Transitions During the Transition

There are several different ways to define the word “transition.” As a noun it means the period or process of changing from one condition or state to another. In the field of linguistics, a transition is a word or phrase that links together a section of a text or speech. Transitions are the means for creating greater cohesion and building relationships. In other words, transitions form a bridge from one state of being to the next. At St. Anne’s we are well into a period of transition as we reflect on the past, consider our current circumstances, and plan for a new and vibrant future. Building the bridges over which we will move takes time and energy and commitment, along with hope. And hope is the essence of Christian faith.

Transitions during periods of transition are normal. Life continues on and situations arise that leads to more change. It would be nice if we could avoid additional change, but that is not the case most of the time. Our parish continues to experience shifts in staff and lay leadership. This past month, Holly Raindrop, our financial manager resigned in order to take care of her mother. We celebrated her time with the community and bid her farewell with our blessing to take on the role of caregiver. Mike Ecker has resigned from being our Junior Warden due to personal reasons to care for himself and his family. The Eckers remain a faithful part of our parish family. Jeff Montgomery stepped down as our chancellor after serving for several years.

In response to these shifts I am writing to inform you of some exciting news. Jan Stewart, our parish administrator will also be our financial manager. Jan has years of experience in accounting and is already making sound changes to our accounting processes. Over the next few weeks, we will access the staffing needs and consider the addition of a part-time administrative position to assist her. The vestry has nominated and voted Dick Haining to fill the position of Junior Warden for the remainder of this year. We are grateful for his willingness to step into this role. The Vestry is diligently attempting to fill Mike’s term of one and a half years and we hope to make an announcement of who that will be soon. And finally, longtime member Katie Weber has taken on the role of chancellor of the parish.

Some of you have inquired about how we will engage the remaining portions of the Lombard work on conflict and reconciliation that was interrupted by the pandemic in 2020. After several conversations with the consulting team and with our diocesan leadership we have formed a plan to bring this work to a conclusion. Next month I will be leading a series of small group processes beginning with the vestry, and continuing with parishioners. These groups will focus on three areas: a look at the history and legacy of the parish, identifying our core values, and creating a vision for the future. Once a month from June-August (and September if needed) groups of 25-30 parishioners will gather to work through this process. Look for more information about these plans in the coming weeks. In October and November, we will bring back the consultants to complete the Healing and Problem-Solving phases of the Lombard process. All of the information we gather from these meetings will be useful as we prepare for the CAT (Church Assessment Tool) survey in preparation for creating a nominating committee and an updated Parish Profile.

There is much work to accomplish in this ongoing period of transition. And we will get through it together. And once we cross this bridge, we will find that St. Anne’s will be a stronger and more vibrant community of faith, poised to do ever greater ministry in the name of the risen Christ. I leave you with words from Joshua.

“Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9

May God continue to bless us on this journey.