Transition at St. Chrysostom’s
It is with both sadness and hopefulness that St. Chrysostom’s begins a period of Transition, as we celebrate our beloved clergy who have served, and also look ahead to our future as a parish.
After serving for nine years as our rector, Rev. Wes Smedley completed his service with St. Chrysostom’s at the end of June, with his final service on Sunday, June 26th. Rev. Larry Green formally departed, after serving for 17 years as a deacon, with his last service on May 22nd. On June 25th, we celebrated Rev. Will Bouvel’s ordination to the priesthood. On July 10th, we will welcome The Rt. Rev. Whayne M. Hougland, Jr. as our interim rector.
A Transition Committee has been tasked with ensuring that our departing clergy are well celebrated, as we also prepare a warm welcome for our interim rector. A separate Search Committee will be formed to begin the search process for a new rector, expected to take up to 18 months.
Celebrating Rev. Wes Smedley
As you know Rev. Wes Smedley completed his service to St. Chrysostom’s on June 30. Thank you for your support and gifts as we celebrated Wes’s service and ministry to our church community Sunday, June 26. The canons of the Episcopal Church are very clear regarding the end of a pastoral relationship. As our church has not experienced a rector change in nearly a decade, we want to share the guiding principles as it pertains to a departing rector:
- Does not attend any official parish function, including worship at our church.
- Does not engage or discuss any pastoral liturgies and refers any requests for special liturgies (e.g. weddings, funerals and baptisms) from parishioners to the current priest or bishop.
- Avoids triangulation and involvement in parish decisions, and refrains from attending social functions that are attended mostly by parishioners.
- Does not return to the parish unless invited by the current parish priest in consultation with a bishop. An invitation may be made after the new priest has been in place for a full year, and not before.
To make this a successful transition, each of us must support Wes and his family in detaching from the parish by respecting the policy requiring the priest to keep a distance, thus allowing all to transition to new roles. Continuing inclusion may be cause for pain rather than encouragement toward the new reality and development of new boundaries.
We are looking forward to the arrival of our interim rector, The Rt. Rev. Whayne Hougland. Whayne will be joining us starting on July 5th, preparing for his first Sunday service on July 10th. If you have any pastoral care concerns in the next week, please contact the Church office or Rev. Sam Portaro or Rev. Conrad Selnick. The newly ordained Rev. Will Bouvel is taking some much earned vacation time over the next week.
Finally, we want to thank our Transitions Committee (Sarah Helfers, Wende Fox Lawson, Robert Rodman, Priscilla Whittier, and Angie Yorath) for the excellent celebrations over the last six weeks to celebrate Wes and his family and their work to ensure the Rectory apartment is ready for Whayne’s arrival.
Please reach out to one of us with any questions or concerns. We will communicate frequently with the congregation as we continue our clergy transition.
John Bankhurst, Senior Warden
Ginny Van Alyea, Junior Warden
Celebrating Deacon Larry Green
On May 22, we celebrated Deacon Larry Green’s many years of service to our church at a special Coffee Hour with a champagne toast following the 10 am service.
Celebrating Rev. Will Bouvel
We celebrated Rev. Will Bouvel’s ordination to the priesthood on June 25 at St. James Cathedral.
Welcoming The Rt. Rev. Whayne M. Hougland, Jr.
On July 10, we will welcome our interim rector, Whayne Hougland, on his first Sunday with us at a special Coffee Hour following the 10 am service. In addition, we will encourage parishioners to host small group dinners, offering the opportunity for Whayne to become better acquainted with our congregation. More information to follow.
Vestry members serving on the Transition Committee are: Sarah Helfers, Wende Fox Lawson, Robert Rodman, Priscilla Whittier and Angie Yorath. Parishioners who want to assist with any of our transition events or to contribute may contact the committee members directly or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
As we enter this time of change and hope for our church, we are grateful for the support and patience of our parishioners. Please reach out to Wardens John Bankhurst or Ginny Van Alyea, or to any member of the Transition Committee with questions or ideas in the coming weeks. We will communicate each step of the transition and search process in a straight–forward, timely manner, as we look forward to together planning St. Chrysostom’s future.