713-528-6665   ---   1805 W ALABAMA, HOUSTON, TX 77098 --- SUNDAY WORSHIP AT 8:30 AM & 10:30 AM    --- info@ststephenshouston.org

This week has been filled with joy and sadness as we celebrate our 18-year relationship with Lisa and say our goodbyes.  Nevertheless, the work of our Parish continues, and, on behalf of the Vestry, I wanted to keep everyone informed about what will be happening next as we enter the transition process.

First, except for our Business Manager, Hugo Banda, all our staff plan to stay throughout the interim.  Ashley will continue to lead us in worship and be available for pastoral care.  We expect the Business Manager position to be filled within the next few weeks. 

After this Sunday we will be working on selecting our Interim Rector.  The Diocese’s Office of Transition Ministry is responsible for directing eligible candidates to us.  Candidates will be initially interviewed by the Executive Committee of the Vestry.  The Executive Committee will then recommend the preferred candidate to the Vestry for approval.  After approval, we will prepare and file the necessary documents with the Diocese and introduce our Interim Rector to the Parish, the School community, and the staff.

In the coming weeks a group of Vestry members will begin work on assembling the information needed for our Parish Profile, which will be disseminated as the search process begins in earnest. At the same time, another group of Vestry members will be gathering clergy compensation data from the Diocese and preparing a budget for the search process.

The Vestry has scheduled a special meeting on June 3 with the Diocese’s Canon for Transitions, Kellaura Johnson.  At this meeting, she will provide us with an overview of the transition and search process and instructions on conducting an evaluation of Parish, focusing on the qualities we seek in our next Rector.  Afterwards, another group of Vestry members will be selecting those who will serve on the Search Committee.  While members of the Vestry may also serve on the Search Committee itself, Diocesan rules do not permit partners or relatives of Vestry members to serve on the Search Committee.  Likewise, partners and relatives of those on the Search Committee will not be eligible to serve on the Vestry until the Search Committee’s work is complete.

While some may see the transition process as overly strict and complicated, it’s the same process that brought Lisa to us almost two decades ago — we can all agree that ended well!  All of us feel different levels of anxiety about the uncertainty of our shared future, but as Lisa reminded us in her sermon last Sunday, this is also a time to reflect and wait for the power of the Holy Spirit to do its work, in its own time, and remember that we, as fellow children of God, are bound together in love and care for each other.  


Dave Morrell