I want to give you an update with where we are in searching for a new clergy assistant for Redeemer. Plans are in motion, thanks to the hard work of many.
But I want to start by saying that in Thanksgiving week, I am thankful for you! I am thankful for all you are doing for your community in staying safe and healthy, for your place of work as you keep working in these difficult pandemic circumstances, for your family as you support children and grandchildren in the weirdest school year ever, and for your church community as you reach out and step up to keep our faith community connected despite all the challenges.
I am also thankful for your financial support as we close out our fall stewardship campaign. Without that, decisions about a clergy assistant would be much harder. I’m thankful to our Finance and Personnel committees for helping to figure out the details of budget and job descriptions. And I’m thankful for the vestry’s support in wholeheartedly and unanimously agreeing that Redeemer should hire another clergy assistant, tentatively for a ¾ time position, as Rev. Andrew was. Typically a new clergyperson would start as a Curate, the entry-level position (the promotion to Assistant Rector comes after a few years of experience).
The sense of the vestry is that it’s important that Redeemer be able to come out of the pandemic in a strong position to continue to grow our children and youth ministries. Our formation programs are so essential to the vitality and future of our parish. They are also a joy to us as we watch children grow into young people who love God and want to help their neighbor. Truly, the future of our world as well as our church is in their hands. With a vaccine on the horizon, we look forward to the day when we’ll have classes and worship in person again that will support our current members and attract new ones and we want to be ready to hit the ground running.
I’m also thankful to those who have volunteered to serve on our search committee: Peter Koso and Linda Kukolich, representing the Atrium, Cathy Burns, representing youth group, Mia Ong, representing the vestry, and Senior Warden Bill Vogele. Of course Linda, Peter, Cathy, Mia and Bill all wear many hats in our parish, from anti-racism and mission work to pastoral care and the worship committee, so they bring many different perspectives.
We recently learned from the bishop’s office that those who are graduating from seminary this spring are interviewing for jobs right now and that we should act soon if we want to talk to strong candidates. So, the search committee plans to get to work, finalizing a job description and publicizing the position, so that we can potentially start interviewing candidates in January or even December. If the candidate is a current seminarian, we would finalize an offer in the spring but then have to wait a few months for them to arrive in the summer. If there are candidates who are already ordained, they could potentially start sooner, perhaps in the spring.
Of course the process has to be confidential, for the candidate’s sake, so there may not be many updates until we’re close to the end. But I’ll keep you updated as I am able! In the meantime, please keep the search committee and all of our candidates in your prayers as we seek the right person to join us in ministry at Redeemer. Whoever, they are, I know they’ll end up being as thankful as I am to serve this wonderful community.