After almost exactly one year of prayerful discernment, on behalf of your Rector Search Committee, we are thrilled to have arrived at the end of our search. We began this journey, for the most part, as acquaintances; we are completing it as family. Together, we have traveled thousands of miles, worked countless hours, and prayed without ceasing to discern God’s will for our parish. In the end, we are unanimous in our conviction that the Rev. Ollie Rencher is the priest the Holy Spirit has prepared to accompany us on our journey during this season in our common life.
In the coming days and weeks, we are excited to share with you all of the wonderful things we learned about Ollie, and about his lovely wife, Ellie, during our mutual discernment. We found him to be a warm, engaging, Spirit-filled priest, with a great sense of humor and a gift for personal connectedness. Ollie shares our passion for beautiful music and powerful liturgy. A fellow priest commented that Ollie “embodies the phrase ‘Go in peace to love and serve the Lord’—and does it with joy!” We could not agree more, which is why we are anxious for you to get to know Ollie and Ellie when they join our parish family this summer.
We would be remiss if we did not acknowledge the amazing support we have received from our congregation, vestry, and staff during the search process. Whether it was providing meals for our lengthy weeknight meetings, notes of encouragement, or prayers of support, you all made sure that our every need was met, often before we asked. Your patience, support, and faith in us sustained us, even when the task ahead seemed daunting.
On a personal note, I would like to thank the members of the search committee—Antoinette Cheney, Barb Frazer, Ryan Gibbs, Ed Hord, Sandra Ireland, Debbie McCanless, Murray McKay, and Josh Shipley—for their tireless work, prayerful reflection, and unending cheerfulness. It has been an honor and a privilege to be on this journey with each of them, and our community owes them a debt of gratitude for their dedication over the past year. Last but certainly not least, we are all profoundly grateful to our families, who have accommodated our need to spend so many afternoons, nights, and weekends working on the search process.
Thanks be to God for our many blessings throughout this journey, and for all the blessings that await us.