This morning's start was a slow one. Last night's RAC meeting went a little long, but the conversation was a good one. Much of the meeting found us talking about the parish and where we are going in the coming months with regard to development and finding/discerning a common vision for ministry. We spent a lot of time talking about the upcoming recruitment/nomination/search for vestry elections next February. The vestry and wardens, and I presume the parish, want the process to be many things: more timely, more transparent, more open. I also want the process to be more about common as well as individual discernment. I am hoping that the parish as a whole will work and pray together to recognize the individuals God is calling to leadership among us in the coming months. It is going to take some early groundwork, such as reviewing who has served in the past and what was done around the ministries "coming open," as well as getting new layers and lines of communication to open up as we enter the next quarter's worth of work.
We also reviewed and gave some advice to the Rector's Warden with regard to the draft of the Mutual Ministry Review that Carroll Sheppard facilitated with us in early June. The text of that 4 page document is going to need some enfleshment before it goes out, but the goals listed that the vestry is intent on embracing in the coming months seem both challenging and attainable. It is up to us to commit to follow through on them, both in prayer/discernment and in execution. Nothing can happen in a vacuum. Even if it is a good idea, if no one does anything about it--then it remains just that, a good idea.
I wish we had gotten more time to talk about the possibilities around being able to call a clergy associate. As with most things in the summer time, when the pace slows it is hard to bring "deliverables" and meetings together for the most advantageous timing. Vestry reps are working on a draft of a communication that we hope to get out to the parish in the very near future. One of the things on our list of to-dos that needs to be squeezed in between critical absences due to vacations/work/etc.
Still, getting in to the office this morning was a treat. As the summer hits its mid-point, we are getting ready to publish this quarter's newsletter. This edition is going to talk about how the program year has been ending, and it will forecast some things that are going to "break" in the early fall. There is a great deal of energy around outreach right now. Tabasamu, a dental mission guided by several parishioners and friends of the church is getting ready for an October trip to Kenya. I am hoping to link their promotional materials to a couple of friends in the Episcopal News Service. This is the sort of thing that is making real news right now, over and against the current boil of controversy in the Anglican Communion.
Surely, we live in interesting times!
In a couple of days, Laura and I will head out for West Virginia for my sister's wedding. I am really looking forward to being with her, her fiance' and our families and friends to celebrate the occasion. Going to the village where they work at the local college will also be a joy. Sure, it is the Ohio River Valley in summer, but humidity is good for the skin, right? ;)
Though the days are relatively quiet, I feel like there is more time for thought and conversation. With fewer happenings around the parish, and-God willing-fewer crises (knock wood), we are able to do some dreaming and thinking about Trinity and its work and mission in the community. There is a lot to be done!