Anne-Marie Jeffrey's Welcome Letter to the Parish

Dear People of St. Margaret’s,

I am so excited to be with you as your interim rector. 

You are an amazing community of people with a history of welcoming those of many different backgrounds, ages, ethnic origins and sexual orientations in addition to being a community engaged in outreach to the poor and the wider community.  I am looking forward to being with you during this interim time. I will be here to support you and listen to you, but also to challenge you during this transition time as you move from saying goodbye to Susan, and prepare yourselves to call a new rector.

Any interim period can be unsettling as well as life-giving to a congregation. This period will require trusting your leaders, remaining engaged with one another and trusting the movement of the Holy Spirit. You have wonderful leaders and a great staff who will serve you well in this time of transition.  Despite the uncertainty and the changes that are inevitable, I know that this will be a very energizing time for your congregation as you examine your gifts and envision your future. 

First and foremost, I want you to know that I am here to listen to you. My door is open.  Drop by. Give me a call or send an email. Set up lunch or coffee.  As another interim priest told me, everything is faster when you are an interim. Therefore my main focus for the first three months will be getting to know you and listening to you.  As we journey together, I will be with you as priest and pastor.  I will ask questions. I will walk with you as you discern who you are as a congregation and as you consider the kind of priest you need and desire.

In my sermon on my first Sunday with you, I quoted a song called Transformation by Fran McKendree. The song describes transition zones by comparing them to that period of time where one lets go of one trapeze bar and reaches for the next that is swinging toward you. I compared his description of a transition zone to the interim period where we say goodbye to one rector and prepare to call and welcome the next.  To me the song gives one of the best descriptions of this in-between time.  As the song says - it remains that the transition zones in our lives are incredibly rich places. They should be honored... Even savored. With all the pain and fear and feelings of being out of control that can accompany transition, they are still the most alive, growth-filled, passionate, expansive moments of our lives. And so, transformation of fear may have nothing to do with making fear go away but rather giving ourselves permission to hang out in the transition between trapeze bars.”

So, as we begin this journey together and live into this time in between, honor this transition and savor it. Let us keep one another in our prayers. Let us keep our hearts and minds open to the workings of the Holy Spirit and let us go forward trusting that God is at work leading us to be God’s hand and heart in this community called St. Margaret’s.

In Christ,

Anne-Marie Jeffrey

Interim Rector, St. Margaret's Episcopal Church 

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