Dear Advent Family,
Recognizing how Covid can make things even more difficult to communicate, I am writing to give you an update on our clergy staffing at the Advent. Information has been circulated that is a bit premature, so I am writing you now to let you know where things stand with your pastoral staff.
Matt Schneider: As we have mentioned elsewhere, Matt and his family will be moving to Springfield, Massachusetts in early 2021 to take a position with Biglife Ministries. You can find that announcement here.
We are in the process of seeking out a replacement for Matt who will be our next Canon for Parish Life and Evangelism. Matt’s fruitful ministry has shown us the great need we have for this position to evangelize, to create onramps for our newcomers to the Advent, and to create connections among the many parts of our life together.
Please join me in praying for an evangelist to come among us who will also love the people God has given them to pastor.
Chuck Collins: As I mentioned in my annual address, it was our hope to call the Rev. Canon Chuck Collins to serve on staff at the Advent. Though a priest in good standing in the Diocese of West Texas, he has not yet been licensed to serve in the Diocese of Alabama, due to Chuck’s involvement in the Anglican Church in North America the past few years.
In the meantime, Chuck and Ellen have relocated to Birmingham (amidst Covid, no less!), where Chuck’s work with the Center for Reformation Anglicanism forges ahead. Lord willing, you will see them when we’re able to start gathering together again. Please be praying for Chuck and Ellen.
Wes Sharp: Our partnership with Church of the Holy Cross, Trussville, was meant to come to an end (financially) in 2019. Many will remember that the Advent’s investment in Holy Cross began with Joe Gibbes serving there, in the hopes that the church would grow and be able to support its own full-time rector. The past several years, our vestry has extended that investment based on conversations with the rector and vestry of Holy Cross, as the church was not in a position to be self-supporting. We felt it was a pivotal time that would help discern the ultimate direction of Holy Cross in the years to come. After much prayer and discernment, the vestry of Holy Cross has decided to move to a part-time rectorship. As a result, in consultation with the Holy Cross vestry and Bishop Sloan, Wes Sharp has tendered his resignation as rector effective August 31, 2020.
You may have heard through other channels that Wes Sharp will be joining the staff of the Advent. We had not planned on making any announcement until your vestry had the opportunity to meet in August and reappropriate funds. It is our hope to bring Wes Sharp on staff in a limited capacity, giving the Sharps (Wes, Allison, and their boys) a time and place for respite and encouragement, as they discern their next steps.
Wes and his family, if the vestry approves, would only be with us until December 31, 2020. If approved, Wes would not be taking any particular responsibilities other than being a priest amongst us. As it is, with Covid-19, we will have to see what this looks like.
Please know that you are in my prayers constantly. I miss being with you, and look forward to seeing you soon.