Canon Matthew Stockard of the Diocese of East Carolina met with the vestry on Wednesday, September 28, 2016. I want to share with you here the information he provided relative to the search for our first full-time priest. Your vestry is very enthusiastic about this meeting and what's to come in 2017.
Bishop Skirving and Canon Stockard recommend that Holy Cross will be well served by launching a search via the Diocese for a Priest-in-Charge instead of the more traditional search for a tenured rector. The differences in the two processes are significant. The Diocese will do most of the leg work and absorb the cost of the search expenses for a Priest-in-Charge up to the time that Holy Cross is ready to invite a prospective candidate to visit with us. In a traditional search all of the leg work is done by the vestry or a committee appointed by the vestry, and all related expenses would be borne by Holy Cross. The timeline to have a priest join our family tends to be considerably shorter when bringing in a Priest-in-Charge than hiring a tenured rector. Finally, hiring a Priest-in-Charge gives us time - and the priest time - to decide whether we are a good fit within the first two years. If we fit, then allelulia! We can then choose to hire the priest as a full-time rector. If we don’t fit, then everyone involved has options. Therefore, the vestry agrees with the Bishop and Canon Stockard that the Priest-in-Charge process is a good fit for us at Holy Cross.
Between now and the next vestry meeting on, October 19th vestry members will compile and complete one final document that describes who we are at Holy Cross as well as the qualities we are looking for in a full-time leader. We will submit this document to the Diocese on or before October 31st and once edits and reviews are completed by the Diocese and Holy Cross, the job posting for our full-time rector will be posted on the Diocesan website on or about the middle of November. This website is utilized by Episcopal clergy both nationally and internationally and the posting will be available for review by candidates for approximately six weeks.
Bishop Skirving and Canon Stockard will commence a review of all candidates shortly after the first of the year and it is likely that within the first quarter of the New Year they will present us with a candidate. At that point arrangements will be made to bring the candidate in to meet with the vestry and the membership. If the outcome of this meeting is positive from our perspective and the candidate’s then it is likely that we will have indentified our Priest-in-Charge within the second quarter of 2017.
As your vestry we will do our best to meet this timeline and requirements to move this process forward for the benefit of our mission and our membership. We are approximately $27,000 short of the goal to fund this position for two years and we need to let our candidate know that his or her future is secure for the two years that he/she commits to us. Approximately 73.5% of the folks that have pledged to the annual stewardship campaign have pledged to the priest fund and it is my hope that if you’ve not pledged or made a gift to this campaign, this information will move you to do so.
This is an incredibly exciting time at Holy Cross as we anticipate inviting a Priest to come to lead us in worship, to guide us spiritually, to work and serve with us, and to share in fellowship.
We will update you as more information becomes available.
Please contact me or any other vestry member if you have questions about any aspect of this process and I look forward to continuing on this journey with each and every one of you.