St. David’s on the Hill

at Priest in Charge
Location Cranston
Date Posted May 27, 2022
Category Rhode Island (Dena Cleaver-Bartholomew)
Job Type 1/4 Time
Setting Suburban
Compensation $20,382
Diocesan Compensation Info https://www.episcopalri.org/11985-2/
Health Benefits Full Family
Housing None
Is there a rectory? No
Equity Allowance No
Communicants in Good Standing 75
Average Sunday Attendance 37
Budget $102,721

Description

Liturgical style and practice

Our Worship Committee works with available clergy to plan worship services. Our worship values a Broad Church view, generally using the BCP, Rite II for the Eucharist, Morning Prayer, or Compline. Our intercessory prayers are from Sundays and Seasons, a Lutheran document. Technology has permitted us to livestream a weekly Sunday morning service to include present and online attendance. The Music Director plays the organ and piano and conducts the choir and talented church members, who play a variety of instruments (such as flutes, guitar, and mandolin) to enhance both traditional hymns and contemporary musical selections. A team of parishioners developed a Sunday evening alternative worship service that was held only twice before the pandemic closed the church.

Strengths

We care for each other with personal contact and communication—reaching out by phone, cards and notes, online messages, or home visits. A book group meets every 6 to 8 weeks. Our private Facebook group, Saints of St. David’s, is a forum for daily conversation. We have a prayer group, licensed Eucharistic Ministers, and a weekly published list of those who need prayers. Recently, we have initiated a healing Circle of Prayer after worship on the first Sunday each month. Our services are livestreamed to reach those who are unable to attend services in person. A weekly Bible study, Engaging in God’s Word, including time for socializing, is available on Zoom. Use of our shared talents enhances our wellbeing. Of course, during the pandemic, we have practiced all COVID safety measures.

Our outreach to the community includes weekly collection of food and monthly work at the Interfaith Food Ministry. We also provide a monthly meal and seasonal gifts to mothers at Sstarbirth (a residential substance abuse treatment program). St. David’s parishioners support Church Beyond the Walls (a street church community) with clothing collections, food prep, and service participation. Collected clothing, food and supplies are delivered to Emmanuel House (a men’s homeless shelter) and the Juanita Sanchez Project (a high school backpack program of food for the weekends).

Challenges

Unexpected and sudden loss of clergy in the midst of pandemic has been the biggest change in our church. Strong wardens, Vestry, and lay leaders have encouraged us to pull together for worship and involvement in our many ministries, which have gone remarkably well. We have lost members—those who have needed in-person worship or physical receipt of the Eucharist. Young families with children have been a major loss for our parish. Pandemic limitations and loss of our Sunday school have had the biggest impact on our congregation. But we have made a concerted effort to reach out to each other with notes, phone calls, emails, Zoom meetings, our weekly newsletter, the eLamp, and social media. We have learned connection and support are critical. Our daily conversations on the private Facebook group page has helped that personal reach.

Comments

When the financial situation began to decline during the pandemic and it became obvious they would not be able to support a full time position, the priest left with little notice.  This has made a lasting impact on the congregation. They have had a short term interim, followed by a long term supply priest who then accepted another call. The Senior Warden has been faithful and patient in finding supply clergy and working with diocesan leadership over a long transition during a pandemic. The church has gone from having a full time priest to offering a quarter time position, which is quite an adjustment for them.

Contact Information

The Rev. Canon Dr. Dena Cleaver-Bartholomew, Canon to the Ordinary

401-274-4500 x232 dena@episcopalri.org