The Church of the Cross Vestry is a unique group of folks who have been called to serve the Lord and this very special congregation at my side. They understand the magnitude of our corporate and personal blessings; and they understand, too, that with these blessings comes the obligation to bless others in His Name - praise God! Their goals are simple: be mindful of the challenge before us to make a Kingdom difference in our time for all time; and to grasp even more firmly the faith that is ours and instill in us an even greater will to reach and risk boldly for the Lord in ways that others might say are beyond "the cutting edge." Last year Bishop Lawrence shared with me his belief that few Vestries anywhere are grappling with such a far reaching vision and taking so seriously their calling to be good stewards, not just of the present realities, but also of future opportunities. My admiration for the Vestry the Lord has called to serve Him in this place is unbounded.
Front Row: Rod Musselman (Junior Warden), Natalie Mann, Joanne Byrd,
Mill Simmons (Senior Warden)
Back Row: Stew Brown and J. Michael Simon
For over a year, the Vestry and I have been earnestly praying for a third priest to join our clergy team. But several months ago, the Lord revealed His desire that we first look beyond maintaining our current vision to embrace a significant new initiative to evangelize the growing Hispanic community in Southern Beaufort and Jasper Counties. Where God guides, He provides; and in due time, He provided Pastor Juan Rivera to transform His vision into a reality - praise God!
We have now vigorously turned our attention to identifying a Senior Associate Rector to partner with Jonathan, Juan and me. A national firm, the Vanderbloemen Search Group, has been contracted to facilitate this process; one of their executives, Jeff Bigelow, will be our consultant. Jeff will make his first visit to the parish this weekend to gain a greater appreciation for the unique ways the Lord is working in and through this great and growing congregation. I've spoken with Jeff on numerous occasions in preparation for this weekend and anticipate further discussions throughout the search process. I will keep you informed of our progress.
In His Power and for His Glory,