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Transition News

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

The Discernment Committee is pleased to announce that we will be meeting with the Vestry later this week to deliver the candidate selected to be our next Rector. This is a very exciting moment for our parish and marks the completion of the discernment process to identify that person we believe God is calling to be our next Rector. While the Discernment Committee's work is complete, there are still several steps that need to be taken before our new Rector can be publicly announced. Therefore, we are asking for your continued prayers and patience as we bring this process to a close.

Over the next few weeks the Vestry will take the following steps:

  • Meet with the candidate and spouse to learn more about them.
  • Come to a consensus that this is the candidate to be called to the position of Rector.
  • Extend a call (offer the job) to the candidate.
  • Negotiate the details of the offer (e.g., compensation, housing, benefits, start date).
  • Sign a Letter of Agreement.
  • Publicly announce the new Rector.

As you can see, there are some important steps ahead of us. As much as we would like to offer a specific date the new Rector will be announced, there are many interdependencies that need to be considered. While it is a moment of great joy for Holy Comforter, we must appreciate that there is a parish that will be losing their Rector -- a moment of great sadness for them. The timing of the announcement will ultimately be determined in consultation with the new Rector to take into consideration all that are impacted by this decision. With Advent and Christmas fast approaching, the timing of the announcement with the liturgical seasons must also be considered. When the announcement is made, it will be done simultaneously at Holy Comforter and the other parish involved. Then we can share with you everything we have learned about our next Rector.

The coming year looks to be a very exciting year for Holy Comforter. Thanks be to God!

In Christ's Name,

The Discernment Committee


The Church of the Holy Comforter is a large suburban parish located in the Town of Vienna in the Northern Virginia suburbs of Washington, DC. We are a spiritually thriving parish with over 2,000 communicants, supporting 64 ministries, a preschool, and community thrift shop.

Through the process of spiritual discernment and heard in the words of our congregation, we believe our next Rector will have the following essential gifts and skills:

Relational – someone that engages all ages enthusiastically
Leader – someone that builds sustainable ministries collaboratively
Dynamic – someone who is a compelling preacher and communicator
Inspirational – someone that is spiritually and intellectually mature

We seek a Rector that understands the unique nature of a large, complex parish with multiple associate rectors and a staff of eight part- and full-time laypersons. We have a proud liturgical tradition described as more High Church than Low Church, and a robust music program that draws largely from the Anglican choral tradition. Collectively, we represent a broad range of theological and ideologically view points that embrace worship, formation, and outreach. Our next Rector will recognize the opportunity this parish represents and inspire us to enthusiastically meet the challenges of growth and increasing diversity in order to become the church of the future.

As part of our spiritual discernment process and in preparation for completing our Community Ministry Portfolio, we conducted a self-study using focus groups, listening sessions, informal dialog, and online surveys. The results of each survey, as well as a summary report to the parish, which represent the views of the parish, can be found below:

Adult Congregational Survey Results and Summary
Youth Congregational Survey Results and Summary
Discernment Committee Report for Parish Meeting 05-21-2017

More information about Church of the Holy Comforter can be found through these links:

Our Institution – History, Clergy & Staff, Facts & Figures
What We Do – Outreach, Formation, Congregational Care, Ministries
How We Worship – Services, Music

Please join us in prayer as we seek to hear what God is telling us through spiritual discernment about the next Rector of the Church of the Holy Comforter.

The Discernment Committee members are:

  • Lynne Brents
  • John Davison, Alternate
  • Andrew Eastman, Chair
  • Ed Hussey
  • Denis McMullan
  • Lolly Mixter
  • Carl Riedy
  • Frances Sullinger, Vice Chair
  • Don Webster
  • Norma Williamson