|St. John the Evangelist, located in Chico (about 95 miles north of Sacramento) seeks a full-time interim rector to begin November 1, 2022. St. John’s current rector is retiring in late September after 25 years at the parish.
About St. John the Evangelist
St. John’s is a vibrant and active parish, deeply engaged in mission work in the local community and surrounding areas. Chico is located in Butte County, which has been at the forefront of many notable disasters. These include the 2007 Oroville Dam Disaster, which saw the evacuation of 200,000 residents, following the near collapse of the largest earthen dam in the U.S., and the Camp Fire in 2018, the most destructive wildfire in California history.
Through these and other catastrophic events, St. John’s has taken a leading role in the response and recovery efforts. We have developed a reputation as a community resource for many and will continue in that mission in the foreseeable future.
Like many parishes, the pandemic had a dramatic impact on our parish life. St. John’s was an early adopter of live-streaming worship and has invested in audio and video equipment to continue this ministry.
Our members are involved in many facets of service to the community. These include working with homeless populations, children in school districts impacted by the Camp Fire and Bear Fire and supporting churches and community groups impacted by the Camp Fire. Several members of our parish serve our local hospital as volunteer chaplains, and we also participate in the Street Pastor program, which began in Birmingham, England.
Our church, built in 1980, is sited on seven idyllic acres, featuring an outdoor prayer garden, labyrinth, and playground. In addition, we host the Jesus Center farm, which includes citrus trees and planter boxes growing fruits and vegetables for sale by the Jesus Center, a local homeless service agency that runs a CSA (community-supported agriculture) subscription service.
In addition to our sanctuary, our campus includes the Parish Life Center, which provides gathering space for meals and fellowship, and features a commercial kitchen. This facility proved to be a valuable resource for Camp Fire recovery efforts, and is a revenue-generating asset through rentals to community groups.
Our clergy currently consist of the rector, and one part-time (paid) assisting priest. Sunday services include a traditional Rite I service at 8, and a Rite II service with music at 10:15.
We recently hired a music director/organist who is actively rebuilding the choir to pre-pandemic capacity. In addition, clergy host monthly services on Sunday afternoons: Rhythms of Grace, aimed at special-needs individuals and their families, and Around-the-Table, a casual service for families to gather for worship and fellowship.
Children & Youth Ministries
We are in the process of re-energizing Children & Youth ministries. In an effort to support and encourage our many young families, we have added a “soft space” to our sanctuary, consisting of a carpeted area where our youngest members can explore and participate in the service with their families. Our sanctuary also includes a nursery, which allows privacy for nursing parents and provides activities for children. We have recently remodeled our Sunday School classroom and are in the process of training a team of congregation members to teach using the Godly Play curriculum.
Our current rector is leaving St. John’s in a good state financially; however, we are currently operating under a deficit budget for 2022. The vestry is keenly aware of our current budget, and like most parishes, has seen a significant impact on giving due to the pandemic. We are developing strategies to address these concerns, and planning on instituting a year-round stewardship program. Additionally, we actively seek other sources of revenue for ministry, including grant funding.
Expectations of the Interim Rector:
The Interim Rector will represent and extend the ministry that is the bishop’s pastoral and canonical responsibility for a parish in transition.
Accordingly, the main tasks of the Interim Rector will be to:
- Keep the congregation prayerfully focused on discerning God’s will and their role in God’s mission.
- Work with the Vestry and other lay leaders to maintain a regular schedule of worship and preaching, education, pastoral offices (e.g., baptisms, weddings, and funerals), and pastoral care; and to support the Vestry in the ongoing administration of the parish.
- Prepare the congregation for the next phase of their life together.
- Help the congregation deal with any sense of loss, anxiety, and any unresolved issues arising from the departure of the previous rector.
- Guide and encourage the Vestry, lay leaders, and staff to make such changes as may be needed to align parish life and administration with best practices.
- Recognize and support those ministries that are succeeding.
Support and inspire stewardship
Due to the long tenure (25 years) of our rector, we anticipate this position will be for about 2 years.
Chico is a great town, located in the mid-Sacramento Valley, at the foothills of the Sierra Nevada range, amid rich farmlands and grazing lands. Nearby agriculture focuses on rice, walnuts, and almonds to name a few. Chico is home to California State University, Chico, the second oldest in the 23 campus California State University System. Enloe Medical Center is a major Trauma Level II facility and employer. Chico is also home to Sierra Nevada Brewing, founded here in 1980. There is a great deal of small industry and entrepreneurial enterprise.
While there is a municipal airport, the closest major airport is Sacramento International Airport, about one and a half hours away.