Dear People of Ascension,
A few weeks ago, the Diocesan Executive Assistant, Canon Mary Conliffe, called me to ask if Church of the Ascension might consider taking on a curate. Usually, churches approach the diocese first, but in this case Mary felt that she had a curate that would be especially suited to Ascension and wondered if we might be interested. The persepctive of the diocese is that we are a healthy parish community that is moving from maintance to growth (the direction the whole diocese is aiming for). They would not place a curate in a parish they did not have confidence in. They see Ascension as a good teaching church.
A curacy is like an apprenticeship. A curate comes to the parish having finished their seminary studies, having been through the process of being interviewed and accepted by both the Diocese of Toronto and the Anglican Church of Canada, and having spent two years of formation as students in the postulancy process. They become a full-time employee of the church they serve. They are ordained as transitional deacons in May, come to the parish to work in June and usually within six months (give or take) they are ordained within that parish as a priest.
A curate comes with learning goals, but also with a willingness and desire to serve the paricular needs of the parish that they are a part of. This requires some supervision of the Priest-in-Charge as a mentor of sorts to the curate, but it also allows the parish as a whole to have the use of a ministry person to enhance, initiate or support ministries in the community.
The next step in this process is for the Church Leadership, that is the Warden's, to meet with the prospective candidate. After that meeting, more information will be shared with the whole parish whether or not we wish to proceed.
The cost of a curate is $70, 000 for two years of full-time ministry. The good news for us, is that not only do we have money available for a ministry position, but that the diocese offers a grant of half that amount to cover the costs. We are not on the hook for the full amount! It is a gift to be able to afford a curate, not all parishes can.
Please feel free to discuss this opportunity with the wardens, with Ruthanne and with Bishop Shaw during her visit this week. Let us prayerfully discern together whether or not this opportunity is the direction the Spirit is leading us.
In Christ, Ruthanne