In June 2021, St. Francis began the process of searching for our next leader. The search process is a linear one, with each step requiring time and consideration. We invite every member of the St. Francis community to join us prayerfully on this journey.
Timing and Expectations
Although we cannot predict the precise length of our rector search, we are prepared for this process to take many months. St. Francis Episcopal Church is prepared, with patience and prayerful consideration, to take the time necessary to find the right spiritual leader.
The time of transition between rectors may be viewed as a journey of hope and honest discernment for our community. With trust in God, the support of our dedicated staff, and the joy and energy of our congregation, we are in a position to navigate this journey with grace. We aim to make the process a transparent one; to that end, the Vestry and Wardens welcome any and all questions you may have.
Interim Rector Jerry E. Sather
The Rev. Jerry E. Sather joined St. Francis on March 16, 2021, as Interim Rector. Jerry+ will be ministering to us by leading services, providing pastoral care, and serving as strong support and guidance as we search for a new rector. Jerry was hand-selected by Bishop John Taylor, who felt that he was a great fit for our needs and the Vestry is so very pleased that we have such a broadly qualified priest who will be with us on our transition journey.
Jerry+ comes to us after many years in military chaplaincy with the United States Air Force and has strong and varied experience in leadership, preaching, and pastoral care. His career has spanned the globe and he is bringing a wealth of knowledge to us.
Jerry lives in Orange County and has been married to his lovely wife Annette for 38 years.
The Rector Search Process
Phase 1: Pre-Search << We Are Here
Pre-search begins with an honest assessment of our parish. The survey results will directly inform the creation of the Parish Profile. The Parish Profile Committee will be assembling a Parish Survey in the near future.
In June 2021, St. Francis formed a Parish Profile Committee to create a profile of our parish. This document will capture the essence of our community and will highlight what is important to our members. Once the profile is completed, it will be submitted to the diocese. It will be used by the diocese to recruit candidates for the Search Committee to interview and will be the first impression these potential candidates have of St. Francis.
In June 2021, St. Francis formed a Search Committee who are standing by until the Parish Profile is completed.
Phase 2: Active Search
The Active Search phase will begin once the Search Committee has completed training conducted by the Episcopal Diocese of Los Angeles.
Upon completion of the training, the Search Committee will vet and interview many candidates. Candidates may be self-referred; referred by parishioners, or recommended by others (such as the Bishop and Canons of our diocese). Names of candidates may be added at any point during the Active Search but must be approved by Bishop Taylor before being contacted by our Search Committee.
While the committee will keep the congregation informed about the general progress of the search, the specifics of the search (the candidates’ names and current parishes, for example) will remain strictly confidential.
After deep prayer and careful reflection by the Search Committee, Active Search culminates in the selection of a single candidate for the Vestry’s consideration. The Vestry will listen to the recommendation of the committee during a specially called meeting and vote.
Phase 3: The Call
Upon approval by the Vestry, the Senior Warden will call the candidate to let them know the positive results of the vote. The Bishops and Canons of the diocese are also informed, and the candidate is issued a call to serve and invited to visit St. Francis. (This visit will not be a public one, as the priest may still be committed to his or her current parish.) If the call is accepted, the Bishop is notified and plans to celebrate this new ministry begin in earnest.
January 31, 2021 — The Rev. Paula Vukmanic’s last Sunday as Rector at St. Francis.
March 16, 2021 — The Rev. Jerry E. Sather joined St. Francis as Interim Rector.
June 2021 — Profile Committee and Search Committee members announced.
July 7, 2021 — Profile Committee kickoff meeting over Zoom.
Ongoing — The Profile Committee meets weekly or every other week on Thursdays over Zoom.
This page will be updated as significant milestones are achieved. Watch for announcements on Sundays and in our weekly email newsletter.