Nativity Episcopal Church

Priest-in-Charge

Date Posted January 3, 2019
Diocese Michigan (Jim Gettel)
Location Bloomfield Township
Position Type Half Time

Position Details

Setting Suburban
Compensation Negotiable
Health Benefits Negotiable
Housing Housing Allowance
Equity Allowance No

Parish Profile

Communicants in Good Standing 35
Average Sunday Attendance 20
Budget 97,000
Broad Church yes
Morning Prayer yes
Prayer Book yes
Rite II yes

Strengths

Nativity Episcopal Church, Bloomfield Township, Michigan (http://nativityepiscopalchurch.org/) is inclusive, welcoming, accepting and open to all; we have a strong commitment and history of sharing our talents, time, and support in all aspects of our beloved church and its members. Our membership is diverse. We strive to be in relationship with each other and to provide opportunities for all to participate in our worship and mission.

The mission of Nativity’s Community is to create an environment where:
• Christians love and serve God, one another, and those in need;
• Spiritual growth is encouraged and celebrated;
• Individuality is accepted without judgment;
• People are empowered to use God’s gifts and bear witness to Christ in their family, work and social lives.

Nativity is an intimate congregation, and we strive to respond to God’s calling by celebrating an enlightened, progressive spirit and being open to new ideas. We value relevant liturgy and cutting edge sermons, applying scripture as it reflects real time to our greater community. Our Rite II Eucharist and Morning Prayer services incorporate Prayers of the People and The Great Thanksgiving from Feasting on the Word and other modern sources. Many members of the congregation serve as lectors, Morning Prayer leaders, licensed lay preachers and intercessors. We support the work of a member of the Association of Roman Catholic Women Priests, who several times a year presides at a service for us which uses inclusive language for both Scripture and liturgy. With all of these volunteers, our worship is fairly informal. We rely primarily on The Hymnal 1982 and LEVAS II for our hymns, but service music is drawn from Wonder, Love, and Praise, and other contemporary sources. Our pick-up choir offers music from a variety of traditions at Christmas and Easter.

We currently have a Deacon assigned to us, who excels at pastoral care and assisting at worship. We have an accomplished Organist/Pianist, a former music teacher, who provides music from the Hymnal, LEVAS, and other religious and classical sources.

Outreach is an important part of who we are: we may be small and yet we are mighty when it comes to outreach. We have always exercised social activism and will continue to have a voice in and support community action projects. With our small congregational size, our current outreach efforts consist primarily of financial and material donations to organizations such as Freedom House, Mariner’s Inn, Common Ground, and South Oakland Shelter. We do assist St. David’s (Southfield) with preparation of an evening meal when they are hosting SOS. We hold an investment with the Opportunity Resource Fund. Our continued outreach goal is to expand, go out into the world and develop more relationships.

We have a history of social activism, inviting speakers from both sides of modern controversies, attending Worship services at Williams International (manufacturer of weaponry), marching in protest events and other such activities, although our involvement has diminished due to the age of many of our parishioners.

Nativity, the church and its grounds, is nestled in a quiet residential neighborhood, with an elementary school and three other churches as close neighbors. Our large landscaped lot includes a labyrinth, which is open to all at any time; a children’s playground area and basketball hoop; and some potential vegetable gardening space. We have a Memorial Garden, where the ashes of many of our former parishioners are buried. Most of the building sits at ground level and we have an elevator, so the building is accessible to any with disabilities. We share this space with the New Outlook Ministries congregation, whose song-and-praise style of worship livens our Sundays. We provide meeting space for a number of AA groups, a camera club, a French class, a calligraphy class and other community organizations promoting language education, art, and photography. Our goal is to more completely utilize our building and property.

Challenges

We are looking for a proactive priest (part-time Priest-In-Charge) to partner and grow with us – one who will help us build and strengthen relationships with our tenants, neighbors and the institutions in our community, in order to participate more fully in outreach and service.

We want to expand our moving into the world, through outreach, social activism, and participation in community organizations. If we obtain new members from those efforts, that will be a bonus, but we want our ministry to those institutions to be revitalized. We hope to increase our membership, with an emphasis on inclusiveness and diversity, in order to provide a loving family for those in need.

We need to proclaim our presence to our community, “branding” Nativity and its mission through social media, marketing and broader communication and an active web site, in order to extend our mission to a wider audience.

We need help in further developing our spiritual growth, to supplement our worship activities mentioned above.

We need to maintain a balanced budget and financial viability. We are financially challenged, but have an endowment fund, the income from which assists in balancing our budget.

Comments

We can structure compensation for this half-time position working within the priest’s needs (for salary, housing, benefits) and the congregation’s budget.

Contact Information

If our desires to reach out to our community and grow together excite you as they do us, we invite you to explore our website and to submit an application if you feel called to do so.

To apply for this position, please send a resume, cover letter, OTM Portfolio, and two sample sermons (in any format) to:

Jim Gettel
Canon for Congregational Life
Episcopal Diocese of Michigan
jgettel@edomi.org
313-833-4424