Saint Saviour's Church
Old Greenwich, CT

Tidings lead article

 




Parish Transition

As you know by now, in light of Victoria’s decision to resign as Rector, effective July 31, 2017, Saint Saviour’s is undergoing transition to new leadership.  The wardens and several members of the vestry have met with representatives of the Diocese and, as a result, we are now in a position to communicate the process of transition as it is expected to unfold.
   

The vestry believes that, despite the recent drop in membership and accompanying decline in financial support, that Saint Saviour’s Church remains fundamentally strong with good potential for future growth.  Old Greenwich is a vibrant, prosperous community, attracting young families as well as retaining many people who have been here for years. Saint Saviour’s Church as a small, intimate church offers a sense of belonging and purpose for its members that larger churches cannot match.  The high attendance at the meeting on the future of the church in April 2016 and the response to questionnaires circulated afterwards showed enthusiasm for the church and provided insight into many of the parish’s strengths as well as areas that need work.  Among the qualities of the church that people particularly appreciate are the music and choir, the  thoughtful, analytical sermons, the sense of community and intimacy in worship, the beauty of the church’s physical plant, the informality  and friendliness and the concern that parishioners have for one another.  We thank Diane and Victoria for their hard work which has contributed so significantly to these strong points. We believe that these unique qualities of Saint Saviurs provide a firm foundation for growth.

 
Areas that parishioners felt could be improved include getting the word out to more people about the church and its strengths, building membership, fostering a greater sense of joy, and increasing financial support.   As we begin the transition, the Vestry is working on these areas.
   

Our next pastor will be a Priest-in-Charge who most likely will work on a half time basis.

We will not need a search committee as we will not have a full time rector for, at least, several years, but we do expect to develop a committee to interview candidates for priest in charge. We are pleased that some of the candidates are vibrant individuals with a history of working with children and young people.  The Priest-in-Charge will not be tenured and would serve for a definite agreed upon term of anywhere from one to three years. If we liked the priest in charge, we would have the option of promoting the priest in charge to Rector if we achieve the requisite growth in revenue needed to support a full time rector.  As a result, increasing membership and pledges will be a priority.
   

When Victoria leaves at the end of July, we expect that there will be a period of perhaps a month or two when the Diocese will supply us with a priest to conduct Sunday services before a Priest-in-Charge is appointed.  During that time, the vestry will be in charge of all parish activities.  We have organized a worship committee which, among other responsibilities, will oversee worship during that interlude.  Once the Priest-in- Charge is appointed, he or she will take charge of the parish with the continued guidance of the vestry and the congregation.
   

Lee Ann Tolzman, the priest in charge of parish transitions for the Diocese of Connecticut, and Louis Fuertes, the financial officer of the Diocese of Connecticut, will discuss the transition in detail on September 24. In the meantime, if you have any questions, please feel free to contact any member of the vestry.
   

We thank Victoria for her many years of devoted service to this church, her thoughtful sermons, her support, her pastoral care, her administration of the parish during some difficult years, and wish her all the best in her future endeavors.

 

David Rasmussen, Warden