Discernment Process

The Latest News:

December 10, 2017: The Rev. Sarah Armstrong is being appointed to the Church of the Epiphany as half-time Curate and eventually as full-time Rector.

Sarah is a graduate of Wycliffe College and was ordained as a Deacon in September. Sarah has an exemplary record in outreach ministry having served in an inner city Toronto ministry prior to graduation.

She will begin her ministry at the Epiphany as half-time Curate under the mentorship of Bishop Tom Corston on September 1st, 2018 until September 1st, 2019, when Bishop Tom will step aside and she will become Rector, full-time. Somewhere in that time Bishop Anne plans to ordain Sarah to the Priesthood.

Sarah is the wife of the Rev. Aidan Armstrong, Rector of the Church of the Ascension and is presently on maternity leave having recently given birth to a baby boy. There will be opportunity to meet Sarah many times prior to her coming off maternity-leave.

We look forward to welcoming Sarah into our midst.

December 7, 2017:  Nearly a year ago we elected a Concurrence Committee to seek a new incumbent for Epiphany. This Committee has worked with Bishop Anne over the intervening months and has now completed its work. An announcement from Bishop Anne will be read at the 10:30 service this Sunday (the 10th).  We urge all those who are interested in knowing how the pastoral leadership of the parish will unfold to attend this service.

August 10, 2017: The parish profile has now been posted on the Diocese of Algoma website. www.dioceseofalgoma.com under “About Us” then “Job Openings” or you can click here for a direct link to the profile.

July 21, 2017: The concurrence committee has finally completed our parish profile, incorporating suggestions from Bishop Anne. It has been sent it to Bishop Anne. She will be posting it on the diocesan website when she sends out the invitation for prospective applicants. Anyone interested in seeing the profile will be able to access it on the Diocese of Algoma website once it is posted.

The parish executive met recently and reviewed our financial situation and feels that we are in a position to ask for a full-time incumbent in the faith that our parish will do its utmost to see that our giving’s and membership will increase as has happened in the past whenever we have a new full-time incumbent.    

Peter, Catherine, Ian, Louise, Andrew, Ruth & Robin (Your Concurrence Committee)

July 1, 2017:  An update from your concurrence committee: We have had some recent questions as to what is happening with the concurrence committee and why the process seems to be taking so long. We would like to assure you that the committee has been active since it was first elected earlier this year. We met five times over three months to prepare a parish profile to be made available to the diocese to be promulgated to prospective candidates. The first draft of this was prepared by early June and sent to the bishop for comment. The bishop met with us at the time of confirmation on June 18. She suggested some revisions to make it more inclusive and attractive. These revisions should be completed within the next two weeks to be sent back to her for final approval.

In the meantime, we have been made aware that our financial situation is precarious at best, with our expenses far outstripping our revenues. The parish executive will be meeting shortly to discuss the ramifications of this shortfall. Does this mean we should be advertising for a part-time incumbent rather than a full-time? Until this decision is made we as a committee are hesitant to send out the parish profile which implies that we are looking for a full-time incumbent.

We sincerely hope that many of you can “step up to the plate” to increase our revenue line to ensure that we can search for a full-time incumbent.

Peter Williams, Chair

June 18, 2017: The Concurrence Committee has worked hard on, and has now completed our Parish Profile. The profile is now in the hands of +Anne. Remember, this process is confidential and the committee members can not discuss anything related to the process.

January 25, 2017: At the Special Vestry meeting on Sunday January 22nd the following members of the congregation were elected to be the Concurence Committee who will work with Bishop Anne to chose our new incumbent. Congratulations to Robin Bolton, Ruth Corston, Ian Maclennan, Peter Williams, Catherine Rousell, Louise Visneskie and the Warden on the committee will be Andrew Adegbite.

If you’re curious about the role of a concurrence committee you can read more about it by going to www.dioceseofalgoma.com and clicking on Ministry Resources, then Diocesan Policies and selecting Appointment of Clergy to a Parish.

December 8, 2016: A Special Vestry Meeting to elect the Concurrence Committee to work at creating a new parish profile and assisting the Bishop in finding a new Rector, will take place following services on Sunday, January 22nd. If you wish to volunteer to help on the committee, contact the Nominating Committee.

November 17, 2016: The Process to Get a New Incumbent:

The process involves the election of a ‘Concurrence Committee’ consisting of 5-7 people from the active congregation. This group will write a parish profile describing who the Epiphany is and the kind of priest we would be looking for to lead us into the next chapter of our lives together.

Once the parish profile is ready it is sent to the Bishop to review. Interested clergy will send their resumes to the Bishop and out of those who apply a few names will be sent to the Concurrence Committee to interview. All interviews and discussions are held in confidence and members of the Committee are not to divulge the names of prospective candidates.

In some parishes the process is a long drawn out one as the parish often wants to do some visioning and thinking about its future before moving into the Concurrence Committee stage. We should remember that our new Bishop-elect will not be consecrated until mid-February and it will take some time for her to act on this file. The Epiphany is one of a number of churches seeking new Rectors in the Diocese of Algoma.

Note: The election of our concurrence committee may take place at our congregational meeting on November 27th depending on how discussions go.

October 22, 2016: Even though she was chosen as our bishop last week, Anne Germond remains as our Archdeacon until her consecration in February.

On Advent Sunday, November 27th she will host a congregational meeting following services here at the Epiphany at Parish Council’s request. This will be a first of meetings for us as a congregation to speak with each other about our hopes, fears, desires and concerns as we grapple with our corporate life and ministry before we elect a concurrence committee. This committee, once elected, will then work with Anne as Bishop in searching for the appropriate priest to be our new Rector. Set the date and plan to attend and speak your mind.

August 12, 2016: Join us on Sunday September 25th for an important Congregational Meeting.

Seeing with New Eyes:

This time of transition in the life of our parish and diocese can be engaged as an exciting time of renewal and imagination for Church of the Epiphany. You are invited to a festive and fun, inspiring and informative event designed to help us begin doing just that!

The English term ‘epiphany’ comes from a Greek word meaning “manifestation or appearance.” It suggests an “a-ha” experience that results in a fresh way of seeing things, the recognition of something previously not perceived or appreciated. An epiphany reorients, reorders, and transforms us so that, in new and promising ways, we notice and respond to God at work among us.

So let’s take a fresh look…

What are we doing well as a church and how can we build on it?

How can we identify and overcome the blind spots and unhelpful practices that tend to trip us up?

How might conflicting ideas about our identity and priorities as a congregation be redirected in a beneficial way for our life and ministry together?

What new questions promise to shape our conversations and activities in exciting and faithful ways?

Our time together will provide meaningful insights and practical suggestions for addressing these and other key questions over the months ahead. Our aspiration: to see our life in Christ in a new way so others may see Christ through us!

Our facilitator, The Rev. Dr. Jay Koyle, is well known to many of us at Epiphany. After a long and fruitful history of fostering congregational vitality as both a parish pastor and a theology professor, Jay came to the Diocese of Algoma to serve as its Congregational Development Officer. He also serves at the national church level in various capacities, including as a founding planner and facilitator of the annual Vital and Healthy Parishes consultation. In both Canada and the United States, Jay has been acclaimed as an inspirational speaker who brings a terrific sense of humour and an uplifting Christian message.

Who should attend?

§ People excited or hopeful about life at Epiphany

§ People discouraged or worried about life at Epiphany

§ People very involved in the congregation

§ People with minimal involvement in the congregation

§ Long-time members

§ New members

§ People who might be interested in helping in the search process for a new Priest

§ Teen voices right through to our most elderly voices

§ You!

May 27th, 2016: The Wardens met with Archdeacon Anne on May 24, 2016 to start the process of interim coverage for several months with a concurrence committee likely to be struck at a Special Vestry meeting that will be held in the Fall.

June 17th, 2016: The Wardens, in consultation with Archdeacon Anne and Bishop Stephen Andrews, have agreed to have Bishop Tom Corston appointed as Interim Incumbent at The Church of the Epiphany. This appointment is effective September 1st 2016.