Part-Time Priest – Episcopal News Service

If you are reading this, you are like us, seeking, searching for a way to engage in this challenging time to discern God’s will and leadership to help bring peace, joy and justice to our fractured world. It’s a bit like a dating app, with potential clergy presenting their credentials and the church providing documents proving our sincerity and the merit of your consideration. Our diocese acts as a motivated and willing “yenta”, providing guidance and assistance in finding someone who will be a spiritual leader to our little congregation here in what some call “overflight country”. . Our wish is to have a part-time priest who will lead us in the liturgy, engage and be present in our small, vibrant community, Iowa Falls, and help us organize our talents to be “hands of Christ”.

St. Matthew’s has over a century of history from that same quest in Iowa Falls. We have always been a mission congregation, sometimes led by a full-time priest, sometimes a part-time priest and for fourteen years two very dedicated priests in partnership. Although we have attracted many new members over the past few years, we have also had a good number of faithful members who have joined the eternal church. As with most congregations, we look forward to growing in order to bring this unique Episcopalian theology of Scripture informed by tradition and reason to our discernment of action in contemporary society.

Our resources, as God promises, and our predecessors helped to provide them, are sufficient for our needs. We are fortunate to have a well-maintained church building and parsonage that is large enough to use, but not large enough to be a liability for our budgetary needs for evangelism and mission. We have always paid our share to the diocese in full and have saved resources to help fund this desire for part-time clergy. Our current worship consists of alternating weeks of lay-led morning prayer and Eucharist. We would like to have the weekly Eucharist. Our outreach to the wider community includes a summer series of organ recitals and our annual Advent/Christmas lesson and carol service. Our members are active in many local civic organizations and councils, including Meals on Wheels, Union Cemetery Board, Iowa Falls Historical Society, the Ministerial Association, and Church Women United.

We also hope that our newest clergy member will be present on our community college campus, which together with our excellent public schools, newly built regional hospital, attractive parks and vibrant downtown, makes it a wonderful place to live. If you want to learn more, a video produced by our Chamber Main Street in profile, along with the portfolio, is available on the Diocese of Iowa website. This announcement is written about a month before Advent when the church prepares again for the birth of Christ and the New Covenant. We hope to join in a new relationship with a priest in residence. Could this be you?

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