Caring for Our Congregation
- The Rev. Bob Dannals
- Dec 07, 2017
- Category: Staff Announcements
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Each week in our prayers of the people we pray for our congregation. One specific prayer has imbedded itself in my devotions in recent years. It’s from the Book of Common Prayer (page 817), and like the best prayers, it is apt and direct and keeps my own sentiments and irrelevancies safely to the side:
“Almighty and everliving God, ruler of all things in heaven and earth,
hear my prayer for this parish family. Strengthen the faithful, arouse
the careless, and restore the penitent. Grant us all things necessary
for our common life, and bring us all to be of one heart and mind within
your holy Church; through Jesus Christ our Lord.”
More and more this prayer seems right to me. It seems to ask God to give us what we need. It describes us all — faithful, careless, penitent.
Then there is that appropriate and wide open request that God “grant us all things necessary for our common life.” In an increasingly fractured world to have a common life, to be part of a caring community is a rare and wonderful thing. This is something we don’t make up and provide on our own. This is the common life made holy by God’s Spirit, and it is in direct continuity with the community of disciples called by Jesus and the first Christian churches who, as portrayed in Acts, “held all things in common.”
In all kinds of large and small ways, the people of Holy Innocents’ maintain and build up our common life. One visible, though not always clearly understood way, is through the “board” of the parish, Holy Innocents’ Vestry. These elected and appointed officers work with the rector and staff to guide our pastoral, spiritual and material life. No matter how rich or poor our assets, nor high or low our enthusiasm and energy, the Vestry’s task is formidable. And your Vestry has been outstanding during the past year!
In equal measure the search process has unfolded with great integrity and value. Each person on the Profile and Nominating Committees has prayerfully given their best for this congregation, articulating the aspirations of the parish in a wonderful profile, and now discerning the best candidates for our congregation. The interim is going very well.
As we turn the corner on a new year and welcome new wardens and vestry members, I am working with the lay leaders and clergy team to continue smooth transitions until the new rector arrives. To our surprise, Valerie and I have been approached to accept another interim position — All Saints’ Church, Los Angeles. The initial request of a January start did not fit with our commitment of 12-15 months here at Holy Innocents’. However, All Saints’ believes they can carry two months with existing clergy, so we have accepted a start date of March 4, 2018. Thus, we will bid this parish goodbye on Sunday, February 25, 2018. In the meantime, we will establish a solid clergy team to serve the parish until the new rector arrives, including, of course, Lisa Zaina and Buddy Crawford, with the added assistance of Martha Stern, John Porter, Claiborne Jones, Becky McDaniel and David Wagner. By the first week of March we will have a secure clergy rota and pastoral plan to care for the congregation until at least June, 2018.
On December 10 we hold our annual meeting and election. We will choose a slate of four adults and two teens — and apart from the meeting, the elected Vestry as a whole, elects and appoints two Wardens, a Treasurer, an Assistant Treasurer, a Clerk and a Chancellor. We will also hear important reports from the Sr. Warden, the Treasurer, and from the Search/Nominating Committee. We will pause and thank our outgoing Vestry members, Elaine Morgan (Sr. Warden), Marie Thomas (Jr. Warden), Will Kelly, Debbie Brock, and youth representatives, Logan Dorrill and Mary-Crawford Esslinger.
Join us for the Annual Meeting this Sunday at 10am in Inglett Hall.