Nags Head NC + St. Andrew's-by-the-Sea
|Date Posted||December 19, 2018|
East Carolina (Matthew Stockard & Hannah Hilterbrand)
|Compensation||$85,000 (Negotiable Total Pensionable Compensation)|
|Health Benefits||Clergy Only|
|Communicants in Good Standing||282|
|Average Sunday Attendance||152|
|Child Population in Church School||31|
|Adult Population in Church School||15|
|Teacher Population in Church School||10|
In 2016 the community of St. Andrew's-By-the-Sea celebrated the centennial of our historic chapel. The success of the centennial celebration is attributable to the talented, committed and loving people who participated and came together as a parish as another way to open our doors to the wider community. All willingly shared the love we know in this sacred space, and this event caused many to recommit to our faith and our church. The Spirit was present during our celebration, and the Chapel, an outward and visible sign of the Holy Spirit at work among us, continues as a beacon of hope and spiritual refuge to countless residents and visitors to the Outer Banks. Our motto -- "Fisherman Come as you are" -- welcomes all who come to our seaside community. The celebration included a pictorial history of the chapel, currently displayed in the narthex of our main church; a reception and Art Show 'Sharing Our Artistic Spirit,' featuring parishioners and community artists; a panel discussion with descendants of families who built the chapel, filmed by the Outer Banks History Center; Chapel tours; a Choral Evensong; 'Homecoming' Sunday, where Bishop Skirving officiated a meaningful service with confirmations; music from the Lost Colony Choir; and a picnic on the grounds.
St. Andrew's offers three services weekly, and special occasion services seasonally. An early Sunday service offers a traditional Rite One Eucharist in the Chapel; a late morning Sunday service offers a sung, family-oriented Rite Two Eucharist in the main sanctuary; and an intimate mid-week Eucharist with healing prayers and laying on of hands is offered in the Chapel. Parishioners value greatly the prayer book-centered, richly historic and beautifully traditional liturgy, the core component of our worshipping community. They describe it as spiritual, loving, non-threatening and inclusive, providing spiritual guidance and motivation, opportunities for lay participation, and incorporating musical and other talents of our congregation.
We have several committee ministries in worship, fellowship, discipleship, and community mission. The activities of these committees and how members can serve are regularly communicated through church announcements, bulletins, newsletters, and e-blasts. In addition, committee chairs, vestry members, and clergy continually assess ministry needs and individual spiritual gifts to bring people into active ministry roles. We are not shy about asking for participation of individuals we feel will fill the ministry need, and when asked, people usually respond. A current goal is to develop a process for individual spiritual gift identification and application.
The spiritual, emotional and physical needs of the church are served through a strong and active committee system with committee chairs supported by vestry liaison. Our pastoral care committee services the sick, those facing surgery or other health problems by providing transportation, meals, and any other assistance needed. The parish life committee is innovative in its approach to providing meaningful fellowship opportunities. Adult formation is active through adult Sunday school, women's Bible study and the Brotherhood of St. Andrew with opportunities to grow in knowledge and faith. Outreach also provides opportunities for members to grow in Christian faith by engaging in responses to community spiritual and physical needs.
St. Andrew's is part of the of 67 parishes that comprise the Diocese of East Carolina. The parish itself, consisting of two churches just steps away from the Atlantic Ocean, is considered a spiritual home to residents and seasonal visitors alike, and the Chapel is always open to all for prayer and meditation. Our senior warden has served on the search committee for the current Bishop and on the Diocesan Standing Committee. Our treasurer is also the asst. Diocesan treasurer. Other parishioners participate regularly in diocesan annual convention, clergy conference, and stewardship training. Members of our parish are actively involved with and supportive of our diocese, and our church strives to annually to reach a 10% pledge to the diocesan operating budget. St. Andrew's annually hosts a weekend-long Acolyte Festival that draws youth from across North Carolina and southeastern Virginia. Our Acolytes also take an annual youth trip to the National Cathedral. Our tranquil memorial garden draws many regional visitors whose family members have chosen our Outer Banks church grounds as their final resting place. Parish facilities have served as a place of food and shelter for our transient community, and parishioners are actively engaged in helping others during hurricane or disaster relief.
The Pastoral Care Committee of St. Andrew's oversees a ministry of physical, spiritual and emotional support to parishioners and the wider community. Our mission is to discern and respond actively to a wide variety of needs in a respectful, loving and compassionate way. "Feeding the hungry," the stated mission of "Ruthie's Community Kitchen," is an outreach program welcoming anyone in our community for free food and fellowship. It regularly serves 25-30 guests, with leftover meals sent to those unable to attend. Parishioners have prepared and served food with compassion since 2009. Donations of food staples, clothing, toiletries and personal items are also available. Our members and friends from outside our church plan, prepare and serve meals feeding others in body and spirit in Christ. As Dare County lacks a homeless shelter, a non-profit organization formed to serve the homeless here. "Room in the Inn" is supported by local churches including Saint Andrew's. Host groups provide meals and shelter on a rotating weekly schedule, and for many years our church has opened our hearts and doors to those most in need during weeks between late November and mid-April. At this writing, a permanent location is being established for this ministry, enabling us to focus on pastoral needs rather than sheltering at our church. Saint Andrew's supports this important outreach financially and through many volunteer hours. A fledgling ministry for nursing home visits to residents there who don't have family brings joy to those visited and provides emotional support in a respectful, loving way. We hope to grow this ministry. Parishioners volunteer at the local food pantry, host an annual lifeguard dinner, and pitch in for hurricane and disaster relief. Vacation Bible School reaches youngsters from the community and parish. We serve people in need in our spaces through various 12-step programs and support groups also part of our evangelism. Our Pre-School established in 1984 has programs for children ages 2-5 throughout the week reaching 53 students and families throughout our community.
In support of a Diocesan initiative, our recently-retired rector with other regional leaders implemented a 2018 summer chapel program in the Hatteras community (an hour south of Nags Head). The Diocese provided housing and financial support for two seminarians who organized and officiated morning and evening prayer on Hatteras Island twice weekly. Some St. Andrew's parishioners who live in the Hatteras area attended and some who live closer to Nags Head traveled to those services. The seminarians also attended St. Andrew's, delivering sermons and volunteering at Vacation Bible School.
Parishioners at St. Andrew's perceive their most significant strength as a vibrant sense of community, describing it as a parish home of caring "extended family." Viewed within that communal strength are characteristics of tolerance, inclusiveness and acceptance, active participation, reverence and fellowship; an atmosphere that is welcoming and friendly, relaxed, loving and supportive; a diversity of talents; and a people who are fiscally responsible and good stewards of our sacred spaces. That strong sense of community extends beyond our own doors. For example, members have been active in starting homeless and food programs in our community, and we often open our church for large funerals that cannot be accommodated elsewhere.
To learn more about our life and community, we invite you to visit our parish website.
Some of the challenges St. Andrew's faces are geographically based. We are central in a tourist-driven economy that slows significantly in the winter. The parish membership extends over the entire northern Outer Banks of North Carolina, a geographic area covering 70 miles of barrier islands, making it challenging to get people to return to church other than for worship. When faced with other challenges, including spiritual matters and cultural differences, we address them in a deliberate and thoughtful way. We attempt to make sure that all voices feel they are heard. We then prayerfully address and handle our challenges consistent with Christ's teachings. This was how we worked through having a same gender marriage at our church.
As we look to the future of this parish, we are emphasizing growth, especially in our youth programs. We want to attract and retain more young families. We are also looking at our worship service to see where we can make changes to make the service more dynamic and less repetitive. We are focused on open, welcoming inclusivity, and are implementing a family-oriented, children-friendly format monthly at the late morning Sunday service. As a way to do that, we have increased the paid hours for our Pre-school director, so she can also serve as our Youth Christian Ministry Coordinator. We currently have 19 middle school-aged kids in confirmation class.
Our stewardship program focuses on parishioners' offerings of their time, talent and treasure. St. Andrew's financial stewardship has generally consisted of an annual pledge appeal which kicks off on a specified date with a meal. Mindful of the need to increase both our number of pledges and dollar amount, we have worked to focus on stewardship throughout the year, outside of our annual pledge appeal. We are open to new approaches to stewardship and would be grateful for a new Rector who has fresh ideas.
St. Andrew's strives to be an open, welcoming church. When same sex marriage was approved by the Episcopal General Convention in July 2015, our Rector with guidance from the Diocese began discernment and dialog on this change with the parish in small groups and with individuals. Addressing this topic was uncomfortable for some but with respectful communication we worked through, and continue to work through, difficult conversations. In the fall of 2017 our Rector performed a same sex marriage between two members of our community. We have learned diversity is the cornerstone of St. Andrew's and different opinions are respected. We stress that open and frank communication with one another is the best way to deal with conflict.
The challenge of making our church a welcoming place for youth and families comes up often. Young and older members alike express concern that we need to help youth and young families grow closer to God. How can our liturgy, ministries, and communication methods help youth to know Christ and form a welcoming community for young families? We have an active middle school population with sporadic/fringe attendance of preschool, elementary and high school ages. We now have Sunday school during church, a known trend; however, this has not increased family attendance. We've learned that personal communications with people we want to attend, volunteer, etc. increases participation.
We believe the most important key quality of a priest partnering in leadership with us at this time is that this person would have passionate and enthusiastic energy in spreading God's Word and growing our church.
As we think of other characteristics, we realize the words Pastor, Priest and Leader stand out for us. 1. Our next Rector must serve as "Pastor," a role we root in Christian relationship: caring alike for young and old, strong and weak, rich and poor, nourishing and strengthening the spiritual growth and addressing the spiritual needs of the St. Andrew's flock, being a soul friend in time of need, and establishing a healthy pastoring relationship with our children. 2. The Rector must serve as "Priest": to motivate in us a passion for God, the Word, and our Faith; to be committed to the power of prayer; to evangelize to bring others to God and to our worship community; to convey meaningful expression during services and sermons, with messages reaching many levels; to diligently read, study and teach Holy Scripture; to proclaim the Gospel, declare God's forgiveness and God's blessing, and baptize, celebrate Eucharist, and perform other ministrations entrusted by the church as prescribed by the rites of ordination in the Book of Common Prayer. 3. Our worshipping community requires a clergy "Leader": providing oversight of both the mission of our church and the administrative needs of our operations; an effective delegator; providing vestry guidance; focused on growth; engaging in facilities planning; inspiring financial and stewardship responsibility; involved in the community and able to identify geographical needs; willing to recruit parishioners to fill the needs of our church, and leading us to know and embrace our roles and responsibilities as God's royal priesthood. 4. We look for our next rector to have gifts of the Holy Spirit: comforting, compassionate, empathetic, observant, present, motivating, and a healthy sense of humor.
Priests who would like to express their interest in participating in the discernment of the next Rector of St. Andrew-by-the-Sea Episcopal Church, Nags Head NC in the Diocese of East Carolina need to complete the entire brief survey to be found at this link (this will take about 10 minutes):
You do not need to send additional materials at this time.
Persons who complete the survey at this link will be contacted and informed of next steps in the coming weeks.
The position will receive names through February 10, 2019.