|Date Posted||April 21, 2020|
East Carolina (Mollie Roberts)
|Compensation||$111,563 (including housing allowance)|
|Health Benefits||Clergy + 1|
|Communicants in Good Standing||292|
|Average Sunday Attendance||93|
|Adult Population in Church School||12|
|Teacher Population in Church School||15|
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.
To learn more about St. Stephen's Church please visit their parish website at www.ststephenschurch.com
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 firstname.lastname@example.org