Letter from the Senior Warden - July 2019
Dear Grace Community,
What a marvelous sendoff we had for Carleton this past week! It was an expression of the Grace community at its finest demonstrating the boundless generosity of this place and its people. So many did so much to create the events for the weekend of Carleton’s celebration and farewell. The list of those whose extraordinary efforts created the celebrations and gifts is too long to print.
As this week begins, we are officially in our transition time at Grace. While we have been planning Carleton’s farewell and celebration, the Vestry has been carrying on behind the scenes to initiate the transition process.  We have called an Interim Rector, selected a Search Committee, and engaged a consultant to work with the Search Committee. We waited to formally announce these decisions out of respect for Carleton’s last weeks with us and so that we, as a community, could savor these last weeks with him.
Interim Rector
The Grace Vestry has called The Rev. Francis T.G. (Tom) Crittenden as our Interim Rector and he will begin his journey with us on Sunday, July 14th.  He has just completed a year-long Interim call at St. John’s Episcopal Church in Decatur, Alabama. Prior to committing to service as an Interim, Tom was the Rector at Grace Episcopal Church in Lexington, VA for ten years.  This followed more than 13 years as Rector of Holy Comforter Episcopal Church, Tallahassee, FL. His experience ranges from revival of a parish and day school torn by forced resignations at Holy Comforter in Tallahassee to formation of lay pastoral care teams to expand and enhance care for a growing elder parishioner population at Grace Lexington. He has been involved with revitalizing Christian education and music programs as well as campus building initiatives and historic church restorations during his 35-year career in the ministry. Rev. Crittenden earned his Master of Divinity at The Church Divinity School of the Pacific, Berkeley, California and holds a Bachelor of Arts from Lawrence University in Appleton, Wisconsin. Tom and his wife Christi have three grown children and a school aged daughter, Sarah. Christi and Sarah live in Staunton and will continue to do so while Tom serves as Interim at Grace.
 Rev. Tom Crittenden was recommended to us by the Diocese in May. He visited Grace and met the Vestry and staff shortly thereafter. We are confident that he will guide us as a community as we embark on our search for a new Rector. We plan to have small group gatherings in parishioners’ homes as a way to meet and greet Tom, so stay tuned for opportunities to host and attend these gatherings. 
Search Committee
The Vestry also selected a Search Committee which will be responsible for the process of completing Diosecian documents about Grace, gathering input from the congregation about the future of Grace, vetting and interviewing the prospective candidates for our new Rector, and recommending a final candidate to the Vestry. Selecting the committee was a challenging process because we had so many talented and dedicated parishioners willing to serve. The Vestry worked to select a group that had a variety of involvement at Grace. The list of those on the search committee is attached, and a brief write up on each one is included. They will begin their work this summer.
It is typical to have a consultant to assist the Search Committee and the Vestry has engaged Chuck Mullaly, a retired Rector who most recently served at St. Martins in Williamsburg as Associate Interim Rector, to fill this role. He has been trained as a consultant and, again, he was recommended by the Diocese and voted on by the Vestry. He will be working with the committee over the next year as they navigate the search process with the Diocese. He will be at our worship service this Sunday, July 7th.


In closing, it is my hope for the Grace community that together we can live out the message in Carleton’s final sermon: to cope with the loss that accompanies change and embrace the possibilities it presents for our future.

With gratitude for your engagement in and support of Grace,
Elizabeth Wash
Sr. Warden
Last Published: July 31, 2019 1:49 PM
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