|Date Posted||May 25, 2017|
Connecticut (Rev. Lee Ann Tolzmann)
|Compensation||We meet Diocesan Guidelines.|
|Health Benefits||Full Family|
|Communicants in Good Standing||600|
|Average Sunday Attendance||161|
|Child Population in Church School||45|
|Adult Population in Church School||20|
|Teacher Population in Church School||15|
Growing in Faith. Building Community. Embracing our Neighbors. This is St. Paul’s mission statement and true vision, which we strongly embrace. Worship is central to the life of St. Paul’s as we seek to deepen our relationship with God; wherever one is in their journey with God. We work hard to greet and welcome newcomers as they enter our church so they can feel comfortable and at ease. The table at which we celebrate the Eucharist is God’s table and we seek to be fully inclusive by offering gluten free wafers and juice in addition to the standard Elements.
St. Paul’s is rooted and nurtured in the Episcopal tradition. Music of this tradition is an honored and vital part of our worship. We would invite our new rector to share in our delight in the power of music to move us spiritually. Our treble choir provides a warm and stable environment, which is foundational to our strong youth formation program.
Finally, we are a caring, supportive community of families and individuals with diverse economic and religious backgrounds; all of which contribute to a robust parish, eager to share their time, treasure and talents. Our community partnerships and outreach are diverse and rich. There is something for everyone at St. Paul’s. Just one example of making an impact on our greater community is our partnership with HomeFront. This annual event brings parish volunteers, skilled and unskilled, together to renovate/improve a home in neighboring Bridgeport. The gratitude from the family has a huge impact on our volunteers; it is affirmation and a blessing. St. Paul’s is excited to invite our new rector to further strengthen community partnerships such as HomeFront to further advance God’s mission in the world.
St. Paul’s recognizes that the people make the parish, not the priest. Nevertheless, it has been a challenging time of transition for our church. Frustrations with the length of time that has elapsed since the departure of our last rector were coupled with pain and disappointment of a priest being let go for financial reasons. Some stepped back waiting to see what would happen next.
Yet, even with these bumps in the road, St. Paul’s programs continue to thrive and attendance and pledging remain steady. Like many parishes across New England, we are concerned with growing our membership numbers and spreading a message of God’s love and hope.
Finances are always of concern as we strive to keep our wonderful programs afloat. We greatly increased our pledging for the 2016 church year as a result of the majority of parish being visited by members of the Every Member Canvass team. While the total dollar amount raised in the 2017 pledge drive was not as high as in 2016, the average pledge per household is the highest it has ever been. We do take a draw from the interest on the endowment annually in order to cover our budget. Under the guidance of our seasoned wardens and vestry, we fight to continue to meet our financial needs while keeping our endowment intact for future generations. While our programs remain intact, we would like to grow them but that would take additional resources. During this transition time, our youth program has declined which is an area of great concern as the youth in our church are valued members of our Christian community.
Communication within our parish is a challenge as we utilize traditional methods (bulletin, newsletter, announcements, weekly emails and our website) but we would like to explore new types of social media to reach each member to keep all lines of communication open, especially as we search for our new rector.
In seeking a new rector, our parish would welcome a spiritual leader who will guide us to deepen our relationship and connection with God. We would like to create a partnership with a rector who will challenge us in our personal, spiritual growth as well as our growth as a church and our role in the greater community. We desire a rector who shares in our delight and joy in the power of music within worship to move us spiritually. A rector who recognizes the gifts and talents of our youth and celebrates it with us is most desired. We would welcome a priest who embraces fellowship and traditions yet would be a facilitator of our parish’s desire to try and explore new initiatives. We are looking for someone who will help us carry out God’s mission, through our church, to the greatest extent possible.
We are a fun and dynamic parish that is not afraid to get to work, and we welcome fellowship, as well as some time honored traditions, which we are excited to share. We have been waiting for our new rector for some time now. We are eager to welcome our called rector (and his/her family) with open arms and create a marriage in Christ’s ministry.