Most of us were likely taken by surprise by Fr. Martin’s announcement of his retirement as Rector of St. Andrew’s. But priests are not immortal, so these changes are inevitable in parish life. For this reason, the Diocese of Olympia has a well delineated process for congregations undergoing clerical transitions. For those interested, the process can be found via this link:
Your Vestry will be working closely with the Diocese as we go through a process of saying goodbye to Fr. Martin; taking some time to reflect upon who we are as a parish and what our spiritual needs and goals might be; calling forth a Rector; and welcoming our new spiritual leader. Along the way, the vestry will be seeking help from parishioners for the profile and search committees required for a thoughtful transition.
During this transition, there is a critical role for the members of our congregation: keep loving Jesus, each other, our community, participate in self-study and listening work (often done by the profile committee).
We also ask you:
- pray for your elected leadership
- pray for Fr. Martin as he prepares to depart
- pray for the priest that God is even now calling to St. Andrew’s
- continue to pledge, attend, participate, and be transformed in and by the life of St. Andrew’s
While transitions can be difficult, they are also times for growth and development. We have the opportunity to consider where we’ve been as a parish and how we might wish to further mature in the service of God and each other; and we have the gift of thoughtfully selecting a new spiritual leader who can help us move towards making our dreams become reality.
Let us begin this journey by expressing our gratitude for the faithful service of Fr. Martin these past 14 years. He is leaving a strong, healthy parish. While many activities were curtailed due to COVID, under his able guidance we have stayed connected as a parish and continue to strive to know Christ and to make Christ known. Our outreach giving to the community has been more important than ever during the pandemic. Formal goodbyes for Fr. Martin will be planned for the next couple of months, but in the meantime consider expressing your personal appreciation to him; he is going through a meaningful transition as well and deserves our support.
Should you have questions about the process we shall be undertaking or wish to share comments or concerns, please feel free to contact any Vestry member.
Judy Nelson, Senior Warden and Tom Egnew, Junior Warden