Senior Warden Bob Buehler delivered thisÂ message to the parishioners of St. Martin’s on Sunday, Dec. 13.
In one of the more beautiful passages of the Bible, Luke writes “Then an angel of the Lord stood before them and the glory of the Lord shone around them and they were sore afraid. But the angel said to them, do not be afraid, for see: I am bringing you good tidings of great joy to all the people.” On behalf of St. Martinâ€™s Vestry and the Search Committee, I have the honor of bringing St. Martinâ€™s good tidings of great joy.
It has now been about two and a half years of our interim and search process with lots of hard work and prayers from our parishioners, our wonderful staff, and our clergy. We have also reaped the benefit of great support from our Diocese.
Our second iteration of the Search Committee, which was re-formed in May of 2009, finished its work over these past several weeks. After sorting through dozens of applicants, doing phone interviews with many candidates, visiting potential rectors, and after many very long meetings, the committee recommended that the vestry interview two outstanding candidates. After interviewing both, the vestry met and agreed that both were excellent choices to be our next rector.
On Saturday morning, December 12th on behalf of the vestry, the Search Committee, and the St. Martinâ€™s parish, I had the honor of calling our top candidate, Father Jon Hall, and offering him the position of next rector of St. Martinâ€™s. Father Hall accepted immediately. He is currently the rector at St. Phillipâ€™s Episcopal Church in Harrodsburg, Kentucky, where he has served since 2005. Father Hall, his wife Colleen, and their lovely daughter Abbey will be re-locating to St. Louis in late January or early February.
Father Hall is a warm, engaging, and open spiritual leader. He listens attentively to all. He exudes calm and is very, very thoughtful. During the interview, Father Hall opened himself to us. During an interview that lasted over three hours, he actually moved several of us to tears through sharing some genuinely moving experiences. St. Martinâ€™s is blessed to have him as our next rector.
This is the result of the work of many people- too many people to mention. We arrived at this place together through the collective efforts of Search Committee, this vestry and previous vestries, the parish at large, our staff, and our interim and transitional clergy. This was not an easy task, but it was accomplished through many individuals acting as one body, as we are directed by our Christian Mission.
This is a time for rejoicing. We will need to quickly move to earnestly prepare for Father Hallâ€™s arrival, but for now, we will celebrate these â€˜good tidings of great joyâ€™ for St. Martinâ€™s.