St. James Montross and St. Paul’s Nomini Grove

at Priest-in-Charge
Location Montross
Date Posted November 6, 2022
Category Virginia (Shirley Smith-Graham & Ed Keithly)
Job Type Half Time
Setting Rural
Compensation $45,213
Diocesan Compensation Info https://www.thediocese.net/Customer-Content/www/CMS/files/Finance_and_Management/6_2021_Compensation_Guidelines.pdf
Health Benefits Negotiable
Housing Supplied Housing
Is there a rectory? Yes
If there IS a rectory, is it optional or required that cleric live there? Optional
If there IS a rectory, is the compensation figure above inclusive of fair market value of rectory? No
If there IS a rectory, how many bedrooms and bathrooms? 4 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms
Equity Allowance No
Communicants in Good Standing 116 (combined)
Average Sunday Attendance 43 (combined)
Budget $122,687 (combined)

Description

Liturgical style and practice

Broad church style, prayerbook worship, emphasis on high quality preaching applicable to the practice of Christian faith in daily life

Strengths

This is a remarkable partnership of two churches which share a common heritage and have, since inception, been used to sharing a clergyperson. The sharing works so that each congregation has the priest two Sundays per month. It is the custom of a significant number of church members to attend both churches. Each church has its own vestry and finances, and communication between the lay leaders of the two churches is very good.

During the time without a settled minister, the lay leadership has worked to further strengthen the intentional cooperation between the two congregations. The new goal of the partnership is to create a collaborative environment that provides for and nurtures the continued existence and spiritual growth of St. James and St. Paul's. Objectives toward this goal include: 1) providing for the spiritual leadership and pastoral care necessary to facilitate realizing this goal and 2) facilitating the collaboration of St. James and St. Paul's parishes, as well as any other parish that may wish to join the collaboration.

Other strengths include:

  • good liturgies, solid theological grounding, and well-organized lay leadership
  • strong food panty that draws donors, volunteers and plenty of clients
  • balance between discipleship and service
  • tech-savvy congregation that makes worship services available online and communicates through social media
  • Catechesis of the Good Shepherd for children
  • good financial footing
  • well-maintained, parish-owned rectory in charming town in the heart of "Historyland"
  • peaceful, agricultural area -- good for reviving the spirit and lowering the stress
  • beautiful, modest and well-maintained church buildings
  • pleasant offices for clergy and administrator
  • Northern Neck region has a strong, intergenerational group of lay and clergy leaders who are working across parish bounds to strengthen training for lay ministers and looking at other ways to cooperate
  • can-do attitude among parishioners

Challenges

St. James and St. Paul's see many opportunities including:

  • increasing community awareness of the parishes and their contributions to the community
  • expanding food pantry activities, to address family food emergencies in other churches
  • partnering with other churches
  • growth made challenging by being in a rural area with small and static population -- potential for growth as there are more people working from home (proximate to D.C. and Richmond)
  • advertising and expanding community outreach
  • exploring renting church facilities to other congregations
  • conducting activities like community dinners to increase visibility
  • creating a meet and greet committee to welcome new families to the community
  • establishing a presence at farmers markets, 1st Fridays and other public venues to be inviting and welcoming

Comments

These congregations are full of open-hearted and compassionate people committed to gospel-centered ministry and the wellbeing of their community, especially those who are vulnerable. This would be a great ministry situation for a cleric who has the opportunity to work 20-hour week ministry -- being bi-vocational, semi-retired, or part of a family that is supplementing income.

Contact Information

The Reverend Shirley Smith Graham, ssmithgraham@thediocese.net, 804-622-3180