After nine months of work in a “covenant” bond, the Discovery and Discernment Committee has issued its Final Report. The report is now available in the church office for members of the parish to read. Members of the Vestry last Thursday night read it in a 30-minute period of silence in the sanctuary, followed by an opportunity to ask questions of the D&D committee and the two consultants. The Vestry hopes that all church members will read the final report in its entirety and, after serious reflection and conversations, come to a parish-wide meeting on Sunday, April 23, at 9:15 a.m., in the Parish Hall. – DC


The Discovery and Discernment Committee (D&D) reported out to the Vestry as planned on Thursday evening, April 6. The Vestry received its recommendations and over the next three days reflected and prayed on the results. On Palm Sunday, April 9, at 12:15 p.m., the Vestry  met again to decide what if any actions would be taken on the recommendations. Copies of the D&D Final Report as well as the actions taken by the Vestry are available in the parish office.

The Vestry heartily applauds the work of the D&D Committee as exciting, challenging, and faithful. We recognize that the D&D’s work and final report represent a wholly fresh approach to the underlying issues that so distressed our congregation in 2015. The Vestry recognizes the importance of careful action on our part at this critical time. We are committed to improving the quality of leadership expected of a Vestry as described in the final report. This includes our authority over temporal life (finances and property) as well as good communications.  While we did not adopt all the report’s final recommendations, the D&D committee’s hard work will enable us to move forward as a more unified body in Christ to the betterment of our community and congregation.

The 15-page Final Report is organized around four themes: Spiritual Development, Leadership, Identity, and Healing. Each of these sections begins with discussion and concludes with recommendations. The Vestry took the following actions regarding these recommendations:

  1. The Vestry adopted the three recommendations under “Spiritual Development” in hopes that we can encourage individual spiritual development and unify the church as a single parish.
  2. Under “Leadership,” the Vestry approved the first recommendation regarding the rector and will be seeking the assistance of the Bishop to help strengthen the leadership in the church. Under Vestry, approval was given to coordinate documents within the parish and expand the MMR into a strategic plan. Action under Parish, in this theme, was tabled for future study.
  3. The significance of church “Identity” as a theme underlying our surface disagreements was affirmed. The two recommendations were replaced by a Vestry resolution: “The Vestry acknowledges that the name of the parish at some point may be restored to Grace Episcopal Church. With deep respect and appreciation for this congregation’s pride in General Lee, along with the deep respect for his leadership on behalf of this parish and his role as a reconciler following the war, the Vestry recommends that a sub-committee of the Vestry seeks ways to honor General Lee and the history of this parish in meaningful and significant ways.”
  4. Under “Healing,” the Vestry accepted both recommendations, which encourages the Rector and the Worship Committee to reach out to those who have left the church and encourage closer relationships among those in the congregation.

To implement these recommendations the Vestry will need your help! Much of the work we all need to do is inward searching and personal spiritual development, but there is work to be done in loving thy neighbor. We need to show God’s love and mercy throughout our congregation and our wider community. With God’s help our parish will grow and be strengthened.

Woody Sadler, Senior Warden

St Francis

Pipe organ