St. James’ Episcopal Church

at Rector or Priest-in-Charge
Location Lewisburg
Date Posted September 7, 2022
Category West Virginia (Chad Slater)
Job Type Full Time
Setting Town
Compensation $82,891
Diocesan Compensation Info http://www.wvdiocese.org/pages/pdfs/Clergy-fulltime.pdf
Health Benefits Full Family
Housing Supplied Housing
Is there a rectory? Yes
If there IS a rectory, is it optional or required that cleric live there? Required
If there IS a rectory, is the compensation figure above inclusive of fair market value of rectory? Yes
If there IS a rectory, how many bedrooms and bathrooms? 4 bedrooms, 2 bath
Equity Allowance Negotiable
Average Sunday Attendance 34 (twice that before COVID)
Budget $180,000

Description

Additional comments re: compensation, benefits and housing.

Stipend $44,000 Rect. Value $30,000 Utilities $3,000 SECA $5,891

Liturgical style and practice

St. James’ liturgical style is steeped in the full breadth of the Anglican tradition – from the Sunday Eucharist following the liturgical calendar to the Wednesday morning Eucharist commemorating feast days from the Holy Women, Holy Men supplement. As many of us have come to the Episcopal Church from other traditions, we celebrate the flexibility allowed in the many services outlined in the Book of Common Prayer as we continue to educate ourselves in the liturgy. Our worship style is somewhere between medium and high church (bells, no smells), but always rich and reverent. The 8:30 Sunday service is always Rite I, the 10:30 service is usually Rite II although it has sometimes been Rite I during penitential liturgical seasons.

Strengths

Participating in corporate worship, belonging to a Christian fellowship, and providing assistance in our surrounding community are all often mentioned when asking parishioners why they come to St. James’.

Worship
The people of St. James’ have an infectious enthusiasm and joy for participating in the liturgy of the Episcopal Church. Worship is the glue and foundation of all other parish activities. Thanks to the guidance of previous priests, we have a core of parishioners who are accustomed to contemplative prayer, Taizé worship, silent retreat, and other opportunities that bring us closer to God. While the Book of Common Prayer and The Hymnal 1982 are our primary tools for services, we are comfortable with services that include other resources for music, prayer, and forms of worship.

Fellowship
Without a doubt there is a strong sense of family at St. James’. We are linked by our faith. We are welcoming and warm, accepting of our differences, and truly concerned about each other’s welfare. During the pandemic, we all missed that time together in worship and in fellowship. We found creative ways to be together safely, such as hikes, picnics, and Lemonade on the Lawn.
We checked on each other with phone calls, cards, emails, and texts. We offered virtual worship services, coffee hours, and book studies through Zoom, Facebook, and YouTube.
Through our Feed the Flock ministry, we provide meals for parishioners in need. We have coffee hour in our parish hall, and in the summer, Lemonade on the Lawn after our 10:30am Sunday worship. Upon family request, we provide a reception following a funeral or memorial service.
Like most Episcopal Churches, we begin our Lenten season with our Shrove Tuesday Pancake Supper. We have a weekly Lenten study that may include a simple meal. We recently hosted an Agape meal for Episcopal churches in the Greenbrier Valley.

Community Involvement
Within hours of our county experiencing a devastating flood in June 2016, St. James’ became the initial relief hub, and the United Way of the Greenbrier Valley operated out of our parish hall for many weeks. We were a distribution center for supplies and for financial assistance.
Contributions for flood relief to the diocese were channeled through St. James’ to recipients who used gift cards to replace appliances and furniture lost in the flood.
Parishioners assisted flood victims with clean-up at their homes or businesses. Others volunteered at sites where cleaning supplies, clothing, and household items were being distributed.

Challenges

Stewardship Education
While we conduct an annual canvas and pledge drive, it has been several years since we’ve actively engaged in a formal stewardship education program. We recognize the need to establish a substantial additional endowment that will allow us to address any budget deficits. Although we
have three invested funds totaling over $130,000, we have no active planned giving program.

Children and Youth
The number of children and youth has fluctuated over the years. Before the pandemic caused in-person church activities to pause, we had an active Sunday School for younger children which has not resumed. We recognize the need to better address the needs of our children and teens.

Technology
As with many churches across the country, the pandemic showed our inexperience with the use of more sophisticated technology. We have a website, a Zoom account, and a Facebook page; however, we realize our website needs to be updated, and that there are other social media platforms which would be useful in making St. James’ more visible in our community.

Appearance and Maintenance of Church Property
A current concern is addressing long-standing maintenance issues and upgrading the appearance of the church, rectory, and grounds. Particular attention needs to be given to the entrance into the Education Building where our church office is located. It needs to be welcoming and uncluttered. We are trying to address our maintenance issues and upgrade the interiors and exteriors of the church, office building, and rectory and the appearance of the grounds. The Vestry considers this a priority.

Comments

St. James’ Episcopal Church is situated in the heart of Lewisburg, West Virginia, voted “Coolest Small Town in America” and heralded as a travel destination in the heart of Appalachia.

The church is within walking distance of the downtown Historic District, with boutiques, cafés, bakeries, coffee shops, and art galleries. Not only is the town of 3,900 a destination, but so are the surrounding areas, where you can hike, bike, cave, or float down the river.

A lively arts scene and sense of community permeate the local culture. You can find yourself at a free Ivy Terrace summer concert, the Farmer’s Market on a Saturday morning, strolling downtown on First Fridays, or attending annual events like the Lewisburg Chocolate Festival, the Lewisburg Literary Festival, or Taste of Our Towns. You can watch children play in the splash pad in the community Green Space, sing in a community choir, and catch live music and theater at Lewisburg’s Carnegie Hall and Greenbrier Valley Theatre, the State Professional Theatre of West Virginia.

We seek a priest who is good-natured, actively engaged in the life of St. James’ and the community, a perceptive listener, respectful of various points of view, and willing to visit parishioners at home.

We understand the importance of self-care and taking time to pursue personal and family interests. We encourage our priest to find that balance between parish and personal life. We look forward to our priest joining us in our community service initiatives – both secular and faith-based.

We desire to be guided by a priest who recognizes that each of us is on a spiritual journey and who is eager to encourage our growth through study, prayer, and worship. Enthusiasm for liturgy is important to us.

We want what is said from the pulpit to relate to our lives and help us gain perspective on issues facing the church and society.

Because our church is not in a position to employ a full parish staff, it is imperative to have a priest with strong organizational and administrative skills who is comfortable prioritizing and delegating tasks.

We seek someone with whom we can minister together.  Is it you?

Contact Information

If the Holy Spirit inspires you to look further, please check the Office of Transition Ministry website for our Portfolio Profile or contact the Rev. Canon Chad Slater, Canon to the Ordinary and Transition Officer for the Diocese of West Virginia, at cslater@wvdiocese.org for additional information. To apply, please send Canon Slater a cover letter, copy of your OTM portfolio, and resume.
May God bless you as you discern.