New Year News from Senior Warden
Dear Emmanuel Church Parishioner,
As most everyone is aware, Rev. John Branson will not be returning as our August Priest-in Charge in 2023. John and Judyth have sold their house in North Carolina and have relocated back to Connecticut to be near their daughter Jess, who continues her successful recovery from some health issues. John, as you might guess, is doing some interim work at a small, struggling Episcopal church near where they live.
As Senior Warden, it came to me to initiate a search for our next August Priest in Charge. My first call was to New Hampshire Bishop Rob Hirschfeld who immediately gave me four names of Episcopal priests who he thought would be interested. We also “put out the word” as well as posting the position on the National church’s bulletin board. My second call was to Anne-Marie Irwin. She and her husband David attend Emmanuel faithfully and I suspected she would be a good person to chair a search committee. She agreed, and together we put together a good team, consisting of Anna Miner Ritchey, Jack Lewis, Junior Warden Yank Brame and me.
Three of the four possible candidates responded to our invitation. We were able to interview the first of the three as a whole committee, save Yank, who has returned to his home in Florida. The second two came to Dublin and, as the weather held, we were able to tour all three around the church, the Rectory, and the grounds. Following the tours, we repaired to the Dublin General Store for coffee and in-depth interviews with each candidate, finding out about them and telling them about us and the position.
The Search Committee considered the three candidates carefully and last week Anne-Marie polled the Committee, and their choice was unanimous. The Committee asked the Wardens to call the Rev. Abby VanderBrug, Chaplain of The Holderness School in Plymouth, NH, to be our August Priest in Charge for 2023. I checked Abby’s references, and I got glowing reports. But I mean really glowing, with comments such as “Amazing”, “Salt of the earth”, Genuine and real sermons”, “Very gifted priest and person”, “Great and gifted with children”. Well, you get the idea.
Abby will come to Dublin for the last four Sundays in August and the first Sunday in September. She and her husband Michael and two young children (Rozzy age 3 and Crosby age 1) will live in the Rectory and enjoy the August glow of southern New Hampshire and the Monadnock Region. Abby will be a great complement to Gideon Pollach’s ministry. She is bright, energetic, and brimming with good ideas about how we might begin to attract young families to Emmanuel Church. The Committee and the Wardens are very pleased that Abby has accepted our call.
In other news, Ted Pearre continues to discuss the roof replacement on the church with Davis Construction of Peterborough. I will be having a meeting with the Managing Committee soon to discuss the project and to decide how we will pay for it now that we will not get the LCHIP grant we had applied for. I will keep you updated as events unfold.
Trust you are all well and enjoying your winter wherever you may be.