can empower lay passions for pastoral care and outreach to serve others in times of need.
Worship: St. Timothy’s seeks someone who will provide us with engaging sermons and liturgy to celebrate our faith in both new and familiar ways, while keeping us engaged in DioCal and the interfaith work of the church.
Community: St. Timothy’s is seeking a partner to join us in our growth as a welcoming, inclusive and joyful community. The parish needs its rector to have compassion for us, be one of us, know our names, look us in the eye, and accept us as we are, while helping us achieve our collective vision.
Children, Youth and Families: St. Timothy’s is seeking a partner to assist in creating an environment where our children develop a faith foundation to guide their lives through children, youth and family ministries, Noah’s Ark Preschool, great music and intergenerational fellowship.
“Healing happens when the conversation changes from a focus on the past to a focus on the future. That’s where we are with God’s help—and that is a good place to be.”
I wrote that closing line in my last blog post here in December 2015—8 months ago. This week the Vestry names a new search committee to re-launch the process of calling a new Rector for St. Timothy’s. It has been a long journey through a time of healing, false starts and self-reflection to arrive at this point in time.
We got through the stages of grieving the retirement of our rector, then we survived the failure of our first search process and then saw our hopes soar with the completion of the second process and the call of a new rector. But two years into that new ministry it was obvious to both the rector and the parish that this was not a match made in heaven. So we entered a new stage, one we never expected to find ourselves—a discernment process on whether to end our relationship and move on.
We grieved the mutual loss of affection and found a sense of reconciliation even in the process of divorce. Difficult as it was for all, it felt like the right decision to both the rector and the parish. There was sadness and grace in our parting. But it was done lovingly, fairly, candidly and left a holy taste in our mouths that helped heal our broken hearts.
A funny thing happened on the way to healing and preparing for another search process. We discovered new courage to risk rejection again in order to find love again.
So here we are in mid-August 2016 polishing up our profile and getting ready to start ‘dating’ again. We wish there was something like “Episcopal Match.com” that would offer a proven method to find compatibility. But alas we must do it the old fashioned way.
So this post is fair warning that I am dusting off this blog and will be posting more frequently to document St. Timothy’s Danville, CA search to call a new rector.
Pray for us!
We have already kissed a lot of frogs on our discernment journey to find wedded bliss. We need a Prince or a Princess to come along the next stage of our journey.
We have a secret weapon in our search—true faith that God loves us unconditionally. And the sure knowledge that God does not give us burdens we cannot bear—-He has held us up so far as we’ve wandered in the wilderness in our search for the promised land.
As I write this December 29, 2015 six months has passed since my last post about our failed rector search process that resulted in the resignation of the chosen candidate after less than two years. Healing in a congregation after a false start takes time. More time than anyone wants. But the last thing anyone wants is to repeat the same mistake.
So what’s happened?
- The Diocese implemented a structured interim placement and selection process with leadership support from Bishop Marc.
- The parish called an Interim Rector to help guide us through the search and selection process.
- The congregation supported the decision to end the relationship with the rector but is grieving.
Tough love is still tough even when you do the right thing for all sides of the relationship. We see the impacts in lower attendance, the loss of long time members who drift away or give up waiting for things to get better.
We face all the usual and customary steps of grieving from shock to anger to acceptance to an openness and even anticipation of a new beginning. I’d say that at this writing we are at acceptance.
The upcoming Vestry election process culminating at the annual meeting in January 2016 seems to be shaping up at a turning point for the congregation. The vestry knows it is expected to start a new search process. The four places around the Vestry table offer an opportunity for fresh faces, new ideas and an opportunity to serve for anyone willing to stand for election. This is a year when it might be healthy to have more candidates than open seats to be filled.
Healing happens when the conversation changes from a focus on the past to a focus on the future. That seems to be where we are with God’s help—and that is a good place to be.
Posted in Uncategorized, tagged al Qaeda, Cairo, List of diplomatic missions of the United States, Muhammad, Muslim, September 11 2001, September 11 attacks, United States on September 12, 2012| 3 Comments »
UPDATE. After this original blog post was published we learned that the story of a video being the provocation of the attack on our embassy in Benghazi that killed Ambassador Stevens and three others was not the truth. As you read this update you know this issue has been the focus on Congressional hearings and is part of the 2016 presidential campaign rhetoric. I left the original post below as written but read it now in the newer context of what you know about the truth of this sad tale.
Protesters in Libya killed the US Ambassador and three embassy staff members as they fled the US consulate building in Benghazi which had been stormed and set on fire allegedly by al Qaeda-linked gunmen blaming America for a film that they claimed insulted the Prophet Mohammad. In Egypt protesters broke into the US embassy and burned the US flag.
The US State Department put out this press statement prior to the embassy attacks but it has been subjected to fierce criticism for continuing to convey a sense of moral equivalence first laid out in President Obama’s 2009 speech in Cairo in what is widely now called his ‘apology tour’ for suggesting that there is a linkage between American values and policies and Muslim violence.
U.S. Embassy Condemns Religious Incitement
September 11, 2012
“The Embassy of the United States in Cairo condemns the continuing efforts by misguided individuals to hurt the religious feelings of Muslims – as we condemn efforts to offend believers of all religions. Today, the 11th anniversary of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks on the United States, Americans are honoring our patriots and those who serve our nation as the fitting response to the enemies of democracy. Respect for religious beliefs is a cornerstone of American democracy. We firmly reject the actions by those who abuse the universal right of free speech to hurt the religious beliefs of others.”
We have our Priorities Wrong!
While we recognize the sensitivities that Muslims have about the depiction of the Prophet, that is no excuse for storming our embassies let alone killing the US ambassador and his staff. The decision by the US State Department to blame this on Coptic Christians who are regularly persecuted by Muslims in Egypt and elsewhere is unbelievable.
Never mind the starker reality is that these incidents are not mere protesters out of control but the work of terrorist groups seeking to exploit the sensitivity to create the incident in hopes of provoking a crisis suited to their destabilization goals. Never mind that this is standard modus operandi in the thousand year old tensions between Sunni and Shi’a and that the killing of Muslims by other Muslims is common place. Never mind that it is no coincidence that these attacks happened on September 11th, yet the State Department announcement completely ignores these realitities as it seeks to avoid hurting the feelings of Muslims.
The State Department statement and our Government’s policy and reaction to this incident is shameful. Our blame of the Coptic Christians for also wanting to practice their religion is shameful. Our government’s willingness to abandon our own principles to avoid hurting the feelings of Muslim terrorists is shameful.
We pray for Ambassador Stevens and his three staff members killed in the Benghazi attack.
- Cairo US Embassy scaled…over a film…not shown yet! (bonniesbumps.wordpress.com)
- On 9-11… The Obama Administration Apologizes to Islamists and Attacks the Constitution (thegatewaypundit.com)
- Sound Familiar? Islamists Storm U.S. Embassy and America Apologizes (commentarymagazine.com)
- Good Grief… US Embassy in Egypt Condemns US Citizens After Islamists Storm Its Walls & Torch Flag (thegatewaypundit.com)
- Unreal: Mob storms U.S. Embassy in Cairo; Embassy tweets apologies for hurt Muslim feelings (twitchy.com)
- After attack, U.S. embassy in Cairo apologizes for unspecified film (politico.com)
- In Response to Muslim Rioters, U.S. Embassy Apologizes for Offensive Speech (patheos.com)
- Muslims Commemorate 9/11 by Killing American, US Apologizes to Muslims (frontpagemag.com)
- U.S. embassy in Cairo apologizes for “abuse of free speech” after protesters tear down American flag (hotair.com)
- White House condemns ‘Anti-Muslim’ Embassy remarks (bazaardaily.com)