I am delighted to announce that The Reverend Elizabeth Gordon Meade has accepted the Vestry’s call to become the Interim Pastor of St. Timothy’s Church. She will begin her ministry with us on September 1.
It is actually amazing how quickly everything came together for this part of our transition. God’s hand is evident in how smoothly the process transpired and how this process brought us someone I perceive as an excellent fit for St. Timothy’s. I look forward to our future. Enjoy the introductory letter from Reverend Liz Meade!
Dear Friends in Christ –
I was thrilled to receive an invitation from your Vestry last week to become your Interim Pastor. I look forward to being with you after September 1st.
I am curious about you and I imagine you’re curious about me, so here is a brief synopsis. Raised in New England, I raised my children in Seattle, moved to Chicago for my husband’s career. I am a widow, having lost my husband of 35 years to liver cancer five years ago. We have two grown sons, both in Seattle. Currently, I live with an obstreperous Portuguese Water Dog named Scrabble who is also known as “the parish pup.” (I hope she and Kharma will become fast friends.)
Since your Vestry has already vetted me and my qualifications, I hesitate to list them all again, but Joy asked that I do so, so here goes: I hold two (2) Masters’ Degrees from Loyola University in Chicago, and a Certificate of Anglican Studies from Seabury Western Theological Seminary. (Seabury had dropped their MDiv. program while I was in formation.) I am also certified as an Interim Minister, having completed two residencies and fieldwork through the Interim Ministry Network (IMN, Inc.)
I love the work of interim ministry and felt I would devote my whole priesthood to it. I did serve in that capacity at two large Chicagoland parishes. Then my husband died and I discerned the need to settle down. I accepted the job as Rector at the small suburban parish where I currently serve. I am happy here, and was not seeking employment elsewhere, until your Canon to the Ordinary called and asked me if I might consider a return to Interim Ministry. (She and I trained together.) After a lot of prayer, I agreed to interview at St. Timothy’s, and we are now where we are.
The job of an interim pastor differs from that of a “settled” rector. I come as priest, yes, to serve while you look for a new rector, but I also come as one trained to assist you in honoring your past, evaluating your present, and developing your dreams for the future of St. Timothy’s. It means that I get to ask a lot of questions. It means that we get to experiment with change. This comes not from power or ego, but as a way to help your community move from “what was” to “what might be.” It is a wonderful yet sometimes daunting experience because we Episcopalians like to avoid change, but the truth is, with the departure of your rector and the arrival of a new one, St. Timothy’s will have changed and the needs of the greater community will have changed. I hope you will find this work as energizing as I do.
Until we meet in September, stay well, and stay faithful.
Grace and peace-
The Rev. Elizabeth Gordon Meade
730 North Randall Road Aurora, IL 60506