St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church

at Interim Rector
Location Goldsboro
Date Posted April 21, 2020
Category East Carolina (Mollie Roberts)
Job Type Full Time
Setting Town
Compensation $111,563 (including housing allowance)
Health Benefits Clergy + 1
Housing Housing Allowance
Equity Allowance No
Communicants in Good Standing 292
Average Sunday Attendance 93
Adult Population in Church School 12
Teacher Population in Church School 15
Budget $460,553
Anglo-Catholic no
Broad Church yes
Charismatic no
Contemporary no
Emergent no
Morning Prayer no
Non-Traditional no
Prayer Book yes
Renewal yes
Rite I yes
Rite II yes

Description

Strengths

St. Stephen’s is a diverse mix of people who share a common theme:  a love of Christ celebrated with the traditional Episcopal liturgy and expressed through numerous missions both within our parish and in our community. We are a kind, caring, welcoming, and generous congregation. Our church is located in downtown Goldsboro, NC and has been a presence in this community since 1857.  Goldsboro is the seat of Wayne County. It lies approximately 60 miles east of Raleigh and 100 miles from the Atlantic Ocean. It is the home of Seymour Johnson Air Force Base.
St.Stephen’s parish has a rich history of service and commitment to improving the lives of the many diverse populations within our community.  Due to our efforts and leadership the area is home to a soup kitchen for the hungry, a sheltered workshop for the handicapped, a migrant farmworkers ministry, a Protestant preschool program and the parish of St. Francis.  We currently partner with a middle school where, in addition to providing support and supplies for staff members, we mentor a group of at-risk female students during their 3 years there.  Our parishioners are not content to  “rest on their laurels”.  We are actively engaging in the study of poverty in our area with the aim of focusing on “our next big thing”.
Many of St. Stephen’s outreach ministries would not be possible without the enthusiastic and committed women of the parish.  The ladies of the ECW and St. Hilda’s guild are a driving force in community service programs as well as fellowship activities within the church. They are responsible for our “care and feeding” and we are blessed by these well organized, high energy groups and the pastoral care they provide.
Due to dedicated and dynamic leadership, the programs for youth at St. Stephen’s are thriving. From attendance on Sunday morning in our Godly Play classes to EYC activities within the the church and diocese, St.Stephen’s youth are hearing the Gospel and following its message.  They are willingly serving in worship as acolytes, crucifers and flag bearers.
In addition to freely sharing their time and talents, our parishioners are quick to share their treasures.  We are blessed to be financially sound with leadership committed to maintaining a balanced budget. Parishioners have given generously to ensure that major renovations to our building and grounds would be accomplished without debt and without limitations to our outreach programs. We are enjoying the beautiful results of our “new” church.

Challenges

As with any congregation in an era of declining church membership and attendance, St. Stephen’s faces both current and long-term challenges. Given the overall health and age-diversity of our congregants, we do, however, feel encouraged and inspired to address these challenges in a way that is faithful to our long history and sustainable for the future of our community.

Poverty is a vexing issue in most communities across our nation and particularly in Eastern North Carolina. Goldsboro is no exception. St. Stephen’s has a proud history of community engagement and partnership to support and walk alongside the “least of these.” Because we are a downtown church, poverty and homelessness is frequently at our doorstep. We have embarked on a period of internal reflection to think through how we can address those issues and support partner agencies in the community who are seeking to build a more equitable future for our neighbors and us. We are excited to be on this path but also realistic about the enormity of the problem we are trying to address.

While St. Stephen’s recently completed one of the more successful stewardship campaigns in recent memory, with an encouraging number of new pledges, we know that a disproportionate amount of our largest and most faithful stewards are aging. Our challenge for our next stewardship campaign is to not only increase our pledging units but also encourage an increase in the amount of pledges across the board to offset the potential lose of those important congregants in the coming years. While we feel assured of the dedication of our congregation to the fiscal health of our parish, we also know that churches across the country are increasingly struggling to engage younger generations to be more a part of their overall charitable giving.

Goldsboro is a proud military community, with a recurring influx of young adults and families being stationed at Seymour Johnson Air Force Base. One of our challenges is engaging those transplants in a way that makes them feel welcomed and want to be a part of our faith community. The same is true for our county’s growing Latino population, much of which is made up of young families. The challenge for our congregation is how do we reach out to that community in a way that makes them feel welcome and respected.

One of our biggest challenges in terms of worship life is our music program. We are fortunate to have a strong director of music but have struggled in recent years with a lack of participation in the adult choir and the need for younger congregants to join and participate. We are fortunate to have significant interest in our children’s choir program, but have struggled there too in recent years with transitions in the role of the children’s choir director and thus a lack of consistency in program structure and involvement.

While St. Stephen’s has strong participation in many of its women’s programs, there has been inconsistency in our program offerings for our adult and senior males. Current programs include a Wednesday night Pub Theology group, an annual men’s oyster roast, and a weekly bible study. Attendance, however, has been unreliable and usually skews to an older cohort.

In recent months, the vestry has undertaken a restructuring of our administrative and financial oversight and policies. We have undertaken a period of reflection to reorganize our administrative staff in an effort to streamline our financial reporting and minimize overhead costs moving forward. In this period of transition, we are reevaluating our personnel policies and rector supports.

Comments

To learn more about St. Stephen's Church please visit their parish website at www.ststephenschurch.com

Contact Information

Thank you for your interest in this position at St. Stephen's Episcopal Church, in the Diocese of East Carolina.

Interested applicants should submit a cover letter, resume, and three references who can speak
to the applicant’s ability to serve in this position to Hannah Jarman, Administrative Assistant to the Office of the Bishop at hjarman@diocese-eastcarolina.org