To Our Dear Parishioners,
Happy Summer and 4th of July to you and your family! Summer is in full swing now, but the ministry of the SJG Family continues. In fact, this summer our work is as important as it has ever been in our long history. As you know, the Rev. Judy Breny has resigned as our Priest in Charge. This means that we are in fully active Transition/Search Mode for a new Rector. We have important work to do in the next weeks in order that we can advance to searching for a priest this fall. It is an aggressive undertaking, but we can do this.
First, some “housekeeping items” for the immediate future: Emergency Pastoral Care will continue. If you have a need, please call Tom Lochner at 480-9212, and he will work to arrange for a priest who will assist you. Other sacramental matters, such as Baptisms, Confirmations and Weddings, will be managed though the church office by calling 885-1112 between 10:00 am and 2:00 pm during the week. We have a schedule of Supply Priests who will be with us through the summer, and it will be updated as we move forward. Our organist, Kevin Durkin, is leaving us in mid-August, and Brian Hilton will be with us as long as necessary, and perhaps longer.
Our Community Outreach programs continue. The Buffalo Bisons Baseball Game, with our refugee guests from Vive, will be on Wednesday, July 26th. The signup sheet is on the Bulletin Board. Our work at the Friends of the Night People Food Pantry could use some more volunteers; please contact Deb Vranich or Tracy Howland for more information. We are participating in this year’s Garden Walk on July 29-30, and we need folks to greet and feed our visitors; the information/signup sheet is on the Bulletin Board. Our friends at St. Philip’s have invited us to their summer picnic on July 30th at Ellicott Creek County Park; more details to come. We have a new stove in our kitchen, and the sound system has been restored in our Parish Hall!
We have established a Transition Team to carry out the first steps in our search for a new Rector. Kathy Stelter (435-9455) is the Team Leader, and there is room for additional members and ideas. The Vestry has charged the Team to meet with the congregation in various ways. The Team will seek our members’ answers to certain questions in order to match ourselves with a rector who will share our priorities and work successfully with our members and our community. Our small group meetings will occur after both Sunday Services on July 9th, 16th and 23rd. We will also have small group meetings on Wednesday, July 19th at 6:30 pm, with soup and sandwiches provided!
We will also circulate a survey, which will help us discern where we are as a congregation, who we want to be, and what sort of gifts and talents we might seek in a new rector. Please watch for updates in the bulletin and e-news.
Most importantly, we ask that you pray fervently for our Congregation, Vestry and Transition Team, and our future rector during this time. As you can see, we need everyone’s help in many different ways. If you are so inclined, join the Transition Team, run for Vestry next year, be a delegate to the Diocesan Convention next year, or participate in any of our parish activities – and definitely participate in a congregation meeting and complete the survey.
We are confident that we will all benefit from this journey that we will be sharing. We know that God has a plan for us, and wants us to pray, work and have fun together.
Yours in Christ,
Thomas Lochner, Senior Warden
John Moffitt, Junior Warden
Kathleen Stelter, Transition Team Leader