|Date Posted||February 18, 2023|
Virginia (Shirley Smith-Graham)
|Diocesan Compensation Info||https://www.thediocese.net/Customer-Content/www/CMS/files/Finance_and_Management/6_2021_Compensation_Guidelines.pdf|
|Is there a rectory?||No|
|Communicants in Good Standing||127|
|Average Sunday Attendance||32|
Liturgical style and practice
Broad, Rite II
St. Thomas Church is an anchor institution of the historic town of Orange in Central Virginia. The church's handsome campus located at the center of town offers potential for increasing the development of relationships with the surrounding community. This small congregation is rooted in traditional Episcopal liturgy and theology and supports a strong music program with an active choir and talented organist. Many current members serve as civic leaders in the Town of Orange. The congregation is welcoming and hopes to expand its current level of diversity. Welcoming people from all walks of life, not only to membership but also to leadership, is highly valued at St. Thomas. The congregation embraces the role of active lay ministers, working in coordination with clergy. The significant number of aging church members desire meaningful pastoral care that enhances holy and satisfying living at all ages. The generous physical plant offers the potential for a columbarium ministry.
The pandemic exacerbated demographic trends toward decline, and the congregation is interested in reaching out beyond itself, revitalizing and renewing. The next priest will be asked to lead with the vestry in efforts of rebuilding fellowship opportunities, developing the congregation, deepening the leadership bench, engaging in asset-based community development to leverage off the gifts the church offers, and improving the use of technology to share the church generously beyond the active membership. The vestry would welcome increased ethnic and racial diversity and is interested in working with the new priest to increase financial support for outreach activities. The vestry would also like to prioritize reaching out to church members who became distant during the pandemic and learn how to meaningfully reengage families with youth and children.
The picturesque town of Orange is nestled in the Piedmont region of Virginia. It is the county seat and is 28 miles northeast of Charlotteville, Virginia, in an area imbued with colonial and early American history. Desired characteristics of future clergy include:
Ability to work well with others and coach the congregation in ongoing development
Empathic ministry that provides meaningful pastoral care while also developing trusting relationships
Strong interpersonal and public speaking skills in order to lead meaningful worship services and represent the church in the broader community
Highly effective skills for providing pastoral care for individuals and families.
Someone who is a natural at connecting people to people and the church to the community.
The Rev'd Shirley Smith Graham