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NO COLLAR AND NO ROBES:
A DAY IN THE LIFE OF A CHAPLAIN
Okay, so not a real chaplain like Jane was in the U.S. Navy or the pastors who serve with the local hospital, police department, or Hospice House. But I am a chaplain now, of sorts, and my first day was April 14.
I am the newly appointed chaplain to the committee that will conduct a search for a new rector and also to the committee that will create a profile that will be the undergirding of that search. We will, by design, be asking everyone in the congregation a series of questions; a summary of our answers will be available to clergy who might be interested in relocating to St. Luke’s and also, of course, to our own parishioners.
The entire search process is quite structured; while everything in that process is under local control, the process itself has been undergoing definition for hundreds of years. For example, the search chaplain attends lots of meetings to ensure the proceedings are conducted “decently and in order” (to quote the Apostle Paul) but does not vote on anything. That’s fine with me.
The search committee, which has not quite been selected and appointed, is a sub-committee of the Vestry. It exists only until God finds a new rector for our parish, and, thus, is ad hoc (for a specific purpose) unlike the Vestry, a standing committee of sorts. The life of the profile committee, four members plus the chaplain, is even shorter since it will disband when the profile has been completed and circulated, a process that is well underway. Like I said, the process has been developed over a long period of time and is God centered rather than human centered with lots of help from our Bishop and his staff, especially the Reverend Susan Cleveley. Basically the process of finding a priest and having a priest find us is the same in Coeur d’Alene as at the Washington National Cathedral.
It might seem at times as though we are moving in one hundred directions at once and, to some extent, that is true; a good search requires a lot of congregational effort. But our last search yielded a fourteen and a half year commitment and a new bishop. What we need from every member and friend of St. Luke’s is prayer. Here is one from the Book of Common Prayer, page 818, which I hope you will repeat often:
Almighty God, giver of every good gift: look graciously on your Church, and so guide the minds of those who shall choose a rector for this parish, that we may receive a faithful pastor, who will care for your people and equip us for our ministries; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
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