The church newsletter, The Shepherd’s Crook, is now available for download.
Fellow Parish Members,
As the fall season approaches, there are exciting times coming at Good Shepherd with the beginning of a new year for Sunday School, the return of the choir, the start of Confirmation Classes and all of our ministries resuming a full schedule. Before you know it, the leaves will be falling, and we will be preparing for several events – Crop Walk, Holly Fair, Christmas Pageant, Bishop’s Visitation… It is just an awesome time of anticipation to serve and celebrate our Lord!
This year is particularly special, in that our Discernment Committee – who has been working very diligently all summer – is getting ever closer to presenting a Rector Candidate to the Vestry.
This past late-Spring, the Stewardship Committee did something unprecedented in the Diocese of New Jersey, and held the Annual Stewardship Campaign early in the year. The themed Temple Talks of “It’s God’s Money”, “Stewardship is not fund Raising”, and “First-Fruits Giving”, were well received by many. We received responses from several who had never pledged before, and many others who prayerfully increased their annual giving to our church. However, there were also many regular givers that, for whatever reason, did not respond during the Transformational Stewardship campaign. The Vestry and Stewardship Committee received about 20 responses from the survey that was conducted in August, and each response was read and discussed in the Vestry Meeting – We thank you for that feedback.
Stewardship is not about fund raising, however, the Vestry has an obligation, both to the Parish and to the Diocese, to develop a realistic and responsible budget (a bit earlier than usual this year) as part of preparing for the Presentation of Candidates by the Discernment Committee. For this purpose, the Vestry and Stewardship Committee are called to hold an additional “Mini-Campaign”, during services on October 3-4, giving those parish members that have not yet provided an Estimate of Giving (Pledge Card) another opportunity to do so.
If you have already turned in an Estimate of Giving card either during or following the spring campaign – Thank You!
But if you have not done so, we ask that you prayerfully consider providing an estimate of your offering to the church for 2016, and return the enclosed Estimate of Giving Pledge Card either in the offering plate at services during the weekends of October 3-4 and October 10-11, or to the Parish Office by October 12th.
Together in Christ,
The Stewardship Committee and the Vestry of the
Church of the Good Shepherd
Stewardship Committee: Lee Braidwood, Jack Daugherty, Sue Dixon, George Funk, Rich Harrington, Connie Parent, Jeff Snodgrass
Vestry: George Funk (Sr. Warden), Art Dilworth (Jr. Warden), Patti Fortney, Sue Dixon, Ellie Dunn, Cindy Taglienti, Deb Prieto, Rich Harrington, Connie Parent, Chelsea Richmond, Wayne Szalma, Chuck Lezenby (Clerk), Lee Braidwood (Treasurer)
The Discernment Committee kept up the pace in September and accomplished tremendous progress. We sent teams of three committee members out to visit each of the candidates in their home parish setting. The teams discretely observed a Sunday worship service. They also shared a relaxed meal in conversation with the candidates and their families. The teams returned and reported in detail about their experiences to the entire committee. We then gathered and together made the last big steps in our discernment.
At the end of September, the Discernment Committee met with the Vestry to deliver the Presentation of Candidates. These are the candidates that the Discernment Committee, all sixteen of us to a person, would be confident to call as our next rector. For this presentation we pulled together and presented to the Vestry all of our materials about these final candidates: this included the paperwork that we received from Canon Alvarez at the start, transcripts from our interviews, reports from the tour and dinner teams, reports from the traveling teams, references, and our observations and feelings that support our recommendations.
This is a major transition in our journey to welcome a new rector to Good Shepherd. During October, the Vestry will meet and interview these final candidates and get to know them and their families. The Vestry, guided by the Holy Spirit, will complete the discernment process and call the next Rector of Good Shepherd. The Discernment Committee will remain engaged in a consulting role to support the Vestry in whatever way they need.
We are deeply grateful for the prayers and the respect for confidentiality that our entire congregation has provided through this process. It has been wonderful for us. We now wish to modify these two very important requests to include the Vestry: first that you hold the Vestry and these candidates and their families in your prayers, and second that you all continue to be vigilant in supporting both the Vestry and the Discernment Committee with regard to confidentiality. This has been, and will continue to be, very important for the health of our beautiful parish. We, the Discernment Committee, are honored with the trust you all have given us. We feel the Holy Spirit with us … and we are very excited about the next Rector of Good Shepherd!
The Good Shepherd Discernment Committee
Roger Baker, Aimee Burgin, Pat Braidwood, Len Clark, Becky Goff, Stuart Lynd, Elizabeth Nelson, Mark Nicolle (Chair), Deb Prieto, Chelsea Richmond, Tom Rigg, Chris Southwick, Jeff Snodgrass, Wayne Szalma, Diane Wall, Jim Wynkoop
O God, you know us better than we know ourselves. Guide the Discernment Committee and the Vestry in our search for a new Rector for Good Shepherd. Empower each one of us to use our unique ministries, to share openly and honestly our thoughts, to respect the opinions of others, and to encourage humility, patience, and joy. Instill in us a vision of the Church’s family; that guided by your Holy Spirit we will be united in love and joyfully accomplish this mission, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
The Discernment Committee:
Mark Nicolle, Chairman
Roger Baker, Aimee Burgin, Pat Braidwood, Len Clark, Becky Goff, Stuart Lynd, Elizabeth Nelson, Deb Prieto, Chelsea Richmond, Tom Rigg, Chris Southwick, Jeff Snodgrass, Wayne Szalma, Diane Wall, Jim Wynkoop