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The Clergy Corner
This past Sunday it was announced that the vestry had elected me rector. What does this mean, and how is it different? After all, I have served Holy Spirit in one way or another since the fall of 2016. First I was a supply priest, then a priest-in-charge. Now I'm a rector. Why?
One of the big differences between being a "mission" of the church and a "parish" of the church is the capacity of a congregation to call their own clergy. According to the rules, clergy for a mission are appointed by the bishop. Last year, Holy Spirit became a "parish." One of the rights of a parish is to call its own clergy. Those clergy can serve not on a time-limited contract, but indefinitely. This allows for long-term planning and forestalls "are you leaving" nerves. Our churchwide culture assumes that the normal situation in the Episcopal Church is for a church to be a parish and its clergyperson to be a rector. Congratulations? We're finally (somewhat) normal!
One important fact of my agreement as your rector is that I am part-time. The agreement calls for 15 hours a week for me to serve in this role. As we look toward the future of Holy Spirit Episcopal Church, and the future of Plainsong Farm & Ministry (my other part-time call, 30 hours a week), together we will discern ways God is calling us to grow the reign and gift of God's grace, especially in northern Kent County. We will consider how we all fit into that call. The vestry will have the responsibility of figuring out how much of my time suits the church budget. I have every confidence in their leadership.
For now, bundle up and keep warm! This was a lot of church jargon. If you read to the end, congratulations! I want you to understand how our church fits into the landscape of the Episcopal Church. Most of all, I want you to know we can celebrate.
In the fall of 2016, if someone had said "By the beginning of 2019, this church will be able to afford a 15 hr/week minister and it will be you," I would have replied, "That's a beautiful dream!" Now that dream is the truth, thanks be to God. I look forward with curiosity to what God will do next.
Thoughts to Ponder
This prayer from the 1928 Prayerbook may be suitable in the weather we are all experiencing...
ALMIGHTY and most merciful Father, we humbly beseech thee, of thy great goodness, to restrain [this immoderate cold and snow], wherewith thou hast afflicted us. And we pray thee to send us such seasonable weather, that the earth may, in due time, yield her increase for our use and benefit; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
And from our current prayerbook, for quiet confidence in time of trouble...
O God of peace, who has taught us that in returning and rest we shall be saved, in quietness and confidence shall be our strength: By the might of your Spirit lift us, we pray, to your presence, where we may be still and know that you are God; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
For 2019, Holy Eucharist will be offered on the
1st, 3rd and 4th Sundays of the month.
All other Sundays will be Morning Prayer service.
ECW meeting (Chocolate Party!) is Saturday, February 9 in the parish hall. Meeting called to order promptly at 9:45 am. All women in the church invited.
Explore & Soar Reading Club: the Reading Club is in the process of getting new books - much needed after 11+ years of the program. Lead teacher Diane Pickel has a wish list for books from Scholastic Books and needs another $100 to complete the order. Would you like to contribute? Donations can be made by cash or check payable to
Loaves & Fishes Family Center and given to Mary M. Thank you!
Dates and times:
February 23: St. Luke's, Kalamazoo
March 2: St. Andrew's, Grand Rapids
March 30: Grace, Traverse City
Traveling the Way of Love, a new video series, premieres January 31. Six additional episodes are planned for 2019. Host Chris Sikkema, manager for special projects, the Episcopal Church's Office of Communication, journeys across the Episcopal Church in search of stories of the ways people in the church are engaged in the seven practices which encompass the Way of Love. The videos are available on demand at the Episcopal Church's
Facebook page and
here. Want to be notified when a new episode is released? Sign up
here and Episcopal Cinema/YouTube