With the death of my father-in-law, Warren and I find ourselves in a time of personal transition. Taking care of him required, over the past 4 years, more and more time. Now, as he both lived with us and we were his primary care givers we find ourselves not only mourning his death but also the loss of the care that we provided to him. This puts us in transition to the “new normal.” We have been very intentional in some of the things we do, like rearranging the living room so we are not always looking to where he used to sit; or going out to dinner on our anniversary instead of a family event. We continue to share memories and stories of his life. But this transition was thrust upon us and we have to figure out how to make it work.
So what does my personal experience have to do with St. Stephen’s transition? As I reflected this week on what I was going to write, I realized that there are a lot of similarities. We have also been very intentional in telling our stories and sharing our dreams for the new rector with each other. Some things have been rearranged since George left –the rector’s office, we have new windows, the organ pipes are being refurbished. From our storytelling, the search committee put together a profile and a job description for the new rector that truly represents who we are. Also we formed a committee for redesigning and refreshing our web site to better reflect who we are. The profile is on the web site and I highly recommend everyone read it. Recently we learned that Faith will retire after Easter and that puts us into yet another transition. Both Cynthia and I will be ending our terms as Senior and Junior Warden in March, so more transitioning is going to happen.
What we have done, to both help with the transition and to be ready for the new rector is form a transition committee. This committee will serve as the committee to help the new wardens as well as to prepare the congregation to welcome the new rector. The committee will remain in place for a short while after the new rector arrives to help the new rector. There will be much more about this committee as time goes on, but this serves as an introduction to how we are going to transition to the new rector. The committee consists of 3 members of the congregation: Denise Williams, Norm Wernet, and Joe Fowler; the current Senior and Junior Wardens: Cynthia Whitacre and Mike Harbin; and after the new vestry elects the new wardens in March, they will be included in this committee.
~Mike Harbin, Junior Warden