Immanuel Highlands Episcopal Church

at Rector
Location Wilmington
Date Posted September 12, 2023
Category Delaware (Martha Kirkpatrick)
Job Type Full Time
Setting Urban
Compensation 85800
Diocesan Compensation Info
Health Benefits Full Family
Housing Housing Allowance
Is there a rectory? No
Equity Allowance No
Anglo-Catholic no
Average Sunday Attendance 57
Broad Church yes
Child Population in Church School 10
Charismatic no
Adult Population in Church School 30
Contemporary no
Emergent no
Teacher Population in Church School 2
Morning Prayer no
Budget $525928
Non-Traditional no
Prayer Book yes
Renewal yes
Rite I no
Rite II yes


Liturgical style and practice

Our worship services are shaped by the seasons, feasts and fasts of the church calendar. We have two Sunday services - the 8:00 AM spoken and 10:30 AM choral Eucharist. We follow Rite II from the 1979 BCP at both services, and we sing (mostly) from the 1982 Hymnal at the later service. We kneel at the altar rail at 8, we gather around a free-standing altar at 10:30. While the service is formal, our style is warm, personal and welcoming. We have in the past celebrated major feast days (Epiphany, All Saints) with festival Eucharists and parish dinners. Advent and Lent are times of intentional spiritual preparation. Holy Week is a day-by-day walk with Jesus, from palms celebration, through solemn passion and death, an Easter morning vigil in darkness, and a joyful Festival Eucharist. The choir offers evensong (Rite I) several times a year. Children and youth create pageants and reenactments of important stories of our faith. We embrace and are open to all styles, from incense, bells and chanting, to Taize and kites in procession, in our many voices of praise to the Lord.


We are a lively community in a quiet neighborhood in Wilmington, with a beautiful worship space, a legacy of prayer and faith, and a wonderful music program.

We have devised a unique and creative position whereby within a full-time position, the new rector will be asked to dedicate 75% of his or her time to the ordinary duties of a rector and 25% as the catalyst for strengthening our lay-led programs for children and youth. The “youth” portion of the salary will be covered by a fund restricted to that purpose. The “rector” portion of the salary will be covered by our operating budget, thus reducing that share of the budget. This means that the rector will get one Sunday a month off from preaching and celebrating and will not be expected to be present that Sunday. We feel this is a just and thoughtful recognition of a rector's time and that s/he is not expected to "do it all," but rather to be our partner in ministry.

We are not sentimental about the parish we once were; instead, we are excited about the parish we will become. Having a preacher on only three of four Sundays will increase the visible lay involvement of the parish and reinforce our commitment to financial discipline. Having operated without a rector for a year now, Immanuel has demonstrated admirable inner strength. With a collaborative rector who shares a commitment to our immediate future, we are confident of a vibrant longer-term future.


Like many Episcopal churches, Immanuel has for too long avoided talking openly about money.  Our investment portfolio has let us fund our operations without significant change despite declining revenue.  But the portfolio cannot sustain the current level of withdrawals indefinitely.

Recognizing the risk of silence, we now talk candidly about our finances.  Stewardship has been presented as a joyous part of worshiping a generous and bountiful God.  We have worked diligently to reduce our operating budget.  After decades without it, we have restored the offering plate so that parishioners and visitors can share in our mission.  We appealed successfully to the congregation recently to raise $300,000 toward building repairs of $500,000.  We are trusting parishioners to affirm our clear-eyed approach to financial stewardship and they have: the pledged amount for 2023 is significantly greater than for 2022 and includes both new and increased pledges.  Confident and growing financial stewardship is now woven into the fabric of Immanuel Highlands church. We have taken a hard and honest look at falling attendance and membership along with reduced giving and an aging congregation. We realize we need to energize and grow membership and giving. The beautiful stone building is a wonderful asset and awe-inspiring worship space, which over its roughly 100-year history has had varying degrees of care and maintenance. A major element of our Strategic Plan is renewed stewardship of our building.


We are not looking for someone to rescue or "fix" us, but to partner with us as we go forward in joy. We need and want an energized rector who works collaboratively, is encouraging and pastoral, 0pen to new ideas, creative, even entrepreneurial, and has a deep spirit.

Contact Information

Please visit our website at

Applicants please send cover letter, resume and OTM profile to:

Rev. Canon Martha Kirkpatrick at