Dear Member of St. Francis-in-the-Wood,
This is notice that there will be a Special Vestry Meeting at 12.00 noon on Sunday July 21st to consider a proposal made to us by the Diocese. We have received a letter from the Venerable Douglas Fenton, Executive Archdeacon of the Diocese, on behalf of Archbishop Melissa, in which he has asked St. Francis to consider taking on the role of a Training Church to provide a place of ongoing training and formation for newly ordained clergy. He has proposed that we consider a particular person in the first instance to be appointed as a part time (80%) Curate from September 1st 2019 through to June 30th 2021. The Diocese would provide a Grant which will partially offset some of the employment costs
Archdeacon Fenton writes in his letter:
The Diocese is bereft of parishes which are able to provide a place of ongoing training and formation for our newly ordained clergy. A curacy offers an opportunity for a newly ordained deacon/priest to work alongside an experienced priest and to learn, in a supervised, experiential venue, the day-to-day of being an effective parish priest. In addition to the general roles in parish ministry, the more particular areas of ministry such as those with children and youth and their families are areas for the curate to explore and further refine their skills.
St. Francis has a long tradition of being a place which not only excels in well-crafted and executed liturgy but engages in the wider community too. When I was a St. James, I recall the commitment that St. Francis had to the work we were doing on the Downtown EastSide. The parish not only contributed financially to the street outreach, but the rector and parents would bring youth to assist in food preparation and distribution and to engage in that active compassionate witness. It’s living into experiences such as these, alongside a training incumbent, which allows reflection and ministry skills development that cannot be taught in seminary. Great curacies are critical to the preparation of priests for our Church.
There is a deacon (to be ordained tomorrow) who brings a deep desire and passion for our church and its witness in the world. She grew up in the province, travelled extensively, is married and a parent of two young people. She is creative, energetic, inquisitive and curious, interested in people and is a creative thinker. She has advanced degrees and was a ’top of the class’ student in seminary. She has served several parish partnerships including one that was well outside her comfort zone but allowed her to gain a deeper insight into congregational development and the breadth of Anglicanism.
The curacy would begin on September 1st, 2019 and continue until June 30th, 2021. At the end of the curacy the Rector and Wardens could either accept another curate or retain (this person) as a member of the Clergy team. I do hope that you will consider providing St. Francis-in-the-Wood, and the gifts of your Rector, as a place for preparing a priest for the Church.
The Wardens, Trustees and Parish Council have discussed this request from the Diocese and feel that it is necessary to bring this to the Church as a whole for consideration given that we have recently communicated at the 5 Year Planning Meeting that we had no immediate plans for ministry appointments after the departure of Rev. Janice Lowell, hence the decision to call a Special Vestry meeting.
In respect of the costs to St. Francis of appointing a Curate we have determined that this can be achieved within our current Budgets and so if a decision to appoint is reached we do not expect there to be a need to request extra funding to go forward.
We would like as many members of St. Francis as possible to attend the Special Vestry Meeting on July 21st and would ask you to be present if you are able. If you are not able to attend then please feel free to contact any of the Wardens or Trustees who would be happy to discuss further details with you. Their contact addresses are as below:
Ian McBeath (Rector's Warden/Chair of Parish Council/Trustee): email@example.com
Penny Mitchell (People's Warden/Trustee): firstname.lastname@example.org
Jasper Follows (Deputy Warden/Trustee): email@example.com
Elizabeth Ferguson (Trustee): firstname.lastname@example.org
Mark Ballard (Trustee): email@example.com
Kelly Lohn (Treasurer): firstname.lastname@example.org
Sincerely, Ian McBeath
Rector's Warden/Chair of Parish Council