Dear clergy member –
This letter and accompanying materials are intended to introduce you to our parish, the Episcopal Church of the Resurrection, which is located in Eugene, Oregon.
Last December, the vestry was informed by our prior rector, the Reverend Dr. Brent Was, that he had accepted the call to become the rector of St. Francis by the Sea, a church in the coastal town of Blue Hill, Maine. In his letter to the parish, Fr. Brent said “We have done good work together. From starting Hospitality Village to growing our children’s formation program, from serving our neighbors across the city to launching Stephen Ministry to all the amazing improvements to the property, not to mention the deep and complex web of relationships that makes this place Resurrection, we have worked well together.”
The news of his departure was difficult as we were quite fond of Fr. Brent, his wife Windy Dayton, and their two daughters, Hannah Maeve and Brigid. After the initial sadness, we focused our energies on enjoying the rest of our time with them. With gratitude, we sent them on their way with our love and prayers for their new life in coastal Maine.
By February, working in consultation with the diocese, the vestry decided to start a search for a priest-in-charge and to hire Fr. Ken Dorsch as our interim priest through at least August 2020. We formed two committees of volunteers to facilitate the search: a Parish Profile and a Search committee. The former has completed the Parish Profile which is included with this letter.
Since that time, we have been confronted with the pandemic. All services, vestry meetings, committee meetings, and other activities have been done remotely. The lockdown challenged us and we learned to become experts at working through email and Zoom. While we all miss the in-person gatherings for our worship services, we’ve continued to function together in the continuing spirit of Resurrection. One example is that parishioners formed a meal train for two months to keep our Hospitality Village residents well fed despite the pandemic.
As of this writing, our parish along with the rest of the diocese (and the country) is looking forward to reopening—and what the “new normal” will bring. We are swimming in a sea of uncertainty while we chart a course, knowing that many of our members are likely to have new needs and unprecedented challenges. We are looking for a new priest who can help us navigate these uncertain times with God’s grace. We hope you find the accompanying materials informative and we look forward to engaging with you to determine whether Episcopal Church of the Resurrection is indeed the target of your search.