|January 1, 2024
Virginia (Shirley Smith-Graham)
|$130,000 - 140,000
|Diocesan Compensation Info
|Is there a rectory?
|Communicants in Good Standing
|Average Sunday Attendance
Additional comments re: compensation, benefits and housing.
Compensation negotiable based on experience.
Liturgical style and practice
Broad church, BCP-based. See next.
Grace & Holy Trinity Episcopal Church began a hundred years ago when Grace Church, founded in 1858, merged with the newer Holy Trinity Church, which had started life in 1874 in our current location. We are a warm, vibrant, urban church, with parishioners from all greater Richmond residential areas and from widely differing professional and economic backgrounds. Some families have been part of this parish from the beginning. As the city has grown and diversified, this parish and our own families have grown and changed with it.
Our community of faith is rooted in worship, through which we express our love of God, each other, and our neighbors. We are blessed with a long tradition of excellence in music, enriching the services. For more than twenty years, a gifted and highly trained choirmaster and organist has coordinated our music programs with her deep faith and commitment. Her presence contributes a crucial consistency in worship as we have weathered COVID and numerous staff transitions.
The choirmaster and her assistant, also a fine musician and leader, have developed and overseen outreach and fundraisers to further connect us with the communities we serve. In September, we hosted musicians and singers from the Kiev Symphony for a "Hope for Ukraine" concert, through which we raised more than $135,000 to relieve suffering in that war-torn country. A new carillon of ten bells given by an anonymous parishioner enriches both us and everyone within earshot.
Sunday services are the anchor of our communion of faith with each other, while many members and friends also gather at church and elsewhere throughout the week for study, community building, and celebration. The programs we offer children and their families are a priority, and include Sunday school, a children’s choir, training for acolytes, youth Sundays, confirmation retreats, and a special night when staff and volunteers take care of the children while the clergy host a parents’ night out.
The church stands squarely among Richmond's oldest public park; the rapidly expanding Virginia Commonwealth University; and the city's diverse residential Fan District, plotted in 1817 and now on the U.S. National Register of Historic Places. GHTC's handsome stone building, the beauty of our sanctuary, and the thoughtful architecture of the parish hall offer a place of inspiration and spiritual connection to everyone who walks and drives by our church every day. These assets support our outreach to students, faculty, and staff of the university; nearby residents; and the civic, professional, and corporate personnel who work in this part of town.
Central Richmond is home to a number of communities of faith. GHTC has a long history of cooperation with neighboring congregations in service to our neighborhoods and the greater Richmond area. Circles RVA, an innovative hands-on program based on a national model that works to build community to end poverty, was organized at GHTC in collaboration with other congregations and non-profit organizations and meets weekly in our building. Our Red Door Ministry has been providing regular help to people struggling with food insecurity and homelessness since the early 1980s. In collaboration with VCU's dental school, the parish's Missionary Society makes periodic trips to Belize to provide dental care and to organize vision correction for underserved children. Across the street in Monroe Park, both an annual Blessing of the Animals in October and a festive afternoon of caroling with a holiday market at Christmastime attract broad participation from our neighbors. We provide rehearsal space to the widely-admired Greater Richmond Children’s Choir, which repays us with an annual concert.
This parish is financially strong, with a healthy endowment contributing to the annual budget and funding specific ministries and projects. We have been able to count on numerous pledges at many levels of generosity every year. It is clear that parishioners’ active participation in specifically focused lay ministries fosters a sense of kindness and the building of strong relationships, as well as inspiring generosity among those ministries’ active members.
The factors from which we draw strength also lead to some of our challenges. Because we work to find creative and effective ways to engage with the community and to sustain our mission beyond episodic events, this large, increasingly diverse parish with many backgrounds, views, and needs cannot always find consensus, which can complicate the decisions that must be made by the clergy and lay leadership. Our annual pledges, though sizeable, have not always been able to fully fund our annual program. Our beautiful 135-year-old building requires upkeep and occasional renovation to continue to meet the congregation’s and the community’s needs. If not for the income provided by our endowment, we would be unable to provide all our current programs.
Because our congregation isn't drawn from one well-defined geographic area, we struggle to grow our membership and to involve more participants in our programs. We have much to offer young families through Christian formation for all ages, and are very much aware of the need to get more such families involved in the life of the parish to build an even more vibrant church. Our outreach to the members of the VCU community has grown in recent years, but much more needs to be done to provide a home-away-from-home for students and a gathering place of faith for faculty and staff.
We acknowledge the need to continue creating and implementing consistent and transparent policies and practices for the administration of the church and as guidance to our ministries. There have been numerous staff changes over the last four years. We feel blessed to have relatively new young staff members who are eager to serve. This talented group welcomes guidance, mentorship, and leadership. Our vestry, previous rector, and current priest locum tenens have begun this work, and we can report an enthusiastic appreciation within the staff for these efforts, but there is more to be done. The priest-in-charge will have the opportunity to bring the staff together with a clear vision and to provide the leadership to streamline and strengthen their performance.
What We Seek in the Priest-in-Charge (with intent to convert to Rector)
For much of our long history, GHTC has been fortunate to have leadership grounded in scripture and enhanced by scholarship. We value sermons from our clergy that interpret scripture to speak to the struggles of daily life and to reveal the grace, peace, love, and hope found through faith in God. And we appreciate sermons that appeal to all ages and inspire us together to be instruments of God’s love.
Grace & Holy Trinity is looking for leadership both to build our fellowship as a community and to help us reach out to the wider world for continued growth in the beloved programs we have begun. As the parish’s most visible messenger, we expect our priest-in-charge to help us communicate clearly and frequently about the mission of this parish, the people who make up our congregation, the programs we offer, and our direction as a community of faith.
We are looking for someone who can help us strengthen our staff, volunteers, and lay and ordained ministers in the collaborative effort required to better organize our operations and to acknowledge everyone who makes valuable contributions to our work.
We intend to continue to organize existing programs so that they work cooperatively together and support our foundational mission. In this way we mean to assure full support for the pastoral care and spiritual growth that nurtures all the people of Grace & Holy Trinity as disciples of Christ Jesus. And our priest-in-charge will always be welcome to join us in celebrations, building community, experiencing joy, and leading others to experience the love of God.
To make application, please send cover letter, OTM, and resume to the Rev'd Shirley Smith Graham, Transition Minister, firstname.lastname@example.org.