A letter from the Vestry: What is Discernment?
The dictionary defines discernment as, "the quality of being able to grasp and comprehend what is obscure; an act of perceiving.". In the Christian faith, it is a similar concept, but it is bestowed by the Holy Spirit. A gift that can be requested, used, or ignored. It is a gift that comes from insight as much as from learned experience and knowledge.
When I first learned that our priest was making a swift departure, I was tested. Once the initial shock passed and I had an opportunity to think and pray, understanding, discretion, and prudence were the gifts of the spirit.
The Vestry's role and responsibilities shifted to maintaining ministerial responsibilities and making this transition as easily as possible. We are still coming to terms with our recent past.
We are appointing members of a discernment committee, strengthening our relationship with the Diocese, and establishing our new direction in the constellation with St. Paul's Vergennes.
In addition, we are working on a stewardship initiative, caring for our building and grounds, managing shifts in leadership and lay leadership, oversight of our financial responsibilities.
The Vestry is leaning heavily on discernment and trusting God's leading.
All Saints is fortunate to have an assemblage of clergy to uphold our worship schedule and provide pastoral care. During times of transition, feelings of anxiety, abandonment, and inertia are common. If you are experiencing conflicting emotions, we encourage you to reach out to our pastoral care team.
The Bishop has recommended the Rev. Canon Linda Grenz for oversight of the transitional ministry. Linda has met with the Vestry to assist in the selection of an Interim Priest, advise us in appointing a Discernment Committee, and to review the search process.
working in accordance with guidelines established by the Diocese of Vermont, we, the Vestry will appoint a Discernment Committee. This committee will be comprised of Vestry and parish members from both All Saints and St. Paul's, Vergennes. Each Vestry will designate a chair to report on the discernment process to the congregation. The committee is slated with the task of recommending one candidate to the Vestry. The Vestry will interview the candidate to verify the work of the committee. Whether or not to call the candidate is the Vestry's decision. The Bishop serves as the highest authority and must grant final approval for the call of any new clergy into the Diocese.
The Vestry is aware of the time, talent, and commitment the members of our congregation demonstrate. We continue to be amazed and inspired by the ways in which we come together as a church family. If you have ideas, observations, or feel called to leadership, please come forward.
On behalf of the Vestry, I thank you for your continuing involvement and support.