Our most recent rector retired in May 2016, and since then we have stayed busy continuing our ministries, maintaining the “business” aspects of the church, caring for our congregation, and planning for our future.
Initially, in terms of worship, we had a rotating schedule of supply clergy interspersed with lay leaders. As we progressed in our search process we felt the need for a more consistent presence, and we contracted with an interim minister who has been spending 2 weeks a month with us. During his tenure he is guiding us in the search process, sharing Eucharist with us, providing pastoral care, and investing himself in our community. His presence has given us insight and a fresh perspective on who we are and what we value as a parish.
Throughout this transition we have seen a drop-off in church attendance, yet we have continued our varied monthly ministries and continued to serve one another and our community. Our most intensive mission at this point is providing safe lodging for homeless women in our “Grace Rooms” program, and we have successfully managed this during the interim.
We have tried to use this time to discern who we are and how best to move forward. We continue to open our hearts to God’s presence in this process and prayerfully consider His direction for us.
Grace Episcopal Church self-identifies as a “missional” church. Our missions start close to home in our care and concern for our parishioners. We strive to be inclusive, welcoming, and family-friendly. We also give of our time and talents to help others within our community.
In terms of our demographics we are a small church with total membership of 156. Average Sunday attendance is 55. The majority of our congregation are middle age and older with 30 percent in retirement.
We have approximately 11 families with children at home—3 are under the age of 12, and 13 are teenagers. In terms of financial contributions, we have approximately 44 pledging units, and they pledge 73 percent of our operating budget.
Our Next Leader
The individual we seek as our next rector must be ready for a challenge. We are in search of an individual who will jump into our congregational life and become involved with us and our missions. We want an authentic, honest communicator. We want someone forward-thinking who will work with our current parishioners to grow our church wisely and well. We want a person who will bring excitement, joy, faith, and hope.