St. Martin’s is ready for a new shepherd. In this last year’s interim process, the community has faithfully considered its strengths and challenges in the face of diocesan and world change. From the Vestry meeting in February, the leadership had been tasked to reach out to explore the possibility of sharing ministry with another Anglican parish. We are getting to know our neighbours at St. Catherine’s. In the last week both the trustees and the parish council have met to discern what the parish needs to move forward in faith while this continues. The final decision on any shared future will be made by the whole parish, with everyone given the opportunity to play a part in the process.
Now is the time to bring in a new clergy leader to assist in the process, one who can offer pastoral care and liturgical support while St. Martin’s discovers its resurrection body. As your interim priest, I have been privileged to accompany you on a journey of self-discovery, truth-telling, and hope. We have faced some hard facts about energy and capacity in the parish and found encouragement from the wider supports in the Church. It’s been nearly a year and a half of hard work for everyone, and the expectation is that I would be with you until the end of June 2021. The parish leadership is therefore formally asking our diocesan bishop, the Rt. Rev. John Stephens to make a direct appointment for a 50% time priest. This will be a quicker and more expedited process than the full canonical search. And as the world opens up again and people are able to come back in person, St. Martin’s can look forward to a pastor who will love you, guide you, and encourage you to be brave followers of our Good Shepherd, Jesus.