|Date Posted||September 13, 2022|
Washington (Robert Phillips)
|Diocesan Compensation Info||https://edow.org/wp-content/uploads/sites/2/2021/10/2022-Compensation-Guidelines-for-Clergy.docx.pdf|
|Health Benefits||Clergy + 1|
|Is there a rectory?||No|
|Communicants in Good Standing||419|
|Average Sunday Attendance||98|
|Child Population in Church School||See Note Below|
|Adult Population in Church School||See Note Below|
|Teacher Population in Church School||See Note Below|
Additional comments re: compensation, benefits and housing.
Includes housing, cash stipend, and SECA (*Negotiable)
Liturgical style and practice
Broad Church, Rite II
Last December we received an invitation from St. Patrick's Anglican Church in Whitehead, N.
Ireland to link up with them in a parish partnership. They had launched a virtual walk to
raise money and encourage their parishioners to exercise. They proposed ‘walking’ to our
church and hoped we would connect and mark their arrival in some way. Their parishioners
would walk, run, bike or row and track their miles to gather enough to walk from
Whitehead to DC, about 3,800 miles.
We accepted and jointly designed the partnership, including a Feast Day celebration to
honor our mutual patron saint on March 20, 2022. We created a live virtual church service
(no small technology feat) with each church contributing parts, including singing and
instrumentals. It was exhilarating!
Afterwards, we began the trek to walk our new friends home. Between March 20th and
mid-June, we walked, rowed, and biked the return trip and tracked our miles. It was a fun
way to stay active as a parish and over the six months, we connected through shared
information about our churches and communities.
We look forward to doing a joint service again, hopefully making it a yearly tradition to
celebrate our patron saint.
Following the Black Lives Matter protests, a few sermons/communications were
experienced by some in the parish as being 'political'; and therefore inappropriate for
church. The Rector spoke with the Vestry to gain their insights and feelings on the
matter. The Vestry supported the Rector and the substance of his sermons/communications
but agreed that the Rector needed to address the issue directly.
The Rector spoke with those individuals who had been vocal about their displeasure, and he
made a good faith effort to work through their differences. He wrote about the issue in our
Wednesday email to the congregation and talked about it from the pulpit, so the parish was
aware of the conversation. In this way, he publicly acknowledged the subject and reiterated
his pledge to be more mindful when addressing certain topics. However, he was crystal
clear about what the Bible had to say about the matter and how Jesus' teachings led him to
his position. Several Vestry members had courageous conversations with fellow
parishioners, listened to each other, and made changes to move forward together. While
not all agreed with the outcome, the issue was openly discussed, and all had a voice.
The parish is connected to a school (Pre-K - 8th Grade)
500 Students, 113 Teachers, Staff 133.
We made several recent changes to remain connected as a community, and learned that we
are a resilient, adaptable, innovative congregation who wants to gather to fulfill our
mission. We created monthly touchpoints to worship or pick up items to carry on shared
traditions; developed outdoor worship services including supportive technology and Covid
safety protocols; read and discussed Bishop Curry's book; initiated a pick-up station for
communion wafers; provided Mardi Gras/Pancake Suppers in a bag, Shepherd’s Pie for our
feast day, and Christmas bags of cocoa/chocolate chip cookie mix; and made Advent
wreaths outdoors. Our women's Bible group successfully transitioned to Zoom.
The biggest challenge was that a small group—including the Rector, staff, Vestry and a small
core group of volunteers—kept things going, particularly the Rector and staff. We were, and
in some ways remain, in danger of creating burnout. We have had challenges in general
building a strong group of participants for our missions (altar/tech/flower/usher guilds, etc.)
and adult formation, but the pandemic highlighted and exacerbated the issue. We are
experimenting to determine what will reverse this trend.
The Rev. Canon Robert T. Phillips