A Letter from our Rector and Senior Warden
Earlier tonight our Vestry voted to affirm my decision to step down as your Rector, effective September 30, 2022. They also voted to initiate a search for your next Rector while I am still in place, thus avoiding a third disruptive interim period in recent memory. Ruthie Rhodes and Allyson Hoare will both be at university this fall. I will be nearing 65 years old. I will have served more than forty years in parish ministry. What a privilege it is for the last years to be in such a storied parish among such fabulous people. Making these decisions now allows for a smooth transition to the next season for our congregation.
Come September, I will focus on taking leave from this wonderful community, saying ‘farewell’ to you, my friends, and taking pleasure in what we have accomplished together. In the meantime, there is much good work and ministry for us to do, including completing and celebrating our air handling work, re-opening our buildings, making good use of renovated spaces in Satterlee Hall and beginning planning for the future of the Warner Rectory. We will carry out this work while continuing to explore what vibrant mission and ministry will look like in a hybrid (in person and online) world, building attendance at both our English and Spanish services and all the while growing in faith together. We will be well placed to navigate a clergy leadership transition when the time comes.
You will learn more about the search process following our parish meeting at the end of this month. The Diocese of Washington has a new, simplified, shortened and streamlined search process that is carried out by the Vestry (rather than a separate search committee) with the support of a team of diocesan facilitators.
I’m sure you will have many questions in coming months and your Vestry, staff and I will do our best to answer them as they arise. You have often heard me offer a prayer of gratitude for those God gives us to love and serve. I remain profoundly grateful for my colleagues on our staff and for each and every one of you.
With respect and affection,
Dear fellow parishioners,
I know that you join me in wishing Geoffrey well in this next chapter of his life, and look forward to celebrating his ministry with us as we come closer to time to bid farewell. Change is always difficult, and we will be sad to see Geoffrey and his family leave our midst when that time comes. However, if we have learned anything from the pandemic, it is that we are a resilient bunch.
Geoffrey’s leadership and steady hand, together with the dedication of our clergy, staff and lay leaders and the engagement and generosity of our congregation, have placed our parish in a position to attract the best of candidates to serve as our next rector. Work has already begun with the Diocesan staff who lead transitions, and you will learn more about the selection process used in the Diocese in which the Vestry serves as the search committee, once the new Vestry is in place in February. I have every confidence that either candidate for Senior Warden will ably and thoughtfully oversee that process.
At a time when many churches are struggling, and the vicissitudes of the pandemic continue, St. Alban’s is spiritually strong, financially healthy, and adept at caring for each other and those around us. We are fortunate that we have been given 9 months to complete a discernment of who will continue to lead us, and that we will have Geoffrey with us for the “much good work and ministry” before us as we complete our capital improvements, hone our hybrid model of worship that will serve us long after Covid-19 dissipates, and continue to do all such good works as God has prepared for us to walk in.
With best regards,