Parish Profile

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I assisted with proofreading and writing the copy for this parish profile. Months prior, I provided art direction that ultimately produced the logo and masthead as shown on this piece.


<ul><li>1.ST THOMAS E P I S C O PA L C H U R C H T E R R A C E PA R K C h u r c h P r of i l e 2 0 0 9Photo by Lynn Siefgried </li></ul><p>2. Photo by John Cascella 3. Who we are St. Thomas is an Episcopal churchserving Christ for 134 years in the Cincinnati suburb of Terrace Park. We are looking for our 12th Rector.Currently we have a full-time staff of five, membership of approximately 700,182 pledging families, an annual budget of $885,000,and average Sunday attendance of 222. 4. Our StrengthsWe are a loving, caring, friendly parish with strong traditions that we value. A significant proportion of us have been members of St Thomas for 30 years or longer. In our parish- wide focus groups, parishioners describe us as having a long tradition of spirituality and aHow We See willingness to be transformed. Ourselves Worship: We offer two Rite 1 and two Rite II services each week, and our music program, with six choirs, offers wonderful traditional Anglican music at these services, as well as several special events each year with outside singers and instrumentalists.We are educated, smartpeople who give theirEducation: Starting in 2007, we have an adult education hour between Sunday services.talents to the church. We also have four new church school programs for children 3-16 which parishioners feel give our children a solid foundation in the elements of our faith.Our plant is lovely, Physical Plant: We have a beautiful worship space and a six year old, 10.5 million dol-though not utilized fullylar building (debt-free) that houses our Parish Hall, Church School, Nursery School, a and reflects the honor commercial-grade kitchen, and several sitting rooms and offices. which is felt by the con- gregation for the Lord. Congregation: As a congregation, we see ourselves as being resilient, welcoming, and friendly. The words we use to describe our church and ourselves are authentic, comfort- able and well intentioned. The group is active in various ministries of Outreach: We have several significant, long-term outreach programs: In 1964 we and twoservice to the largerother churches founded the Interparish Ministry, a local food pantry and social service community. provider. In 1990, we conceived and financed the building of one hundred town homes for low income families in a nearby rural community. And for 30 years, St. Thomas youth Photo by Lynn Siegfried and accompanying adult volunteers have participated in Mt. TOP, our annual mission trip to rural Tennessee.How we describe ourselves in one word For a fuller list of outreachWounded and ministries please seeWaiting/passive 5%5%Traditional our expanded Parish ProfileIn transition21% 5% on our websiteEpiscopalian 5%Well-intentioned6% Friendly 12% Home7%CaringLoving 7%11% The Revd. Darby Everhard, our Sr. Associate Rector,Authentic 7%Conservative leading worship.9%PAGE 2 5. Photo by Lynn SiegfriedOur ChallengesThere is, however, a sense that we have lost energy and momentum at St. Thomas. Since 2004 when our rector of 9 years left, we have had one rector and three interim rectors. Our attendance has diminished annually since 1999. The maintenance of our new build- ing has been a significant drain on our resources as well as a source of controversy among parishioners. Our previous rector was asked to resign. And at this time, we are a parishTom Long of Friends of the Groom. with challenging financial issues. We seek a new rector who will provide invigorating leadership to the parish and bring much needed stability and direction.Worship: Our worship experience is described by some as one dimensional, and dull. Others say, the pews are empty because we offer too many services and they are all alike. Too many services There are significant numbers of us who feel that the music, while beautiful, is toonothing for the high difficult to sing.schoolers and young college age. Education: Our congregation wants challenging, relevant, adult educa- tion opportunities focusing on things that pertain to my life. We want more Bible and prayer study in small-groups. Our program for high school students is widely seen as needing improvement, and there It is discouraging to see a are many requests for a youth minister. Photo by Lynn SiegfriedAnother interesting half-full education hour. Physical Plant: Our new building is underused and very expensive. We need to use our splendid facility more fully for recruiting new members and to make our presence and our welcome more strongly felt in our surrounding communities. We need to have more Congregation: Many parishioners feel that lingering resentment over old wounds, parishioners active. focusing inward, not outward, and insularity keep us from moving forward.Outreach: We have many outreach options, but suffer from volunteer fatigue because too few people carry the heavy load of volunteering.Overall, our congregation is eager for: Stable,inspired,leadershipanddirection. Ourworshiptobemorejoyful,spirit-filled,vitalandhappy. Newparishionersandthereturnofthosewhohaveleft. Challengingandrelevantadultandyoutheducation. Fullerandmorecreativeuseofournewbuilding,especiallytomakeusamore recognized and welcoming presence in the community. PAGE 3 6. Skills and Characteristics We Seek in Our Next Rector eseekarectorwhois,accordingtoourparish-widesurvey,aleader(12%),abuilderW ofcongregations(11%),agoodpreacher(10%),spirit-driven(9%),ayouthleader, (9%),andwarm(7%). Our Next Rector We need a inspirational rector who both respects tradition and has experience with multiple liturgies and forms of worship. There is strong feeling that we need more variety,relevance,joy,andenergyinoursermons,musicandliturgy.However,wehave I would like a rector interested in the care andlittle experience with alternate liturgies, and so we need a rector who is able to gentlygrowth of this parish lead the congregation to appreciate a range of worship rituals and structures.not as a stepping stone. ithsomuchchangeinthelastfivetosevenyears,weneedanexperiencedleaderW who can help us create a focused, energetic, fiscally-responsible organization. ecausewehavebeendrifting,weneedapersonwithvision,tact,imagination,andBA spiritual scholar who warmth who can align our many well-established groups to fulfill our collaborative can work with and vision for a more vital community at St. Thomas.inspire people, especiallyyoung families. eneedapersonwithspiritualwisdomandempathytohelpusresolveissuesthatW keep us looking backward rather than forward. eneedaspirit-filledpersonwhocanhelpbringrelevance,variety,energyandW fellowship to our adult and youth education programs. Compassionate, thoughtful, approachable, eneedapersonwhocanleadusaswereachouttothesurroundingcommunities,W with good counselingand can inspire and lead our emerging skills.evangelizing ministry. Top Rector QualitiesFinance ManagerAdult Education Outreach Fund-raiser LeaderBuilding Lay Leaders Listener Building Congregation Building FellowshipWarmthOratorCollaborative LeaderPastoralYouth EducationSpirit-drivenThe information in this Parish Profile was gathered in March 2009 by means of focus group discussions and a survey.One hundred and forty-one parishioners attended focus groups and 125 parishioners filled out surveys. PAGE 4 7. Our Past and PresentSt. Thomas is located in the Village of Terrace Park, fifteen miles east of Cincinnati. We need this parish to Our church was founded in 1876, in a small wooden structure on the banks of the Little establish viable programs Miami River, serving the residents of Terrace Park, Milford, Indian Hill and Miamiville.that integrate with thePhoto by Lynn Siegfriedcommunity. In 1901 the congregation built a new church in Terrace Park. The church is located on the very spot that was once Covalts Station, a pioneer fort built to defend the first settlers from attack. The nave of the new building was dedicated as a memorial to the daughter of John Robinson, a local landowner who wintered his circus in Terrace Park. We are told that Mr. Robinsons original proposal called for a frieze of elephants, trunk to tail, all the way around the Photo by Lynn Siegfriedinterior of the nave. While this never happened, old- The welcoming red doors. timers do remember elephants pulling snow plows on the tree-lined roads of Terrace Park.The church flourished with the growing area population, and the size of the building was increased with additions in 1950 and 1960. A Columbarium was added in 1983, ramps in 1992, and elevators connected all floors in our 2004 addition.By 2002 the church buildings were strained trying to contain a growing num- berofprogramsandactivities.Groundwasbrokenforamajornewstructure: a 55,000 square foot, four-storied Parish Building, which opened in 2004. Now, we are grappling with the challenge of maintaining this new facility. Though it brings new opportunities to serve Jesus in our community, our re- Photo by Lynn Siegfried duced numbers and income make its maintenance a burden, and the facility is far from fulfilling its potential for outreach to the surrounding areas. Our newly established Evangelism Ministry is committed to finding ways in which this splendid Our beautiful Parish Hall. facility can serve as a gateway into the St. Thomas church community.St. Thomas today is a deeply committed church with a strong spiritual core, offering a wide range of opportunities for worship, inspiration, instruction and renewal. We have 124 Decorating the tree at Christmas. PAGE 5 8. children enrolled in four new church school programs: the Catechesis of the Good Shep- herd for 3-6 year olds, Faith Explorers for 6-11 year olds, Rite 13 for 12-14 year olds, and Journey to Adulthood for 15-16 year olds. We also offer a youth group for older teens, but it is widely recognized that this program needs more focus and energy.We have a weekly adult education hour from 10:00 to 11:00 between our Sunday morn- ing services. Throughout the year, we also offer several four to six week Wednesday night supper and discussion group series, small study and prayer groups, and special Lenten programs.We are still here. As St. Thomas has grown, so have the eastern suburbs Photo by Lynn SiegfriedWe have survived. We have kept the faith.of Cincinnati. Today, fewer than half our parishioners live in Terrace Park, with growing numbers from Mil- ford(justacrosstheLittleMiamiRiver),IndianHill, Mariemont, Anderson Township, and more rural parts of neighboring Clermont County. There are now four We need this parishnew and growing evangelical churches within five miles to diversify more of St. Thomas that have attracted many of our members,(demographically).especially our youth.For more information on key aspects of our parish, please see our expanded Parish Profile on our website tunnel in Terrace Park. Our SettingWith its tree-lined streets, late 19th century Victorian houses, and kids on bicycles, the Village of Terrace Park has a distinctly Americana feel about it. The village green, gradePhoto by John Cascella school, community building and church serve as centers of activity for all its residents. Community activities are relaxed and family oriented, from the Memorial Day and Labor Day parades with marching band, decorated bicycles and costumed pets, to the pumpkin festival in the fall, and lighting of the Village Christmas tree and luminaria in December. It is worth noting that while St. Thomas is not a community church, it is the only church The front entrance of in the Terrace Park community. There is strong feeling among parishioners that St. St. Thomas. Thomas should make a greater effort toward becoming a more central force and presence for the Village of Terrace Park. PAGE 6 9. Terrace Park is part of the Mariemont school district (the neighboring suburb to the west). Mariemont High School has been designated a National Exemplary School by the U.S. Department of Education and Terrace Park Elementary has been named both a National Exemplary and Blue Ribbon school.The Little Miami, a National Scenic River, forms the east- ern and southern boundaries of Terrace Park, providing many miles of fishing and canoeing. Cincinnati, The Queen City of the West, has been lavishly praised in previous centuries by Longfellow, Twain, and Dickens (among others) for its We have a wonderful natural beauty, culture and industry. More recently, it has been mix of church members,and they come together in designated among Americas most livable cities. Cincinnatisa time of need. principal feature is, of course, the Ohio River which has carved out the steep hillsides that form the citys seven hills. The city planners have carefully preserved these tree covered hillsides to create a lovely setting. Across the river is Northern Kentucky, with the Bluegrass Country a short drive away. The Little Miami river.Cincinnati is the seat of the Episcopal Diocese of Southern Ohio. The Diocesan House andChristChurchCathedralarelocatedindowntownCincinnati,just25minutesaway. The proximity encourages clergy and lay involvement in the activities and business of the diocese.The largest employers in the area are Procter &amp; Gamble, General Electric, and the University of Cincinnati. There are eight colleges and universities within a twenty mile radius. Hospital and medical care are second to none. Many feel that Cincinnatis princi- pal attraction is its remarkable selection of Fine Arts, with an internationally recognized symphony, chamber orchestra, opera, ballet, and the College Conservatory of Music at the University of Cincinnati. The Playhouse in the Park and the The Cincinnati Shakespeare Company offer first-rate traditional theater, with the Ensemble Theater Company provid- ing more contemporary drama. Then there are the Cincinnati Zoo, Art Museum, Natural History Museum and Hamilton County Library all recognized as among the countrys veryfinest.Andtherearemajorleaguesports,withtheCincinnatiRedsandBengals!Newcomers are often taken by surprise by the citys ease of living, its Midwestern openness and welcoming ways, its livable moderate size, easy accessibility, and its high energy citizenry. PAGE 7 10. Our Worship Saturday 5:00 p.m. Holy Eucharist Rite II with Prayers for HealingSunday 7:45 a.m. Holy Eucharist Rite I9:00 a.m. Holy Eucharist Rite II with Prayers for Healing, Childrens Chapel andhospitality hour10:00 a.m. Sunday School, all ages11:15 a.m. Holy Eucharist Rite I with hospitality hourI want more joy and Summer Sundays energy in worship.Saturday: 5:00 p.m. Holy Eucharist Rite II with Prayers for Healing7:45 a.m. Holy Eucharist Rite I9:00 a.m. Summer Breakfast Hour10:00 a.m. Holy Eucharist Rite II with Prayers for HealingOther occasions, Holy days and seasons are celebrated with appropriate liturgies. Taizeliturgies are offered several times a year. Sunday worship is central to the life of the parish. It is enriched and inspired by strong layparticipation. Ushers, greeters...</p>


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