A letter from the Rev. Dr. Carol Jablonski to the people of St. James
Nov. 18th, 2020
Dear Friends in Christ,
So many of you have said to me, these past few months, “This is sure not the interim you thought you were signing up for.” No one could have imagined in August 2019, when I started as your interim, that we would only be in church together for seven months before we would be limited to livestream worship. No one could have imagined early this fall when we started to regather that we would return to livestream worship so soon. I am sorry that we haven’t gotten to know one another better!
When the vestry decided to put the search for a new rector on “pause” earlier this year, the question, “How long will Carol be able to stay?” came up. Canon Augusta told the wardens not to worry—St. James could call a second interim if needed, and now that time has come.
I will be concluding my work with you at year’s end. I wish I could have stayed longer, but the uncertainties of the pandemic, and the length of time it may yet take for St. James to prepare to welcome a new rector, make it necessary for this “first chapter” of your transition to come to an end and a new “chapter” to begin. You aren’t “starting over,” but turning the page to a new chapter.
This new chapter will build upon the work we shared. You can look forward to a time none of us has yet imagined, but all of us can hope for—a time of blessing and grace—a time for the church to re-member, re-gather, and re-build. For me, it will also be a new chapter, as I retire from active ministry and take time to listen to some of the nudges God has already put in my heart.
Thank you for your support and the kindness so many of you have shown me during our time together. I am especially appreciative of the countless hours your wardens and ministry leaders have spent working with me to assess and improve the way things work at St. James. My hope is that the work we did together, and the work you will be doing in the coming months, will help St. James discover and celebrate what God is doing in this place, and where God may be calling you in the future.
My last service at St. James will be December 25. I thank God for the time I had with you, and for the many graces we have shared. You can be sure that I will keep all of you and St. James in my prayers!
Response to Rev. Carol from Vicki Wright, Sr. Warden
The St. James Vestry thanks Carol for all she has done as our interim rector during the last 15 months. Under her leadership, we identified and addressed several processes that needed to be changed and some that needed to be eliminated. She has encouraged us to think “outside the box” and approach our mutual ministry from a fresh perspective. She has empowered and supported the ministry leaders of the church. We wish her much happiness and fulfilment in her retirement.
St. James will be beginning a new phase of our interim process. For this next month, we will be saying goodbye to Carol and helping her complete the tasks that she has begun. The Discernment Committee will continue their work with their current timetable. The Vestry and staff will begin to assess the workload for the next 6-8 months to determine the duties and skills we need for our next interim rector. The Bishop and Canon Augusta will be working alongside us in all this. We ask the St. James community to support the staff and leadership with your prayers and talents.