Transition & Discernment at Episcopal Church of the Advent

Transition & Discernment

Clergy Transition

This summer, the Reverend Nancy Hauser announced that her retirement will occur at the end of December 2021. Having served at Advent for 16 years as Deacon, Priest in Charge, and now Rector, Nancy’s faithful loving kindness and clear-eyed commonsense has touched all of us.

While we acknowledge our feelings of loss, we celebrate Nancy’s ministry and time with us, and hope for a joyful retirement for Nancy and Ed. We also pray with hope for Advent’s vibrant and faithful future. Your involvement is essential to the success of the call process and Advent’s transition to our next chapter.

Read on to see how you can help.

JOIN US IN PRAYER

A call process is an act of faithful group discernment of God’s will.

Please pray for Advent. The Prayer Team offers the following:

Prayer for Advent

Most heavenly and gracious God, we thank you for all the blessings you have given us, especially for the leadership of the Reverend Nancy as we celebrate her ministry. Throughout the call process, help us to discern the needs and gifts of our Advent community. Give our lay leaders wisdom and guide our contemplation and prayer during this time of transition. We ask this in the name of your Beloved Son, Jesus Christ.
Amen

The Call Process Update
January 18, 2022

The Discernment Committee held its first meeting.

The members were announced at all three services.

Milestones in the Call Process document published [view here] and posted.

Daily Prayer for Advent Clergy Transition

Let us all pray daily for Advent’s future during this time of transition. Pray at suggested times when others will be praying as well, or pray when you are able.

1:39 - Advent was founded 139 years ago
4:01- our street address is 401 N. Union
5:01 - Advent was founded on May 1st
7:56 - church cornerstone laid in 1956
8:22 - we pray that 2022 will bring us a wonderful new priest 

Lord, hear our prayer

God of love, in this season of change, we pray for our parish community, that we may be genuine in our self-reflection, vibrant in our commitment, patient in our discernment, loving in our communion, joyous in our celebrations, imaginative about our future, and daring in our faith. As we enter this time of change with excitement, we recall your deep compassion, presence, and abounding love. We thank you for the experiences that have brought us to this moment. Be with us as we move forward, rejoicing with you and supporting one another. All this we pray, empowered by the love of Jesus Christ. Amen
Christ Church, Philadelphia

 

Sunday: Genuine in our self-reflection

A Prayer in Time of Discernment
Holy Spirit, You search us out and know us better than we know ourselves. All our thoughts and ways lie open before you. Set us free from opinions and perceptions that bind and imprison us. Give us minds and hearts ready to be led in our discernment into the way of truth. This we pray in the name of the One who is the truth, who declares you the Spirit of truth, Our Savior, Jesus Christ. Amen.
Frank T. Griswold

 

Monday: Vibrant in our commitment

Gracious God, give us your help again, just as you have always done. Remind us of your care. As we work to call our new pastor to Advent’s congregation, keep us always vibrant in our commitment to put our trust in You. Help us to be attentive in your wisdom and spirited in your will. “Lord, you bless with words assuring: ‘I am with you to the end.’ Faith and hope and love restoring, may we serve as you intend, and, amid the cares that claim us, hold in mind eternity; with the Spirit’s gifts empower us for the work of ministry.” Amen.
(The Hymnal 1982, page 528)

 

Tuesday: Patient in our discernment

Gracious God, give us your help again, just as you have always done. Remind us of your care. We know that we are not the same congregation we were last year, or ten years ago. Times have changed, things have changed, we have changed since last calling a pastor. As we work to call a new pastor to our congregation, may your Holy Spirit lead us to discern the gifts we seek and see those gifts clearly in the candidates you are sending to us. Amen.

 

Wednesday: Loving in our communion

Gracious God, we thank you for our brothers and sisters in Christ as we journey together and not alone. Fill us with love for each other so that when our transition to a new priest is difficult, we seek to hear, understand, and support each other. Help us to remember that we all want your Church of the Advent to thrive and to fulfill your mission far into the future. Fill us with your grace so that we may be gracious to each other. In Jesus’ name we pray, Amen.

 

Thursday: Joyous in our celebrations

Gracious God, You are the ruler of all. You know our needs before we do. You know the candidate that Advent needs. Help us to discern YOUR WILL during the call process. Remind us to not be anxious during this time of transition, but instead, to place our faith and trust in you, so that we may honor you, Lord, by being joyful always, praying continually and giving thanks in all circumstances. Amen.

(Prayer based upon Philippians 4:4-6 NIV "Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again, Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your request to God.")

 

Friday: Imaginative about our future

Gracious God, the One in whom we live and move and have our being, give us a vision of the times of our lives, the new situations in which we live out our faith in Jesus. May we ask anew what it means to be the Church in our time and our place. As we work to call a new pastor to our congregation, may we welcome according to your Spirit the one you are sending to us to lead us into the new days ahead. May we go with faith and courage knowing that your hand is leading us, and your love is supporting us, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

 

Saturday: Daring in our faith

Gracious God, come into our hearts so that we may be bold, brave, and daring in our faith. We thank you for your goodness and care, and the blessings of this day as we faithfully await your miracles during this call process. Give us patience, strength, and wisdom to know we never take a step alone, for you are with us even now. Show us your way and lead us, sign by sign, miracle by miracle, to right opportunities for Advent. Come into our hearts dear Father and give us courage and faith to follow where you are leading us– Thy will be done. Amen.

 

Any day

Most heavenly and gracious God, we thank you for all the blessings you have given us, especially for the leadership of the Reverend Nancy as we celebrate her ministry. Throughout the call process, help us to discern the needs and gifts of our Advent community. Give our lay leaders wisdom and guide our contemplation and prayer during this time of transition. We ask this in the name of your Beloved Son, Jesus Christ. Amen

 

Our Prayer Team

This daily prayer initiative is faithfully offered by the Prayer Team: Gaila Ciccarone, Vicki Knotts, Sister Jackie, Diane Bieberbach, Mary Hutchins, Suzanne Pusey, and Kim Hoeschel

 

Check out archived communication on the Clergy Transition

Archives

Click Here

Resources 

Strategic Growth Plan
October 2021

Read Here

DIOPA Search Protocol
October 2021

Read Here

A History of the Church of the Advent
November 2021

Read more

Meet Your Discernment Committee
January 2022

Read more

Milestones in the Call Process
January 2022

Read more

Timeline of Our History

The Episcopal Church of the Advent was born

May 1, 1882

Cornerstone laid

1885

First service held

1886

New entrance & steeple built, plus parish house erected 

1910

New land acquired on North Broad and Fairthorne

1952

Cornerstone of new building laid

1956

Services began in new building

1957

May Fair Event
raised funds for kneeling cushions

1978

Episcopal Church of the Advent Celebrates Centennial

1982

Patio & garden
dedicated to the right of Advent entrance

1986

Major renovations

1990

Additional renovations

2005

Memorial Garden Creation

2010