How long is Lydia staying with us?
The question is asked many times every week. And the answer is:
As long as it takes.
We are in an important in-between time — a time of working, praying, and waiting. As much as we might like to know when it will be over, this is a process that can’t — and shouldn’t — be rushed.
And as long as we are moving forward, Lydia is committed to journeying with us.
Let’s review the process so far, and get everybody caught up on where we are now.
First came the Missional Assessment Process, or MAP. Late in 2015 a team of Saint Paulites worked with an ECMN consultant to assess Saint Paul’s strengths and interests, and to look at the neighborhood around the church. The question was asked: Where is God already at work in our neighborhood, and how can Saint Paul’s be involved in God’s work? From the MAP, priorities were set, and the parish profile was shaped.
Step 2 was the Discover Process, in which a second team of Saint Paulites drafted the parish profile and a description of the kind of leadership Saint Paul’s is looking for in its next rector. This information was posted on national search sites, and applications began to come into the bishop’s office. A search committee was formed at Saint Paul’s.
In Step 3, Bishop Prior and Canon Karen Olson are reviewing applications, and forwarding on to our search committee the candidates that seem to be good matches for us. The search committee is diligently interviewing and reviewing. The bishop continues to send more applications our way. The process continues, and will continue, until the right person is found.
In the meantime we continue our work of praying, waiting, and being the church. The vestry and staff continue to work at strengthening the infrastructure, both physically with the building and support systems, and spiritually through worship, faith formation, community life, etc. — while at the same me taking our leap of faith to become engaged in the neighborhood, and to take risks for the sake of God’s work in and through us.
Please continue to pray for Saint Paul’s, for the search committee, and for the person God will send to be our next rector.
The following prayer was found on the website of Christ Episcopal Church, Cedar Park, Texas, from their rector search in 2014. It is offered here with gratitude to the anonymous author:
Lord, we ask you to guide the members of our Search Committee in their selection of candidates for our new spiritual leader. Give them wisdom and insight into the qualities of leadership needed to best serve our precious church.
Encourage the spirit of the person who will become our priest to accept with joy your choice for him/her to lead us as we move forward as a faith-filled church.
Give us all a sense of happy anticipation as we await the one we know will be the right one according to your plan for us. We pray in Jesus’ name. Amen.