Rector Search

Currently, we have an interim rector, Father James Marshall Clement, who has been faithfully serving our parish since November 1, 2016. Our search committee is working hard to find our next rector. This page contains the latest information and updates from our search committee.

The Search Committee has the responsibility of writing the parish profile, which expresses what we as a congregation seek in our next Rector. After a period of self-assessment, the Committee will enter a period of discernment during which it will prepare interview questions and ultimately interview candidates. The Vestry will meet finalists, but will not interview them. Once a preferred finalist is chosen by the Committee, it will make a recommendation to the Vestry, which has the role of issuing the call to the new Rector after further consultation with the Bishop and acting director of ministries.

Search Committee Update: St.
Peter’s CAT Survey

The Search Committee would like to thank all of you who participated in the Church Assessment Tool (CAT). We had 74 completed surveys! That is wonderful! Thank you for caring about our parish enough to take the time to complete the survey thoughtfully and honestly. This information is truly a gift. We found that there is not a unanimity about a lot of things we thought we all agreed on and that we really are a diverse group! That doesn’t mean these were “bad” results. Your honesty brought to light some things that will be crucial in our search for a new rector, as well as helping our candidates get to know who we are and what we need from our new rector.

The top 3 priorities for the majority of respondents were:
• Make necessary changes to attract families  with children and youth to our church.
• Provide more opportunities for Christian education and spiritual formation at every age and stage of life.
• Develop and implement a comprehensive strategy to reach new people and incorporate them into the life of the church.

It is obvious that we want and need our parish to grow. We realize that we can become a more exciting and vibrant church with the presence of new members. These persons will bring with them
ideas, skills and energy which will sustain our parish in the future.

Theologically, we are at both ends of the spectrum and everywhere in between. This was a little surprising, but diversity can be a wonderful thing if we all are open minded and nonjudgmental.
While many are theologically conservative, the survey revealed that we are open to change, providing it is a gradual change and we are given time to adjust. Change should be consistent with our strategic priorities. For example, one of our priorities is to make necessary changes to attract families with children, we then need the flexibility to achieve this goal. We also need to recognize that change may involve expenses and need to be mindful of our giving in changing times.

When asked about the atmosphere in our church, a high percentage agreed that a friendly atmosphere prevailed at St. Peter’s, as well genuine care and concern about our members in time of personal need. Our overall satisfaction level with the church, however, was lower than expected as well as the feeling of excitement among our members. Among most of our members, the belief is that we have a healthy tolerance of differing opinions and beliefs and problems are resolved through mutual effort.

Although many agreed that a small group of people make most of the decisions in our church, it is felt that they represent the membership and show a genuine concern for what parishioners are thinking when making decisions. Parishioners who are not currently in decision-making positions have always been encouraged to assume leadership roles on committees, the vestry, and in outreach activities. We live in a different world in this day and age, and there are secular/church conflicts for our time and energy. We need to be respectful of these other obligations and perhaps make some changes in scheduling to make it easier to participate in church activities.

Readiness for ministry is an area where we found that we are not adequately working with our members to assist them in discerning their gifts for active ministry, both in the church and in the

Respondents were asked about their involvement in the church during this period of transition. Fortunately, a surprisingly large number indicated that their involvement in the church, their financial support, and their additional activities would stay about the same.

Most respondents were comfortable with the timing of pastoral change. When Fr. Dave came to us in 2007, he promised to remain five to ten years. He appreciated that the parish had gone through changes in priests with some regularity in past years and St. Peter’s needed stability in its leadership. He kept his promise and we thank him for that.

Again, thank you to all who participated in this important survey. In the near future, the Search Committee will be offering small group sessions where we will be seeking to better understand some of the responses to the CAT survey and discussing more topics that will be essential in answering the questions we will submit for our Office of Transitional Ministry portfolio. They will allow us to clearly express who we are as a congregation and what we our seeking in our new rector. We are currently offering 3 sessions (maximum of 8 people at each) at different times of the day and we will add more sessions as needed. Sign- up sheets are on the table in Waterman Hall.

Your Search Committee,

Judy LaPorta, Phil Montgomery, Larry Dirst,
Nancy Franke, Cindy Vain, Jim Wilson,
Jenny Sidmore, Josh Boies, Nancy Castle