Last December the Vestry appointed the Rector Search Committee to present to the Vestry a candidate for Rector. The Committee is composed of 10 people who have been members of the parish ranging from 2 years to 66 years. It’s a diverse group of individuals who have committed to be led by the Holy Spirit in the process of our work. Sarah Sartain, diocesan officer for clergy transition & development, is working with us.

During the interim between Andy Thayer’s departure June 2018 & the Committee’s appointment, the parish has been preparing spiritually & emotionally for new ordained leadership, as well as having time for reflection & clarification of ministry & direction for the parish. The Church of the Ascension has continued to grow in a number of ways under the clergy leadership of Interim Rector Chris Starr & Associate Rector Rosa Lindahl.

The Committee has committed to being guided by the Holy Spirit, making this work a priority, & listening with open minds & hearts to each other, to you & to the candidates. We will be transparent in the process & open to your comments & referrals. Please don’t ask us who is on the list or where we are visiting because that we cannot share that.

We need you to share your thoughts with us, through letters, emails, texts, calls, & in person conversations. We have a mailbox at the church or you may contact any member of the Committee. Refer names of anyone you’d like to be considered. And pray for Ascension, the Search Committee & the candidates.

Ellen Brooks

The committee members are Ellen Brooks (chair), Brittney Calhoun, Pat Bamman, Nick Mielke, Mildred Wakefield, John Wilson, Lacy Gibson, Don Vaughn, Tim Marquardt, and Jimmy Reynolds.

Update from Search Committee

In Matthew 7:7 Jesus tells us: "Ask, and it will be given you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.” Since the Jan. 21 Forum Class, we have been doing much asking & seeking.

We have completed the second stage of the process: Self-Study & Profile. That included conducting a survey of the congregation, resulting in 144 responses. The top 3 skills, responsibilities & areas of work were preaching, administration & pastoral care. We established an email address for the committee and a presence on COA website. The Community Portfolio was developed & posted on the national clergy website. The Parish Profile was written & published through the contributions of many. Thank you to all those who completes the survey, provided data, information and photographs (our biggest regret was not being able to use more of your photos but we were limited by space & the need for high resolution images for printing). Libby Weatherley & Emily Thomas donated their photography expertise. Margaret & Bill Cunningham of the Cunningham Group donated their professional expertise in design & layout of the profile. We are blessed to have such talent in our congregation. We utilized technology, distributing the profile in digital format, saving time and money. There are a limited number of printed profiles for those without computers, in the Receptionist Office. We advertised on the website of the Episcopal News Service (brought to our attention by Hugh Alsobrook) and on the Diocesan website.

Now we have begun the third stage: Discern & Present. In addition to the work described above, we have solicited the parish and others for the names of clergy for consideration. The names have been sent to the Diocese to be be vetted, along with those who contacted the Diocese directly. Our next step (the “knock” stage) includes these actions:
- Send letter of interest w/interview questions to candidates
- Discern
- Conduct Skype interviews
- Check references
- Discern
- Visit candidates at their churches
- Discern
- Host candidates here
- Discern
- Submit name to Vestry

Then the parish enters the Extend Call & Confirm part of the process:
1. Vestry & Bishop approve
2. Sr. Warden negotiates Letter of Agreement
3. Notify congregation
This is followed by the lest stage, Prepare & Transition, when we celebrate our Rector-Elect.

Calling a new Rector is not a science or a business decision. It is full of human & Holy Spirit which makes having a firm timetable impossible. While we are have a fall target, we are working in God’s time.

Your Rector Search Committee is committed to seek the Rector best for our parish and to keep you informed of the process. Just please do not ask us who is on the list or where we are visiting because we cannot share that information. We ask you to continue to give us your thoughts, suggested names and your support through words of encouragement and prayers for Ascension, the candidates and the Committee. Together we walk in faith for Jesus promises us: “For every one who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened.” (Matthew 7:8)

To Interested Candidates:

We appreciate your interest in the Rectorship of the Church of the Ascension in Montgomery, Alabama. Please feel free to view our Parish Profile on this website, our Community Portfolio on the OTM website, & our ad on the Episcopal News Service website. To apply, please submit your cover letter, resume, OTM portfolio, & sermon video or audio, to by May 12, 2018.