- Jun 24, 2014
- Category: General
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This past Saturday, our parish shared in the Ordination of Joshua Case to the Sacred Order of Priests. We turned out in great number to celebrate, over 100 people from our parish attending. It was an extraordinary day followed by another as Joshua celebrated the Eucharist for the first time on Sunday. With cake and a champagne toast, we extended the radical hospitality that is a hallmark of our parish.
In the days and weeks ahead, Joshua will continue to grow into his priesthood. It is a joyous journey for all of us, for through his path, we all share in growth as followers of Jesus. None of us becomes “professional” in our quest; God remains the only Shepherd, the only expert, the one we seek in all people, places, and things.
Joshua will remain with us, now as a parish priest. As many of you know, priests are often called elsewhere if they have served in their “home parish” before ordination. We are thankful that Joshua will be able to remain among us, working diligently to grow our youth program in addition to general priestly duties. He will also continue to shepherd our overall formation programming and in the coming months will work with our vestry to identify new and community wide expressions of how Christianity is shifting and emerging.
Over the last couple of months, I have been working with our wardens to address the opening we have on our priestly staff. We have studied our needs, looking to other large parishes as models, while also identifying how the School and Church relationship impacts my day-to-day activities. With study and prayer, we have determined that a senior associate for administration, called a vicar in many parishes, would be the most logical way for us to proceed.
We listed the position and have been pleasantly surprised at the number and caliber of priests seeking to discern a call with us. Sitting rectors, senior associates, and cathedral canons have all sought to journey with us. As we near the end of this process, pray for us daily that we may call the person God has in mind for this important position.
If all goes according to plan and stewardship, we would anticipate calling a curate, a newly ordained priest, sometime next year to complete our staff. Of course, in a large parish, changes in personnel, especially among priests, can be often; we know that from our own experience. Nationally, the average tenure of an associate is just over two years. Because our personnel budget has been below the average at other similar parishes in our Diocese, your vestry has been working hard to make sure that we can attract and keep the best associates for the work God calls us toward.
There is much to celebrate. Ordinations. Stellar Sundays in the summer. Growth and a spirit of excitement. Thank you for all that you do to make Holy Innocents such a vibrant parish. Keep our call process in your prayers, and in all things, seek Christ’s light!
Grace and peace,