- Parish House
The Christ Church Vestry met with Bishop Benfield earlier this week to determine our course of action for searching for a new rector. After much discussion, including considering comments made by many of you, the vestry decided to offer Kate Alexander the position of Priest-in-Charge for twelve to sixteen months as a period of mutual evaluation. We are pleased to advise you that Kate has accepted the offer.
The usual path a parish takes when calling a new rector begins with a search through a list of various people interested in the position. We believe our situation is different than the “usual” one. And, we believe that our situation supports our decision. Christ Church is a healthy parish with excellent long-term leadership and fairly recent history of successful transition from one rector to another. Kate is familiar with the parish, has shown her considerable skills and talents, and has been a part of our growth over the past decade. We want to discuss with her the possibility that she lead us in the years ahead. The period of mutual evaluation will allow us to do that.
Both Kate and the vestry are clear that we are not making a decision about her being rector right now. We are also clear that Kate is the only person being considered during this mutual evaluation process. This discussion and evaluation will be essential elements of the process. Another important element is parish input on our future. You will have opportunities to provide input through a process known in the national church as Appreciative Inquiry, parish meetings led by Bishop Benfield designed to collect your thoughts regarding our future. Your participation in these meetings is important to determining the future direction of our church. More information on these will be forthcoming. During the mutual evaluation period, either Kate or the vestry could decide that Kate becoming rector is not the best fit. At that point a traditional search could begin. Or, we could decide at the end of the period of evaluation that she is the best fit and call her as rector. In the meantime, Kate as priest-in-charge will, working with the vestry, other clergy and lay leaders, carry on worship, preaching, education, pastoral care, and the ongoing administration of the parish, including overseeing the office staff.
Christ Church has made great strides in becoming a beacon in the proclamation of good news in the downtown Little Rock area. We do not want that work to pause. Your vestry believes this decision is faithful to that objective. We encourage your input and participation as we search with Kate.
Thank you for your support and prayers. Please continue to support and pray for the vestry, Kate, her staff, and our church as we pass through this period of transition.
Joseph W. Lampo