What in the World is Interim Ministry?
- The Rev. Bob Dannals
- Jan 31, 2017
- Category: General
- Blog Feed
The first thing I know about interim ministry is that it involves moving from one place to another, one chapter of living to another, and very often includes all the emotions of major transitions in life -- grief, a sense of loss, renewed energy, anticipation, hope. In our case, Valerie and I, having agreed that I had already flunked retirement, moved from an apartment in Manhattan to what they tell me is a "town house" apartment in north Atlanta.
What I have discovered in the various transitions of my own life is that I love the local parish and its community support. At its best, Holy Innocents' is "home" for a vast array of people who experience change and shifting transitions every day. It has the great possibility of providing stability, consistency, inspiration, care, guidance, healing and plain enjoyment each and every week. So, Valerie and I are pleased to call Holy Innocents' home during the coming months.
And what I know about being an Interim Rector so far is that in a year or so, Holy Innocents's gifted and faithful Search Committee and Vestry will call someone who be very special indeed to be the next Rector of this grand parish and school. In the meantime, aka the interim, it is my joy to be among you as your friend and Rector for whatever amount of time we end up having together. And I am already having a blast! Who wouldn't, getting to live and work amongst those who call this parish home?
So interim means for a relatively short while. Your next Rector will be here, God willing, for a long and vital period.
And the Rector part of my title means that I do "rector things." With the wardens, I look after leading the Vestry. With the Vicar, I look after tending to the staff. I worship with you, visit in the hospital, call on you, sit with you and sip on something, run with you when we need to run. I will be among you for this time as a celebrator, an encourager, a choreographer, and a cheer-leader, as well, of course, as a pastor and priest. In a time of the shifting terrain of mainline Christianity when attendance and giving is down across the board, I will seek to interpret, teach, counsel, guide and lead us to the best chapters ahead. In short, with the clergy, staff, wardens, vestry and other lay leaders, I will seek to help us prepare for the next Rector of Holy Innocents'.
This comes with my abiding prayers, gratitude and enthusiasm for our life together during this interim period.