Grace Episcopal Church is searching for a new rector to lead our parish in worship, fellowship, mission, and outreach as we grow into God’s call to us.
The vestry has tasked a newly created Discernment Committee with seeking the vision of our parishioners and the guidance of the Holy Spirit to inform our collective effort to call a new rector.
How to Participate
The discernment process depends upon faithful participation by not just the vestry and discernment committee but the entire parish.
- Attend Listening Sessions. The first Listening Session will take place Sunday, February 23rd during the Forum Hour following the conclusion of the 9 a.m. service. Those gathering for this session will initially meet in the Merrow Hall Auditorium before disbursing into smaller groups. The second Listening Session will take place Tuesday, February 25th, at 7:30 p.m., following the Shrove Tuesday Pancake Supper. Childcare will be available if necessary. Please email Jenni at [email protected] if childcare is needed.
- Take the parish survey. Links to the survey will come via email and will also be available on this page.
- Share your comments, concerns, and ideas with the committee via email at [email protected] or place a card in the comment box located in the church.
- Talk to the members of the search committee.
Key Steps in the Transition Process
- Vestry calls an interim priest.
- Vestry commissions the Rector Discernment Committee.
- Discernment Committee conducts parish self-study process with parishioners’ input.
- Discernment Committee publishes Community Ministry Portfolio — an overview of the church and its vision for prospective rector candidates.
- Discernment Committee receives names of candidates, meets with them, and selects a finalist following vetting by the Diocese of Virginia’s Office of Transition Ministry.
- Vestry votes on the finalist and, if affirmed, extends a call.
Your Role in the Discernment Process
It is essential for parishioners to participate in the process by continuing their strong stewardship of the church; praying for and encouraging one another, the discernment committee, the vestry, and our clergy and staff; and providing feedback via forums, surveys, and other means of communication.
The vestry is responsible for forming and supporting the Rector Discernment Committee, preparing the compensation and benefits package for the position, voting on the candidate put forward by the discernment committee, and extending a call to the chosen candidate.
The committee is called to discern where the parish has been, where it is today, and where God is calling it to be in the future; build a body of information that identifies the gifts and graces the parish needs from the next rector; and assess the applications of those who seek to serve as the next rector to see if the gifts and graces they offer match the parish’s needs.
Frequently Asked Questions
When will a new rector be in place?
According to the Diocese of Virginia’s Office of Transition Ministry, a typical search process runs about 12-16 months from the time a rector leaves to the time the next rector is on board.
How will candidates be vetted?
The Office of Transition Ministry vets candidates according to the best practices established by the diocese. This includes a formal background check, communication between our diocesan and the candidate’s bishop if the candidate is from outside our diocese, a call or visit between our diocesan Bishop and the candidate, and interviews and consideration by the parish discernment committee.
Will the congregation get to meet and hear from all the candidates?
The Discernment Committee will receive and review resumes and meet with the candidates. Confidentiality during the process is crucial, especially because most of the clergy candidates will currently be serving another parish. For this reason, the congregation will not know which candidates are under consideration.
Rector Discernment Committee
Mary Hix (co-chair)
Robby Schrum (co-chair)