Sunday, July 21, 2013

PLEASE PRAY FOR OUR SEARCH FOR A PRIEST FOR TRINITY AND ST JOHN'S EPISCOPAL CHURCHES

St John's Episcopal Church
Since neither congregation of our two churches, Trinity Episcopal Church in Morgan City, Louisiana, nor my church, St John's Episcopal Church in Thibodaux, Louisiana, can afford a full time rector, we are exploring a partnership to share a priest who will serve half-time in each parish.  The members of the two churches shared a meal at a restaurant and a barbecue at the home of a parishioner in Morgan City.  In addition, people from both congregations have attended services at the other church.

Trinity Episcopal Church
The search committee, which includes an equal number of members of both parishes, has been chosen, and they have met with each other and with the vestries of the two churches.  So far, the process is going forward smoothly.

Please pray with us that the search committee will find a priest who is compatible with the congregations of the two parishes, that the two vestries will concur, and that the priest is willing to serve as pastor to our churches.  A member of St John's wrote the prayer below, which I will place in a prominent position on my sidebar to remind me and anyone who wishes to join with us in prayer during this process.
Dear Lord, we ask your help in guiding and directing St John's and Trinity in our search for a new rector.  Where there are differences, help mold us into one heart and one mind, being ever mindful of the needs of each other.  Where doubts and uncertainties may arise, grant us faith and courage to ask what you would have us do.  And finally Lord, give us the spirit of your wisdom to find someone who will adopt our families as part of their family, and strengthen us as faithful ministers to do your will.  In Jesus' name we pray.  Amen.

11 comments:

Bonnie said...

Amen. Prayers will be ascending for all of you every day. With God everything is possible.

Grandmère Mimi said...

Bonnie, thank you. I'm hopeful the plan works out. By pooling our resources, we'll be able to choose from a larger pool of clergy and not be limited to priests right out of seminary.

Russ Manley said...

I wish you all much success and that right soon. It seems to me you've had a prayer for a rector in the sidebar here as long as I've been reading your blog, several years now. I was a time or two in parishes that were likewise searching for a new rector, and I can't help but wonder why the Episcopal search procedure seems to take forever and ever. But then I was never privy to the process or details - still, I have never heard of there being a shortage of Episcopal priests, so I don't quite get what the deal is there.

Though on the other other side of the coin, it is nice that the Episcopal Church takes full account of the needs and wishes of the parishoners - unlike in some other churches, where a preacher or priest is just assigned, and you are stuck with them, and vice-versa.

The last preacher at the Methodist church where my late husband was organist was a disaster. She had all the right credentials on paper, but she utterly lacked a pastoral personality: emotionally cold, harsh, dictatorial, unwilling to listen to anyone's views but her own. She should have been fired and defrocked, seriously - a total misfit with the ministerial life and ethos.

But the bishop, against whom there was no appeal, had placed here there - perhaps thinking the best place for her was a little church far out on the prairie where the damage wouldn't be so big. And the congregation had no say in the matter, just had to put up with her till her 4 year assignment was up. A very sad thing.

Grandmère Mimi said...

Russ, we had a different, but ultimately unsuccessful, search process a few years ago. Then we had a wonderful interim priest for two years, who left in June. During the time the interim was with us, we did not have an active search going, but we knew Ron would be leaving, and the process would start again, so I left the prayer on the sidebar. In the meantime, as insurance costs and salaries increased, we came to the realization that we would be hard-pressed to afford even a priest right out of seminary. The bishop and canon of the diocese suggested the idea of sharing a priest, and both congregations agreed the suggestion was worth a try.

I like that our congregations get to choose. Of course, the bishop has to approve our choice, but, since the background check is rigorous, the priests with problems are usually weeded out before the search committee gets far along in selecting prospective candidates.

it's margaret said...

You all continue in my prayers. And I shall pray for you daily.

Grandmère Mimi said...

Thanks, margaret. Your prayers are much appreciated.

JCF said...

Amen!

klady said...

Prayers are with you and both parishes. I know how tough it is to both search (and be searched!) and to reach the point where shared ministry or other big changes are necessary to go on. May you and the right person find each other soon.

Kathy

Grandmère Mimi said...

Thanks, JCF and klady. The task may not be easy, but, for now, we have hope. Any and all prayers are welcome and appreciated. I'm excited about the challenge.

klady, the search process is not easy on either side. I was on the previous search committee, so I know something about the process. You've been involved on the side of the candidate, so you know what that's like.

Tim Chesterton said...

Amen. Seems a bit of a lame comment, but it's heartfelt, I assure you.

Grandmère Mimi said...

Tim, I assure you a heartfelt "Amen" is good. As the Beatles would say, "Let It Be."