Dear Sisters and Brothers in Christ,
When we began our search for a new rector in 2020, none of us could have imagined how transformed the world, our lives, and our life together as a parish would be by the ensuing months. Many things have shifted over the year and a half, but our core commitments and vision for the future of our parish have remained clear. “We are called to seek and serve Christ in all people and work with God to transform our world through love and generosity.” Core to this way of being together is having the leadership and staff to help guide and nurture our shared ministry. Since the leave-taking of our previous rector, we have remained understaffed for the work we believe God is calling us to as a parish.
For many years, we have proclaimed and worked to live into our core commitments of nurturing faith for all generations. We believe it is time to invest in this commitment in new and vital ways by hiring a full-time Director of Youth and Lifelong Formation. This position will bring a steady leadership to the lives of our youth and their families in spiritual growth, as well as work alongside the staff and leadership of the parish to help create opportunities for connection across the generations of the parish. Hiring this position is an essential step in strengthening our ministry here at Epiphany and reaching out to the larger community of Winchester and beyond. Bryn Hollenbeck will remain on staff in the part-time position of Director of Children’s Ministry and Parish Life. She will focus on formation for children and our Midweek at Epiphany programming. We believe that now is the perfect time to deepen our commitment to the future of our parish as we regather and renew our life together.
In addition, the rector and vestry believe that we must work to hire an additional clergy person to help support and grow our parish ministry. As a parish, we have flourished under a clergy team where there was creative, collaborative, and shared leadership. This vision for our staffing returns us to where we were before the pandemic and we believe that now is the time to renew our commitment to a strong future that is dedicated to care, support, nurture, and growth across the generations.
With this in mind, we write to tell you of the vestry’s support and approval for the hiring of these two crucial staff positions. Indeed, these actions will increase our annual budget and ask a commitment from us all to sustain them into the future. However, we believe that this is the future God is calling us to as a parish—committed to the nurture and growth of the children, youth, and families of the parish, as well as expanding our current ministry together as a fully intergenerational parish. With our support, Rev. Nick will begin the search process for hiring both a minister for youth and a clergy associate here at Epiphany.
We are excited for the coming years even as we acknowledge the challenges that are ahead for us and our world. Let us not tire from doing what is good and right and faithful to God’s call in our life together as the Parish of the Epiphany, for indeed, God is with us, leading us on, and it is here that growth and new life is before us always (Galatians 6:9). We are very grateful for your trust in us and commitment to our parish family as we seek to lead and respond to God’s directing Spirit among us. We give thanks for you and rejoice in what lies ahead for us all.
God’s peace to you,
The Rev. Nick Myers, Rector
Suzanne Owayda, Warden
Dave McSweeney, Warden