July 2015

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Looking Ahead

A Message from Michael Walker, Senior Warden

Fellow Parishioners of Manakin,
As we enter into the summer months of 2015, we find ourselves in a place we haven’t been for some time. Our Rector is stepping away from his active role among us, and in the coming months, we will begin to search for our next spiritual leader.

First, let me publicly thank Michael+ for his leadership and service to Manakin for the past 11 years. We are a strong Parish with outstanding leadership, which is a reflection on Michael+, the vestries and the committee memberships he has had during his time here. Michael+ has guided and supported the good work going on at Manakin, but he would be the first person to tell you that he did not do this alone. The amazing in-reach and outreach efforts that happen at Manakin are the result of the hard work and dedication of many. I thank all of you for giving your time and talents to each other, to our Parish and to our community and beyond. It is your dedication as God’s people that will keep Manakin’s ministries strong as we move into and through this transition period.

There is sadness that Michael+ will not be part of our Sundays and our life together starting in July, but I hope that joy will overshadow that sadness as we celebrate Michael’s+ time with us and wish him much happiness as he prepares to embark on the next phase of his spiritual life. I hope many of you are planning to attend the dinner for Michael+ on July 10th, and are writing notes for the memories box in Denny Hall.

As Michael+ steps aside as Manakin’s active Rector, there will be some changes. Some of the responsibilities held by Michael+ will transition to me as your Senior Warden, and others will transition to the Vestry. This aspect is no different than Michael’s+ previous Sabbaticals. The Rev. Martha Jenkins will provide clergy support for pastoral needs, and, when needed, will provide assistance to the Stephen Ministers and Pastoral Care Committee. Over the next months, we will be using supply priests for our worship services. I have asked our Junior Warden, Roy McLeod, to lead the effort scheduling the supply priests, and he is doing an excellent job. He and I have both been in contact with the Diocese to ensure we are aware of all priests that are available to us.

Many of you have asked me or other members of the Vestry about the transition and search timetable. The short answer is – there is no set timetable, especially in this unique situation where our Rector is taking a terminal Sabbatical. It is, however, understandable that people want to know, “When can we move on?” When asked this question, one of the many resources provided by the Diocese comes to mind. It was written by a senior warden, describing the feeling of one of his vestry members at the time of transition. The vestry member said that they could fill the position in a week, to which the warden replied, “Yes, but it is not a good idea.” No doubt you have heard me say there is a process to be followed – guidelines provided by the Diocese. We are fortunate that we do not have major issues that need to be fixed at this time of transition, but there is still much to be done. The Diocese will help us find a consultant, the search committee must be formed, and the committee will be tasked with specific responsibilities that must be completed in preparation for the search. Data from the CAT survey, conducted last year, as well as notes from the Lenten program earlier this year will be analyzed, and new information will be collected. We’ll also continue to look at lessons learned from previous searches, including the one that led to us calling Michael+.

While this important work is being done, we need to recognize that not all of us are ready to move on at the same pace. As we continually do here at Manakin, we need to take care of each other and move forward together. The Vestry is excited to lead us forward, and welcomes your input.


Note: As Manakin begins to move through this transition period, members of our congregation will be contributing to the Rector’s Message section of our web site.