Transfiguration's Search Committee

 “Almighty God, giver of every good gift: Look graciously on your church, and so guide the minds of those who shall choose a rector for this parish, that we may receive a faithful pastor, who will care for your people and equip us for our ministries; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.” (BCB 818) 

 Our Search Committee has begun the vital task of finding candidates to become the next rector of Transfiguration Parish. In beginning this commission, it was necessary to understand who we were as a church and where we want and need to go in the future. To assist in this reckoning, the diocese provided several questions. Here is how the committee addressed them:

Q: Describe a moment in your worshipping community’s recent ministry which you recognize as one of  success and fulfillment.

A: Our Pentecost service is a special time when the entire parish joins together to adorn the church for a festiveworship celebration. There is something for everyone – festive music, red balloons, beautiful flowers along every aisle, congregants in red and native dress, red origami doves rising high above the altar and beautiful quilted banners that represent the holiday. The Gospel is read in many languages and the Eucharist is served using celebratory vessels. The celebration culminates with a joyous luncheon where we share many cultural dishes.

Q: Describe your liturgical style and practice. If your community provides more than one type of worship service, please describe all.

A: Our liturgy is based upon resources of the Episcopal Church, including the Book of Common Prayer, Enriching Our Worship, the expansive-language version of Rite II Eucharistic prayers and prayer that honors our multiculturalism. We embrace inspirational sermons that provide spiritual sustenance and also appreciate sermons that help us to interpret the Scripture, to better understand how the Word applies to current social issues and our daily lives. Music is very important to us; we routinely incorporate hymns from The Hymnal 1982 and Lift Every Voice and Sing II. We also introduce songs to honor our diverse heritage and repeat songs to that the congregation can enjoy singing along.  We enjoy incorporating our children when possible; most recently teaching them sign language to accompany our fraction, “Come to the Table of Grace”. The artistic offerings of parishioners adds to the beauty and meaning of various liturgical gatherings. 

Q: How do you practice incorporating others in ministry?

A: We encourage wider, multi-generational participation in our ministry. We offer transportation and financial support for some events, provide food and other support for families, and regularly ask congregants to participate based on their God-given talents. We share information about ministry opportunities and activities in different media, including verbal announcements from parishioners during services.

Q: As a worshipping community, how do you care for your spiritual, emotional and physical wellbeing?

A:  Our community places great value on Pastoral Care and seeks to augment these activities. We support our community by offering private Healing Prayers after communion each Sunday and sharing prayer requests with the congregation during the service. We offer a mid-week Eucharistic service and Bible study. We support our physical being through a weekly yoga class, donations from which help to support our ministry in Honduras. As fellowship is very important to us, we often share cultural dishes on Sundays. There are lively fellowship brunches on Mother’s Day and Father’s Day.

Q: Describe your worshipping community’s involvement in either the wider Church or geographical community.

A: We support our diocese by sending delegates to the annual Convention and serving on council and committees. We support a thriving Boy Scout Troop which has created an outdoor altar, signage board and a rain garden on our grounds. Transfiguration partners with other Episcopal parishes and our wider interfaith community through community events and outreach. We operate a Thrift Store that serves the community. Our parish provides space for doctors who offer medical and counseling services. The congregation supports the UTO, Food for the Poor, Samaritan Ministry of Greater Washington, Heifer International, Montgomery Unity Walk, the Acolyte Festival at the National Cathedral, C-4 (Colesville Council of Community Congregations), and Action In Montgomery.

Q: How do you engage in pastoral care for those beyond your worshipping community?

A: The Rector’s Discretionary Fund has been used to help individuals meet critical obligations. We provide sacraments and visits to those in need. On Ash Wednesday, members of the congregation offer Ashes to Go at a local Park and Ride. We actively support prison ministries.

Q: Tell about a ministry that your worshipping community has initiated in the past 5 years. Who can be contacted about this project? 

A: Within the past five years, these ministries have begun: care packages for college students (Karen Facen), Healing Prayer in the chapel and prison ministry (Deacon Julie Petersmeyer), Transfiguration Summer Camp (Marvin Arthur), and Samaritan Ministry of Greater Washington as a partner parish (Paula Walker, Louis Mutumba, Gail Carter, and Ladi Grey-Coker).

Q: How is Transfiguration preparing itself for the Church of the future? How do we feel Transfiguration is prepared for the Church of the future? What does the Church of the future look like, in 5-10 years, from Transfiguration’s perspective?

A: During this time of transition, in addition to investing in our youth as the future of the church, we are using the assessment process to explore how we want to prepare for our future as a parish. Our overarching goals are to sustain our faith, actively appreciate our diversity, and build on this foundation for the next generation. We envision that Transfiguration will leverage more emerging technology in the future, to engage a wider circle of people in worship services and church activities.

Q: What is our practice of stewardship (time, talent and treasure)? How do we feel about our Stewardship practices and process?

A: We are a responsive congregation and generously give our time, talent and treasure to our parish and community. As a parish, we have pulled together to help families in sorrow or need in our church family and in the community. When faced with financial shortfalls we developed strategies to generate additional income, including thriving fundraisers such as the Altar Guild Tea, Dinner Dance, Fish Fry and Jazz Concerts. We regularly volunteer our skills for special projects and renovations. We often contribute well beyond the expectations of our parish.

Q: What is Transfiguration’s experience of conflict or adversity? How have we addressed it? How in your experience have we handled adversity? How in your experience have we handled conflict/congregational disagreements?

A: We value the diversity of points of view in our parish, however, we have occasionally experienced disagreements and differences in style and process. There have been times when we have not successfully dealt with these challenges. However, we have emerged firmly committed to proactively address potential conflicts and to successfully cope with future disagreements. We seek the guidance of a strong pastoral mediator who can foster collaborative support from the parish.

Q: What is our experience leading and addressing change in the Church? How open do you feel we are in our Church to change? How could we better manage change in the future?

A: We seek to honor our legacy while continuing to evolve. Successfully managing change in the future will include consistent communication, building consensus, awareness and an understanding of the rationale behind the changes, and implementing a consistent process for a smooth transition from old to new.

Q:  Please provide words describing the gifts and skills essential to Transfiguration’s next rector. What gifts should they have as a future rector of Transfiguration? What skills should they have? What life/work experience should they have?

A: We seek a leader who is comfortable in a multicultural environment and who can energize and empower the parish and the community with a vision for growth. Our rector will capably and consistently manage the administrative needs essential to parish life. We need a good listener with a passion for pastoral care, an open-mind, a sense of humor and calm, and a heart to serve God and our parish.

Qualified candidates can apply here.



October 15, 2019



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