I am so pleased and honored to have been called to be your Transition Priest for the coming months at Christ Church. I am looking forward to partnering with you in ministry, as we work together to discern the vision and future of the church, and then to seek a new rector who fits your vision. And I am looking forward to meeting all of you and getting to know you. The welcome and hospitality that I received in my first meeting with your vestry, gave me a hint that this will be a fun and friendly place to be.
What will we be doing together?
In the coming months, I would like to have conversations with you about your hopes, dreams, and concerns about Christ Church. There will be mandatory congregational meetings to introduce the discernment process that will lead up to the church’s profile and then the search process. Our journey through this transition will cover topics of heritage, identity, leadership, mission, connections, and future.
As a certified trained interim, I will use the resources that have evolved in interim ministry over the past several years, adapting some models to your particular context. I will give you regular written updates and information about the transition process as the time goes on. Know that any transition from one rector to another takes time, and it is wise for the congregation to take its time. It’s tempting to be impatient, but be aware that, too often, a two-month interim time will likely result in a two-month rector. When we move slowly and deliberately, we will make sure that you will fin the best possible fit for your church.
The meetings will likely begin this fall. I hope you will join me in these discussions. I promise they will be interesting and enlightening and not a bit boring! Attending these meetings will also ensure that your voice will count in this search for the new rector. This is not the time for a select few to make the decisions, but a time for all members to offer input.
Please be assured that my job is not to put my own stamp on the church, nor to kill any programs that are thriving here. My job is to help you find the rector that best fits Christ Church at its best–and to help the church to discover or re-discover its best, in order to ensure the best partnership with your new rector.
So again, I look forward to working with you as you move toward a new and exciting time in Christ Church’s history.
The Rev. Joanna Leiserson, Transition Priest