By now many of you are aware that the Howard family is moving this fall, answering a call to minister in Massachusetts. They will be helping to replicate Imago's DNA - the reason we're here and the reason Imago is recognized across North America - throughout New England. If you've been away from our community in recent weeks and this is the first you've heard of it, please dedicate some time to listen to this sermon/announcement.
/ Goal & Vision
Our first priority as a church is to keep YOU informed of any and all developments as we begin the process to find a new Rector. You will receive weekly updates via email and an update each Sunday morning on where we are in the process and what's happening. If you have any questions or concerns at any point, we invite you to reach out to a member of the Parish Council. While the Parish Council is a representative form of government, we are eager to hear your voice in this process - so it's our intention you have all the information the PC has. This is your church!
* the only instance we would restrict information is to protect a candidate's identity in the initial stages of interviews. i.e. so their church doesn't prematurely discover they are candidating elsewhere.
Imago Dei leaders, staff, and Bishop Andrew are committed to finding a new Rector that will be a great fit for our church and the ministries the Lord has called us to. We as leaders truly believe God is preparing someone at this moment to come lead our community. This process will be a collaborative effort between the diocese's recommendations and our decision-making. We'll roll out more details around that later.
• Saturday Evening, Sept 14 - Party in honor of the Howard Family. Details TBA.
• Sunday, Sept 15 - Fr. Justin's last Sunday serving as Rector.
• Thursday, Sept 25 6:30p - Evening of Worship and Prayer at Imago.
• 1 month of prayer & fasting as the Parish Council creates a Parish Profile of who we are and what we're looking for in a Rector. Dates TBA.
After creating a profile over 4 weeks, it will be distributed across North America and we'll begin the interview process as applications are submitted to the diocese. This process should take a few months to complete, and again, we'll keep you updated on each development.
• Small Groups
We encourage everyone to participate in a small group this fall as this will be the primary way we stay connected as a community beyond Sunday morning. Your small group leader will stay informed on what's happening in the church and small groups can serve as a place to continue growing as we learn, share, and pray together. We'll announce small group sign-up in the coming weeks.
• Preaching Team
We've created an interim preaching team that will meet together regularly to pray and discern what God is saying to our community in this season of change and uncertainty, with the goal of bringing a unified prophetic voice to the body of Christ in the coming months. We're excited to introduce you to this team!
• Scott, Chrissy & Dcn Tom.
In the absence of a Rector, Scott DeLong (staff) and Chrissy Kenerson (Senior Warden) will oversee the week-to-week operations of the church. If there is an urgent issue, please reach out to us and we will find a solution. Deacon Tom will continue to provide pastoral care and sacramental ministry to those who are sick, isolated, etc.
• Bishop Andrew
Bishop Andrew will serve as our primary spiritual leader, and is planning to be here biweekly to meet and coach leaders mid-week, attend prayer meetings, or consecrate the eucharist for Sunday. He will be responsible for sending other clergy to celebrate the Eucharist on Sundays, or to provide pastoral care we need help with - so be prepared to see different priests visit from time to time. Bp. Andrew assures us that he sees Imago Dei as royalty and is prepared to "roll out the red carpet" in his support of us!
/ Your Role
1. Be Praying. Pray for the Howards. Pray for the leaders listed above. Pray for our church community. Pray for the mission of the church in the coming months. Pray for our new Rector and their family. Pray daily. Pray with others. Come to prayer meetings. This is an invitation to non-anxious intercession; the Lord’s delight is in his people!
2. Be Present to the Howards. Encourage them while they're here. Go out of your way to bless Justin, Amy, and their boys. Plan to attend the party if possible!
3. Stay Informed. Take the initiative to keep up with what's happening. We'll do our best, but if you have questions - ask! Again, this is your church.
4. Lead Courageously. This is for you. Yes, you! Now is our time to take ownership of Imago Dei like never before - if you sense someone needs prayer, offer to pray for them! If someone comes to you with complaints/grumbling, don't feed that, but direct them to the proper channels (Matthew 18.) If you know someone is disconnected or lonely, meet up with them/invite them over. Each one of us can be a leader - even if it's just leading one other person in the right moment.
5. Follow Watchwords. Bishop Andrew emails out a daily meditation and prayer - it's usually quite short yet rich. Each week he also writes a new blog post. We can't recommend this enough. This is a great way to connect with the heart of Bp Andrew and receive from him as our spiritual leader, even though he can't be with us all the time. Sign up to receive them here.
Thursday night the Parish Council meditated on the following words, and we invite you to reflect and rest in this truth with us.
The Lord is my shepherd;
I have all that I need.
He lets me rest in green meadows;
he leads me beside peaceful streams.
He renews my strength.
He guides me along right paths,
bringing honor to his name.
Even when I walk
through the darkest valley,
I will not be afraid,
for you are close beside me.
Your rod and your staff
protect and comfort me.
You prepare a feast for me
in the presence of my enemies.
You honor me by anointing my head with oil.
My cup overflows with blessings.
Surely your goodness and unfailing love will pursue me
all the days of my life,
and I will live in the house of the Lord forever.
In great confidence of his faithfulness,
Scott DeLong, Pastor of Ministry Systems