April 18, 2022
Dear Beloved of St. James’,
Thank you for your many kind notes, texts, phone calls, and hallway conversations regarding my upcoming retirement. As I indicated in my previous letter, serving this vibrant God-filled community has been a time of great joy for me. The years have passed far too quickly. My last Sunday service with you as your Rector will be on Sunday, April 24th.
While transitions are never easy, I am convinced that our church is in God’s very GOOD hands. To help us, I invited a friend of our parish, Bishop Don Johnson, Retired Bishop of Western Tennessee, to conduct a weekend retreat for us beginning on Friday evening, April 1st.
Don joined us on pilgrimage to the Holy Land and some have already met him. A retreat is a time to be together as a community, to pray, reflect together and hear thoughtful presentations by Bishop Johnson. This is a GIFT to our parish community and there will be no charge. RSVP is required for us to coordinate childcare and plan meals. Please see the details here and RSVP to the church office.
Rev. Gethin is planning a retreat for Youth Group (6th – 12th grade) to be held at the same time as the adult retreat. They will attend the Friday night reflection and meet with Rev. Gethin for conversation about prayer and the role of faith in our lives on Saturday morning. The Youth will join us on Sunday morning for Bishop Johnson’s concluding reflection.
Many have been asking questions about what will come next at St. James’. Below is a response to the most frequently asked questions at this stage of the transition. The Vestry will be meeting with a representative from the Diocese on April 19th and will follow with further communications to the parish.
Please know that in the weeks and months ahead you will remain in my thoughts and prayers. We will walk through this together. Please remember to pray for the person God is preparing to be called as the 9th Rector of St. James’.
Again, we are in God’s very GOOD hands.
Rev. Canon Anne Tumilty
• Why was Rev. Anne required to retire?
The Canons of The Episcopal Church require that all clergy retire from their current positions and begin receiving their pension no later than reaching the age of 72. The Canons do allow clergy to serve in other positions, if they choose to do so during their retirement.
• When will be her last Sunday Service?
Rev. Anne’s last Sunday services will be April 24, 2022. She will then begin her sabbatical period through May 31, 2022.
• When Rev. Anne retires, who will have responsibility for the Church?
When a church is without a Rector, is also addressed in the Church Canons. Rev. Anne and the Vestry have informed Bishop Taylor of her canonically required retirement. At the beginning of Rev. Anne’s sabbatical, the Vestry will, in addition to its current responsibilities, assume the administrative oversight normally performed by the Rector. Worship and pastoral activities will be provided by Rev. Michelle and Rev. Gethin.
• What will Rev. Michelle and Rev. Gethin’s role be upon Rev. Anne’s retirement?
The Vestry has asked, and Rev. Michelle has agreed that she will take a leadership role in the continuation of the liturgical and pastoral ministries and responsibilities of the Parish. Rev. Gethin will continue in his current position including liturgy, pastoral care, youth and school chaplain ministries.
• Who do we contact if we need pastoral support?
This has not changed. During normal office hours please call the office. After hours, please call the pastoral care line number provided by the after-office hours phone message.
• How does the search for the next Rector work?
There are also Canons of the Church which address the transition of Rector leadership. Essentially there are two major components which the Vestry is responsible for in consultation with the Bishop and his staff. The first being the preparation of a Parish Profile followed by a Search and Selection process. Further details on these activities will be provided in the near future.