Rector Search

LORD, it is with your grace and sure hand that we accomplish all that we do. Come to this Search Committee, lay your loving hand upon us; fill us with your Holy Spirit so that we may see the path to find our new Rector. Bring clarity of the parish’s hopes and fears to us. Let us not wallow in what was, but spring-forth in what can be. For, on the path to find our new Rector, we will find those things we seek and need. We praise you for your good and loving nature. We thank you for all that you do for us. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

Update July 14, 2016
The Church of the Good Shepherd is excited to announce that starting on September 1, 2016, the Reverend Hal Roark will be our full-time Rector! Reverend Hal joins us from the Church of the Heavenly Rest in NYC where he currently serves as Associate Rector and Chief Administrative Officer. His love of pastoral ministry guided him to our call, and his gifts include a powerful preaching style, a willingness to collaborate with others, strong administrative capabilities and a flair for creative solutions to tough problems. He, his wife Lori, and his daughter Lily are thrilled to be joining Good Shepherd’s parish community and look forward to meeting everyone here. I speak for the entire Vestry and the Search Committee when I say that we are truly blessed to welcome Hal as our next Rector.

Update January 15, 2016
The position is now posted on the Diocesan web site! Click here to view the posting. We will be receiving names through March 15, 2016.

Update November 30, 2015
Thank you to everyone who attended the parish meeting and survey results presentation! Hard copies of the presentation are available in the back of the church. Also if anyone would like to meet to discuss the results- just let me know!

Many people have asked us “how much longer is this going to take?” The timeline is posted on the search bulletin board and I am regularly updating the timeline with a “we are here” note. The work of developing a profile and a Rector call can’t be rushed- we are moving on God’s time and hope to post our position on the Diocesan website in January.

Currently, we are analyzing the data for the themes, writing the profile and position description based on the themes with a plan to get a strong close-to-final draft to the vestry for review by December 17th! We are meeting twice a week to write the profile- we appreciate your continued prayers!

We feel led by God and our group has grown into a strong supportive base community to complete the search work.

Please let us know if you have any questions or comments.

Fay, for the Search Committee

Update October 20, 2015
The Search Committee has reviewed all aspects of the adult parish survey and has come to an understanding of themes. These themes have been compared with the results of our Listening Tour and conversations, and we are preparing a presentation of the results for the parish.
Our next All Parish Family meeting is tentatively scheduled for Sunday, November 8.

Update October 4, 2015
The Search Committee’s Listening Tour begins today!
Members of the Search Committee will be visiting each regularly-scheduled Parish Ministry Group meeting during the month of October. We are attending these meetings as interested observers. Our role is to listen and take notes about each group’s ministry goals for the next 1-2 years. These notes will help us remember what was shared and will serve as information to inform the profile we develop about the characteristics we seek in our new Rector. The information will also help us to answer questions from Rector candidates down the road, so we’ll know more about each ministry group.

We know that the members of our parish are involved in multiple ministries, so when we meet with each group, we want feedback specific to each person’s participation in the specific group we are attending. We will be asking the following questions:
o What are your goals and dreams for this ministry over the next 1-2 years?
o What are your hopes for the new rector?
o What do you need from the new rector?
o Is there anything you want the Search Committee to know?

Update September 30, 2015
At our Search Committee meeting on September 30th, we discussed how to organize our parish profile. The parish profile presents an overview of our parish to Rector candidates.

The search committee is reviewing the first draft of our parish profile and appraising profiles from other Episcopal Churches that are also searching for a new Rector to see what formats we like or don’t like.

The results of the parish survey provide information for the profile, but it also includes an overview of each parish ministry group and our history. To frame our thoughts we each described the Church of the Good Shepherd in one word. The search committee members said:
o Welcoming
o Community
o Awesome
o Friendly
o Home

How would you describe our parish? Please share your thoughts with the Search Committee in the parish profile or in conversation.

Update September 27, 2015
Canon Tammearu commissioned the Search Committee today. The members are:
Vernon Alexander
Jeffrey Donaldson
Leslie Fulton
Chris Palmer
Eric Parsons
Courtney Velzy
Fay Wright, Chair

The parish profile survey is online!
If you click on this link Adult Survey you will be taken to the page for the survey for parish members aged 18 years and older. If you are a parish member aged 12 to 17 click on this link Youth Survey to complete the youth survey. If you want to complete a paper version of the survey, you can find a paper copy of the survey in the narthex. Please complete the survey online or return it to church by midnight on Sunday, October 11th.

Who should take the survey?
We hope every parishioner aged 12 and up will complete a survey. Each family member should independently complete one survey. Your input is needed as an important part of calling our new Rector.

About the survey
The Search Committee has developed this survey to inform our parish profile. The survey is an essential part of the discernment process in calling a new rector.

Having problems with multiple household members taking the online survey?
The survey uses a “cookie” to allow the internet browser to keep track of where the respondent is in the survey. After one person completes the survey, it will not allow another user to take it. The easiest way to have more than one person in a household complete the survey is to use another device (PC, tablet, laptop) or a different browser than the first respondent (Internet Explorer, Firefox, Chrome, Safari, etc.). If this is not possible, deleting the cookies from the browser cache will allow the survey to be retaken.

Need additional help with the survey?
If you know of anyone who has not had an opportunity to fill out a survey or anyone who needs assistance in filling out a form, please let a member of the Search Committee know as soon as possible. You can reach the committee by email at

Prayer as we search for a new rector
Almighty God, you know the needs of your Church in every place: look graciously upon us, the people of the Church of the Good Shepherd and grant us the guidance of your Holy Spirit as we seek a new Rector for this parish. Give us discernment, wisdom, and confidence in your timing. Guide the members of our Search Committee, as they labor to be faithful in seeking your will. We pray for the life of our parish, that we may continue to be strengthened in our mission to be Jesus Christ’s heart, hands and feet to our neighbors no matter where they are on their journey of faith. Bless us with mutual trust and respect, courage, and foresight as you shepherd our community through its journey. Grace us with continuous direction and inspire us toward genuine self-reflection. All this we ask as we walk in your ways to the glory of your name. Amen.

Update September 13, 2015
We have an interim!
I am very happy to announce that The Reverend Gwyneth Murphy has accepted the call to be our Interim Pastor for the coming year! Reverend Gwyneth (or “Rev G” as she also likes to be called) comes to Good Shepherd with a wealth of experience, including over 20 years as an ordained minister, a law degree, and several past positions as Interim, most recently at The Church of St. Mary the Virgin in Chappaqua and St. Gregory’s Episcopal Church in Woodstock, NY. Her familiarity with parishes in transition will be especially helpful to us as we search for a permanent Rector. She’s very spiritual, has excellent pastoral skills, and loves kids! She’s as excited to come to our church as we are to have her. I know you will make her feel welcome when she joins us on October 19th to start her tenure.

Update September 6, 2015
The Vestry has appointed the Search Committee. The members are:
Vernon Alexander
Jeffrey Donaldson
Leslie Fulton
Chris Palmer
Eric Parsons
Sally Stevens
Fay Wright, Chair

On Saturday, September 19, the Search Committee will be having a retreat at St. Mark’s in Mount Kisco, NY to prayerfully discern our work.

On Sunday, September 27, Canon Tammearu will commission the Search Committee to formally begin the search! After the 10:00am service, the Search Committee will provide Coffee Hour and hold an all-parish meeting to review the search plan and distribute surveys. Canon Tammearu will also attend Coffee Hour that day to answer any questions from a diocesan perspective.

We ask for your ongoing prayers.

Update July 2, 2015

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 our 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.

I have been blessed with chairing the search committee for our new rector.
I write to you today to ask that you prayerfully reflect on your role in our parish’s search. Reflect on if you are called to be part of the search committee or to support the search through prayer.

The first thing to remember is that this is a process led by God. God leads our timeline planning and search process and we will be mindful of God in all we do to search for a new rector.

Any who are called to be part of the search committee as part of their ministry are welcome to join. We do need an odd number on the committee (to facilitate voting) but if after prayer you feel called, please complete an application and submit it to the church office. We have to complete applications as part of the Diocesan process requirements. Nevertheless, if you are called, you will be welcomed to the committee.

Many are concerned about the time commitment to be part of the committee. Yes, there is a large time commitment as we organize and plan the interviews, however we will work as a committee to determine the meeting times and if the meetings need to be face-to-face or whether Skype/Facetime can be used.

One search committee time commitment to be aware of is the starting retreat in September. We will meet at the church for a retreat that will focus us in God’s process and help us form as a group. The retreat is based on the National Church’s routine for searching with God’s lead. I was currently thinking the retreat would be on Saturday September 6th (Labor Day weekend, but before school/sports starts and since it is “late this year” maybe people will be home) however, I will confirm the date with the formed committee. The retreat will be a required face-to-face meeting time.

The Search committee will be commissioned on September 13th during Church. The rest of the meetings will be scheduled based on committee availability. However, the plan for meetings organization is based on inclusion and prayer. We will do a “listening tour” with each church group (i.e., Sunday school, Seniors, WOCOGS, Youth, Altar Guild, etc.) The search committee will come to each group and listen to your thoughts about the new rector search.

During the summer, the committee will review the parish survey, the overview and reflect on how we will each keep God at the center of this search.

If you are not called to be part of the committee, please keep the search committee in your prayers, for that is also an important ministry

While the search won’t be easy, we will serve the parish to find a rector who will support and love who we are. As our Baptismal covenant states: “We will with God’s help”

If you have questions, thoughts….call me on my cell (914)672-4231 or email at I will be on vacation for the next few Sundays but am available as needed.


News from May 25, 2015
Father Matthew Hoxsie Mead served happily as our 7th Rector from 2009 until May 24, 2015.  We are in the process of calling the 8th Rector.  This page will be updated by the Search Committee and Vestry as our search progresses.