June 27, 2019
St. Paul's Episcopal Church
Interim Time Is Not Idle Time
On Wednesday of last week, Canon John Tidy and Susan Czolgosz from the Bishop’s Office, visited Saint Paul’s and met with our leadership team.  In the afternoon they met with Father Stephen to identify with him goals and priorities for this interim time, and in the evening met with the Vestry and the Co-chairs of the Search Committee.  While Canon Tidy acknowledged our concern to begin the search process at the earliest opportunity, he emphasized that this interim time is no idle time, noting that there is important work to be done as preliminaries to the beginning of the search process.   He also reminded us that the work of the Interim Rector was more than that of a ‘place holder’ and that Father Stephen has the authority to lead, teach and pastor the congregation as though he were the rector during this time, in consultation with the Wardens and the Vestry.

The goals and priorities that have been identified include continuing to develop opportunities for Christian formation; revising and refining existing policies and procedures in respect of administrative and personnel issues, and creating new ones where appropriate to comply with best practice and the Diocesan and National Church canons in these areas; reviewing our finances and developing financial sustainability; and updating our Disaster Preparedness plans, including the necessary preparations for any hurricanes this season. 

Canon Tidy advised that the Bishop’s Office will require a five-year budget forecast as a prerequisite to the search process. During this time, Father Stephen and the Vestry will also work with the congregation to identify key Ministries, developing and encouraging lay participation in these ministries, and supporting ongoing outreach efforts both internally and to the wider community of Key West and the Lower Keys.   

As we proceed with these developmental tasks, so we are laying the groundwork for the Search Committee to begin its work of compiling and publishing the Parish Profile, posting the Rector position across the wider Church, and beginning the process of gathering and evaluating responses to our call. Bishop Eaton will come to Key West in late September to meet with the Search Committee and formally invest them with their charge, followed by Canon Tidy and Susan Czolgosz in early October to orient the Committee to the process, their tasks, and to develop the time-line.

Canon Tidy anticipates that while the work in the fall will be intense, it should culminate in winter with Saint Paul’s being able to post our Rector vacancy early in the new year, with the goal of calling a new Rector sometime in the spring.

Please continue to pray for our church during this interim time, and pray for our Vestry Members: Wendy Niven, Terry Garcia, Lonnie Gordon, Kim Grizzle-Malgrat,  Bruce Hagemann, Samantha Hall, Joseph Lyles, Brian Wagstaff, Ray Warren, and the Search Committee:  Bruce Hagemann and Lilla Whiteside, Co-Chairs, and members Donald Curry, David Eyer, Michelle Garcia, Jan Malpass, Jim McCloud, John Sangston, Shirley Sweeting.