Newsletter - January 2015

01.15.15 | Newsletters | by Martin McKerrow

We review end of the Christmas and New Year's Seasons at St. Paul's

St. Paul’s Newsletter

January 22nd, 2015


It’s been a busy month at St. Paul’s capping a very eventful year. Perhaps appropriately, we ended 2014 with the celebration the birth of Christ and welcomed the New Year. As 2015 begins we prepare for the Church’s Annual Meeting on January 25th and changes in the vestry and staff.


The staff change is, of course, the resignation of Mary Casey as the Director of Christian Education. After seven years in this position, in what Mary described as an agonizingly difficult decision, she has decided that it is time to pass her mantle to someone else while she pursues another career opportunity. She will continue as an active congregant.


Mary will be deeply missed. In her seven years she has literally transformed the Christian Education experience at St. Paul’s.   What was a modest spiritual education program has become a robust one that not only reaches the entire parish but also the Nantucket community and includes youth education, adult book groups and adult prayer sessions. Mary has worked closely with Music Director Ann Colgrove to coordinate our youth choir in Sunday services.  She has been instrumental in furthering St. Paul’s educational ministry for children by organizing Sunday School programs and nursery care every Sunday. It is almost impossible to describe everything that Mary has brought to our church community, but there is no doubt that we have all benefitted from and shared in Mary’s mission to promote and support personal spiritual awareness for all ages.


The process of hiring a replacement begins with the development and posting of a job description. We are blessed that Ken Hilfig who is responsible for Youth Education will take full leadership of what has become, under Mary and Ken, a successful and growing program.


The Church’s annual meeting will be held on January 25th and it will include election of new vestry members and a new Senior Warden to replace Ken Beaugrand whose term has expired. Ken has served St. Paul’s with great distinction as Senior Warden and prior to that as a Vestry member. During Ken’s leadership the Church called Rector Gene McDowell, entered into an ambitious and successful capital campaign, witnessed a revival of the church’s vitality, the construction of the new Daume Entrance and then, sadly, witnessed the loss of a Rector and the start of the search for a new one. Ken has admirably led the parish and the vestry through the emotional and spiritual peaks and valleys of these events. His leadership will be deeply missed.


We are blessed that Ken shared his leadership with fellow Senior Warden Randy Wight assuring a continuity of policy. Vestry member Stacey Stuart has been nominated to serve as Senior Warden.


Vestry members Lou Gennaro and Bill Walker have served the vestry for the last six years and their terms have expired. Cathy Ward and Jeff Blackwell have been placed in nomination to replace them. Both are active congregants and full time residents of Nantucket. Cathy has been active not only in the Church but in a number of not for profits including Nantucket Community Sailing and the Nantucket Historical Association. Jeff - who is Mary Casey’s husband – manages a surveying business and among other projects was the surveyor for the Church’s recent construction project. We’ll present more complete biographies of new vestry members after the January 25th meeting. We give thanks and praise to Lou and Bill for all that they have done for St. Paul’s during the last six years. Lou will continue to head the St. Paul’s Search Committee.


Our interim Rector, Gale Davis, now more familiar with the Church and Congregation, is starting to incorporate changes to our liturgy. Seasonally, she will change the liturgy including approved alternative liturgies. Further, Gale, in co-ordination with the vestry, is examining the non-liturgical customs of our services and may implement some changes to these. Finally Gale is opening the Rectory each Tuesday for Tea – a chance for the Parish to meet informally, better get to know Gale and gain insight into the upcoming Sunday service.


During December, the Diocese of Boston approved our Parish Profile and Portfolio allowing them to be posted by the Diocese on its website, formally starting the process of calling a new rector to St. Paul’s. While it is still early in the process, we have already received a few applications that are being evaluated by the Search Committee. The Parish Profile can be accessed on the St. Paul’s website. We would caution that this is likely to be a time consuming process and we would be pleased if this process were completed by the end of the year.


We are also pleased to announce new leadership of two of our ministries, Fellowship and Shepherds. Sheila Daume will assume leadership of our Fellowship Committee and Sister Suzanne Fronzuto assisted by Debbie Timmerman will lead Shepherds.


The Fellowship Committee has successfully managed the post service coffee hour as well as providing support – generally in the form of food and drink – to special events, which this year included the ribbon cutting for the Daume Entrance, an Easter Egg Hunt, Sundae Sundays and providing lunch to the Andover Organ crew during their three week stay when our organ was re-installed in May. Upcoming Fellowship events include the Pre Mardi Gras dinners February 7th, a February 15th celebration of Mary Casey’s service to St. Paul’s and the Shrove Tuesday pancake supper.


As new leaders of Shepherds, Suzanne Fronzuto and Debbie Timmerman plan to make sure that both new attendees at St. Paul’s services as well as people interested in the Parish are provided with the resources and welcome that can inspire them to become active members of St. Paul’s. They plan on involving the entire range of the Parish from youth on up. The first meeting of this revitalized ministry will be announced in the near future.


In other news, on January 26th, the Architectural Access Board (AAB) will hold a hearing on St. Paul’s application for approval of our completed addition. While we are uncertain of the outcome of this hearing, at the advice of counsel Arthur Reade, we will be represented by a Boston based counsel who has better familiarity with the AAB policies and practices. We will have more to report on this in the next few weeks.


We wish all recipients a most Happy New Year and welcome you to join us in our prayers for a peaceful 2015.