Rector’s Report January 2018
The MORE Mission school on January 20th was one way to get our membership fired up about mission. The other thing we need to make happen is for our parish to get studying together. How can we can make our upcoming Lenten study “I Intend – 40 Acts of Kindness” something that is really moving and shaking and involving a lot of people? Invitation alone hasn’t worked. What about you as the council – would you commit to coming to our Lenten Series? Should we consider running a day time class as well as an evening event?
Our parish Partnership with Seaside Baptist has had a huge impact on our church finances, and most people, both Anglican and Baptist, seem to be settling into our new way of being quite well. Our finance team recognizes the importance of diversifying how our revenue comes in, so that if we were to loss a big rental we would not find the carpet pulled out from under us like we did following the dance rental leaving us a few years back. As Regional Dean, I also understand that other churches very near by, are struggling financially. I can imagine that in the next couple of years, St. Nicholas may become a part of a network of churches, potentially forming a combined parish which share a clergy person between them. We might very well see ourselves collaborated with Timberlea and St. John’s on the Larry Uteck, in order that all three of these churches can afford to keep going. The other potential venue for revenue is to create uses of our land resource that see us living into our mission of service to the wider community, but also to realize a regular income from lease revenue. We must keep in mind, all things are possible with God’s help, if we are willing to let the Spirit move us out of the status quo.
The Fall was a time of transition for St. Nicholas, with implementing of changes coming out of our new partnership with Seaside, and it was also a transition time for me in my personal life. The prayer and reflection that has accompanied these changes, has left me discerning a call to further study. I am exploring, with the blessing of the Arch Bishop, the possibility of entering into a Doctorate study in Theology, which would allow me to study and research the patterns of emerging church, coupled with the theology of change. My hope would be, to examine what we have accomplished at St. Nicholas, as well as what potentially needs to be done. By studying patterns and effects of change in our community and those of other church communities, I hope to develop a formula which could offer instruction and guidance to us as a parish as well as support other churches as they venture to make the changes required to remain vitality as well as to grow into the true mission of the church – to spread the good news. The Doctorate program is a four-year commitment and is more practical work based than scholarly work. Each year of the program would have me in formal study at a university for 2-3weeks of the year which I would incorporate into my vacation time. So, if I study, it should not significantly impact my time in the parish, but I am seeking your blessing, because I would be foolish to suggest that it would have no impact, and also because I believe that this work would both benefit my ministry and the life of the parish – I hope the parish might feel the same way.
I continue to be faithful to my monthly Spiritual Direction, as well as visiting those in the parish who are ill or facing crisis. I am also working on a Stewardship based Lenten study which incorporates a faith developing learning edge.
Blessings, Tammy+ Rector St. Nicholas Westwood Hills