After much discernment and guidance from the Bishop of North Carolina, the Right Reverend Samuel Rodman, the Vestry of St. Peter’s Episcopal Church called the Reverend Jacob Pierce to be our Priest-in-Charge on August 15, 2018. On that day we began a two-year period of discernment as a parish family to determine whether Jacob would be our next rector. At the same time, Jacob began his own discernment as to whether St. Peter’s is the church he is being called to serve. Because the normal business of St. Peter’s has continued since that time, including the completion of our strategic plan, and the development of new mission and vision statements, it is easy to forget our journey towards a full-time rector is not yet complete.
Members of the 2018 Vestry felt we had a unique opportunity to seek a transition model with our associate rector that would serve those spiritually within our walls, while seamlessly continuing our work in the wider community. We knew that calling our current associate rector was not a common practice, but with input received from the congregation, we felt strongly as a Vestry that he could continue the work, especially since he had done it while our previous rector was on sabbatical. In addition, with programs such as social justice, formation, and our music ministry flourishing, searching for an interim rector while initiating a strategic plan could jeopardize the momentum we were experiencing as we continued to grow as a parish.
There is no guarantee that Jacob will be the next rector of St. Peter’s. His calling will only be the result of a rigorous, mutual discernment process between him, the Vestry, the congregation, and the bishop. The timeline agreed to between the parish and the Diocese requires us to meet as a congregation about 18 months into the process and to create an Office of Transition Management (OTM) portfolio (similar to a parish profile). We are fortunate to have Canon Catherine Massey, Canon for Transition and Pastoral Ministries, and the Reverend Canon Rhonda Lee, Regional Canon, join us on February 16 for a congregational meeting to lead us in gathering information to be used in the portfolio. Once the portfolio is complete, the Vestry will review and continue the discernment process.
Our priest-in-charge transition model does not call for a traditional search committee, so it is important that members attend the congregational meeting to share their thoughts as we discern what qualities our next rector should have, and as we continue to be a place of unconditional welcome and a beacon of God’s love in the heart of Charlotte.
Join us on Sunday, after the 10:45 a.m. Holy Eucharist, in the Parish Hall. Coffee Hour refreshments will be offered in the Parish Hall before the meeting begins, promptly at 12:15 p.m.
Yours in fellowship,
Marcus Clarke, Senior Warden