As October 31st rushes towards us, your vestry has been busy behind the scenes with transition issues. We will try diligently to keep you apprised of what we are doing to move this work forward, as we know all of us are anxious about what happens next.
The very first step was to complete the Letter of Separation. This has been done, and a signed copy is in our office, as well as filed with the Bishops Office. On Tuesday evening, October 12th, your Vestry met with the Reverend Arienne Davison, Canon to the Ordinary, who oversees transitions for our bishop, Greg Rickel. She walked us through the transition process step-by step, explaining what happens and answering our questions. She will be our guide throughout this process. There is a 40 plus page manual outlining the process called “Transformational Change: Clergy Transitions in the Diocese of Olympia, a resource for congregations” at www.ecww.org. You are welcome to take a look at this document on the diocesan website.
This month we have been dealing with the various handoffs required: pastoral, financial, and finally physical. Under pastoral, the first item to be address was coverage of all our services until an interim pastor is hired. Supply clergy have been booked for the 6 weeks following Father Martin’s retirement. If more are needed, we will address that in the next month, but Canon Davison felt we would be able to engage a full-time interim priest during that time period. The hiring of the interim is the responsibility of the vestry, but after that, vestry members will not be directly involved with the creation of the profile or the interviewing of the potential new priest. The Vestry will instead be responsible for working with the interim priest to oversee the continued work of our congregation while spe- cifically designated committees are authorized to work on the church profile and then the search committee. Except for pausing Bible study during this period prior to the hiring of the interim minister, all other ministries will continue.
Financially we continue to be a stable congregation. Our Treasurer ensured that signatures on the various accounts are in place for the time period after Father Martin retires. The stewardship committee has been preparing for the annual stewardship letters to go out the first part of November, as the new budget for 2022 will need to be created.
And finally, on Sunday October 31st, Father Martin will physically hand over the church keys, the remaining contents of his office space, and any other church properties that will then remain with us here.
I’m sure I have forgotten to bring you up to speed on some aspect you are interested in, so please feel free to reach out to myself, Tom Egnew (junior warden) or any other vestry member and we will do our best to get you an answer. Please review the critical role for members of our congregation that Tom and I included in the September Tartan. There is an important role for each of us going forward. Thank you for giving us all this opportunity to serve our Lord and you.
Blessings, Judy Nelson, Senior Warden