Diocese of Southeast Florida

Saint Mary Magdalene Episcopal Church, Coral Springs

 

The Bishop and the Vestry are currently seeking to appoint an Interim Rector.

Background

Located in the heart of Coral Springs, the Episcopal Church of St. Mary Magdalene was founded in 1960. The first service in the present sanctuary was held on Easter Morning of 1975.  The sanctuary was designed with much spiritual intentionality. The panes of clear glass behind the crucifix above the altar, the wooden reredos and the large stone altar, dug from the ground of the property, were all designed to create a sacred space so that all who enter the sanctuary would experience a sense of closeness to God both through the liturgy and in nature. Since its foundation, the congregation has been a vibrant worshiping community, although it has experienced periods of turbulence, when attendance has waned only to grow again.  Since its founding, St. Mary Magdalene has been served by eight rectors, and is now entering a critical pastoral transition.  Currently, the congregation is being pastored by the Associate Rector and the Deacon and being led by the Wardens and Vestry. Together they are developing into an effective and collaborative leadership team.

Worship

The schedule of weekend services includes the Eucharist in English on Saturday evening, two on Sunday morning in English and a 12:30pm Eucharist in Spanish. The clergy typically participate in all the services and there is a team of three Vergers to assist.  On Wednesday mornings the Eucharist is celebrated at 7:30 a.m. with a focus on healing prayer, and contemplative Evening Prayer at 7:00 p.m. is led by the laity.

Demographics

Currently the congregation has 350 enrolled members and the average weekend attendance is two hundred and ninety-five (295).  As the community demographics have changed, so have the demographics of the congregation, which is now a racially diverse family, embracing a delightful mixture of traditional, Hispanic and Caribbean cultures.

The Church in the Community

St. Mary Magdalene has become an integral part of both the Coral Springs and Pompano Beach communities. The Church is a sponsor for the local homeless outreach shelter – St Laurence Chapel.  At least 60% of the congregation has participated in some way in the ministry of the Chapel. The children and youth attend local schools and some members are teachers in local schools or work in the local hospital. Consequently, the Church maintains a relationship with the schools, the local fire and police departments and neighboring faith communities. The Church participates in various community events, including an annual ecumenical Thanksgiving service. The Church also operates a preschool as an important outreach to the community. The congregation was deeply impacted by the death of seventeen teenagers in the Parkland High School shooting incident in February. We were especially hurt and continue to mourn the loss of our former youth group leader, Carmen Schentrup.  Our grief and deep sense of loss were further compounded by the sudden departure of our Rector in April.

Our Priorities and Immediate Tasks

Continued healing, stability, cohesiveness, spiritual growth, community engagement, growth in membership, pastoral care, effective administration, and a fresh vision.

The Interim Rector

It is our hope that our Interim Rector will provide us with effective leadership to help us accomplish our immediate tasks and more as they are discerned.

  1. Healing. We are seeking priest who is compassionate and understanding; someone who understands that a community that has faced multiple losses within the time span of a few months, will express pain. S/he will seek ways of acknowledging pain in parishioners and be a healing presence; a healing presence who is able to demonstrate the joy of the Good News as the Church moves forward.
  2. Stability. We are seeking a priest who is available and willing to commit to be a presence in our congregation for as long as needed. We would also welcome someone who has expertise in developing strategies that enhance financial stability.
  3. Cohesiveness. We will rely on the Interim Rector to build cohesiveness through communicating unity and hope in words and actions. This is of great importance and the rector is expected to be comfortable dealing with a culturally diverse congregation. Of importance also, is handling conflicts in a healthy manner, remembering our call to love.
  4. Spiritual Growth. We are seeking an interim Rector who will lead us in living into and expressing our mission, “to know Christ and to make Him known.” As a Church, we anticipate being challenged to examine where we are spiritually and to grow in love for Christ and love for our neighbors. We ask that the Interim Rector be someone who will be passionate about preaching and teaching and liturgy. He/she will be expected to participate fully in planning the Eucharist weekly, in consultation with the Associate Rector and the music director. We will rely on the Interim to guide us in Christian education; both youth and adult formation.
  5. Community Engagement. The interim may be invited to participate in interfaith or other events in the community, thus being an ambassador for the Church. We expect the Interim to be someone who is unafraid of being visible in the community and in the Diocese as well, for the benefit of the Church.
  6. Growth in Membership. Given the recent turbulence at St. Mary Magdalene, there has been a decline in attendance and some members have left the Church. We are seeking an interim Rector with skills and ideas regarding how to aid a church in rebuilding its community.
  7. Pastoral Care. St. Mary Magdalene has an aging population and the Interim Rector will be called upon to make pastoral visits at local hospitals or in the members’ home. However, this responsibility may be shared with the Associate Rector and the Deacon.
  8. Effective Administration. The Interim Rector will be expected to work effectively with the Vestry, office staff and members who lead various ministries; being accountable for good administrative practices.
  9. A Fresh Vision. Our expectation is that the Interim Rector will be skilled in evaluating where the Church is and what is needed to move it forward so that together with the Vestry, St. Mary Magdalene will move forward in envisioning and setting goals and developing programs to take us deeper into the Jesus Movement – the way of love.