Being an Episcopal Church means that we are organized under the leadership of a bishop (“episkopoi” in Greek) within a geographic area, or diocese. The Offices of the Episcopal Diocese of New York are located on the grounds of The Cathedral of St. John the Divine in New York City.
As a member parish in the Episcopal Diocese of New York we are under the authority and guidance of our Diocesan Bishop, The Rt. Rev. Andrew M.L. Dietsche, along with the Bishop Suffragan, The Rt. Rev. Allen K. Shin and Assistant Bishop The Rt. Rev. Mary Glasspool.
The Rev. Allison Moore, Ph.D., came to St. Barnabas in April, 2017 as the Interim Pastor while the congregation discerns who best will lead the congregation as its fourteenth rector. “Discernment” is one of those churchy words for a process of self-reflection for the congregation: What’s best about our congregation? How does St. Barnabas serve the community? How, in all that we do—worship, Christian education, community-building, outreach—do we know God better and make Christ’s compassionate love known?
It takes a while—people ask sometimes how major companies can find a leader in six weeks while it takes the average parish 12-24 months. Congregations aren’t companies, they are communities engaged in a rather elusive and very rewarding search for meaning and value, love and faithfulness, healing and peace. Identifying the particular gifts to lead St. Barnabas for the next decade or so means knowing both who the congregation is now and who the members and God want it to become. How? The vestry finds an interim pastor and chooses people for a Search Committee. The Search Committee designs ways to invite everyone in the parish to share their experiences, hopes, and fears in a variety of ways—maybe a survey, maybe one on one conversations, maybe some town hall meetings, maybe intentional reflection on why we do what we do when. They create a Parish Profile from that information, which is approved by the Diocese and published in Episcopal channels and as widely as possible. Candidates apply, have an initial review, the Search Committee chooses up to twelve names and then works, through interviews and visits, to find their top three choices. The vestry makes the final decision among those three.
In the meantime, the congregation prays, and worships, and serves the community, tries some new things and learns more about each other and God. We celebrate and mourn and support and challenge and encourage each other to pay attention to God. We try to notice what needs healing, and bear witness to the best hopes for justice and peace in the state, nation, and world. We make mistakes and try to forgive each other. We find new strength to be “good enough” parents and children, neighbors and friends, contributors to the common good through meaningful work, paid or not. We delight in God’s creation and serve God’s people with joy. Come join us and find food for the journey of your life.
Mr. Donald Butt, Organist and Choirmaster
Ms. Sue Stanley, Administrator
Mr. Ron Lillo, Sexton