Over the past few months, we have been systematically planning and working towards transition at St Mark’s. This has left us well prepared for a healthy, positive and loving transition from a period of time with a full-time minister, to a period in which ministerial roles will be co-ordinated and carried out by volunteers. The final stage in this transition – in which I will be involved – will take place over the month of July. Areas of responsibility, which have been largely within my care, will be transferred to those who have volunteered to co-ordinate them, so that by 1 August, I will be able to walk away, confident that St Mark’s is in a position to continue thriving and providing compassionate care and inquiring spirituality, to those within our Beloved Community, to those who are searching for what we offer here, and to the wider community.
The two most important roles in my ministry have been leading or facilitating weekly services, and providing pastoral care. The co-ordination of these roles will be assumed by Lesley Hartley, as Pulpit Secretary and Margaret Ross, as Lay Pastoral Team Co-ordinator. In order to facilitate this transition, I am requesting that all enquiries and correspondence about Sunday services and pastoral care be addressed in the first instance to Lesley and Margaret. I will be working closely with Lesley and Margaret to ensure that their questions about their new roles are answered, and glitches are ironed out. If you are corresponding by email, you can copy messages to me. You will find contact details for Lesley and Margaret, and other key people at St Mark’s, on page 2 of Waymark.
However, in thinking of this transfer of ministerial roles from the minister to volunteers, let us remember that I have never been solely responsible for ministry within our community. In February 2009 we entered into a Mutual Commitment to Ministry, committing to create Beloved Community by ministering to each other. We have renewed this commitment to each other, each February since then, and although members of St Mark’s have many other demands on their time and energy, I have never felt that I have been the only person ministering to the community. From August, the flourishing of our Beloved Community will require an extra level of commitment, not only from volunteers in key co-ordinating roles, but also from all of you who care about what happens at St Mark’s. I have no doubt that you will give of your time and energy to the best of your ability.
With love and blessings