A letter from cindy McCormack
Chair of our Succession Committee

Please feel free to convey your interest by contacting cindy in confidence.

     “The Best is Yet to Come!” Fr. Bill Thomas, our priest-in-charge, has used this as our theme during transition. For 316 years the people of Christ Church Middletown have been doing God’s work here on Kings Highway. This sense that God has great plans for us permeates our community. We are looking for a leader to walk with us on this journey, to wrap his or her arms around us in God’s love and together find out what God has in store for us.

     As we started our transition, finding the right discernment prayer was critical. How our prayer came to be is indicative of how we do things at Christ Church (Please read our prayer and pray with and for us)During our first Listening-in-Lent session, dozens of parish members offered ideas. These were distilled and found their way into our prayer. Remembering Bishop’s Stokes’ words, “This is not a personnel issue, it is a God issue!”, the Holy Spirit figures prominently in our prayer. A healthy respect and admiration for one another, especially when we may not agree, are also key.  We remember our past, but always look forward and listen for the direction God wants us to go. Our prayer asks for help that our task may be “inspired by imagination and not memory”. We finally ask for blessings upon our community but also for the priest, known only to God, that is on his/her way to us. This prayer speaks to the confidence of this community. A confidence to know this work is led by the Holy Spirit and that God too believes “The Best is Yet to Come” for Christ Church Middletown. We believe that we are prayerfully ready to recognize the priest God intends for us. Will you join us in this discernment?

     In May 2015 our Diocese blessed us with the leadership of The Rev. Dr. William Thomas. For three years, we have worked with Fr. Bill, a Professional Transition Specialist, to grow membership, restore our finances, and update our facilities. But more than anything, he has cared for us and we have cared for him. With hard work, humor and love, he has brought us to a place that we are ready for the “next big thing”. We are ready for you!  Since much of the hard work of transition has been done, with the full blessing of Bishop Stokes, our search process is being expedited. In lieu of a formal parish profile, please go to the Candidate Resources Page. We have put our energy into this updated website, and shared the work on our OTM responses among current and past Vestry as well as Succession Committee members, all to give prospective candidates a true sense of Christ Church Middletown. Be sure to view the sermon Fr. Bill preached to you in Christ Church on the Fifth Sunday in Lent.

     On Good Friday, five parishioners gave personal voice to the Church’s Five Marks of Mission and how our parish is currently engaging in this mission.  We invite you to view these presentations at Mission Meditation Videos. Our passion for outreach and our place in God’s kingdom here on earth set us apart. Christ Church members continue to respond to strong clerical leadership and use the confidence inspired by that leadership to minister to God’s people here in Monmouth County.  Sr. Warden Barbara Garrity is fond of quoting a former Bishop of New Jersey, George Councell , “God is not done with us yet.”.  This is why we look forward to meeting you!

Respectfully yours,

Cynthia McCormack

Succession Committee Chair


Committee Members
Cathy O’Flynn (Vestry Liason), John Marione, Carol Murray-Negron, Drew Wilson, 

Anna Schuler, Chuck Cavanaugh, Paul Chaballa, Katie Schedel Perrotto


Click here to view a copy of this letter.

charge from the vestry - 02/27/2018

With God’s help, Christ with us, and empowered by the Holy Spirit…


The Vestry of Christ Episcopal Church, Middletown, New Jersey charges the Succession Committee to do the following:


1. Prayerfully and purposefully conduct a process of discernment in consultation with the Office of the Bishop of New Jersey, to articulate the mission, vision and ministry of Christ Episcopal Church (“Christ Church”), and search for, find and recommend to the Vestry a priest for possible appointment by the Bishop of New Jersey as Priest-in-Charge.


2. Develop and manage the Succession Process with the guidance of The Rev. Dr. William Carl Thomas, current Priest-in-Charge and Professional Transition Specialist (“The Rev. Dr. Thomas”) assisted by two action committees whose members may or may not be part of the nine-member Succession Committee. These two committees shall be responsible for Marketing and Welcome.


3. Develop a Prayer of Discernment for use by all members of the congregation during the time of seeking.


4. Develop a budget for travel and other expenses of the Succession Committee for the Vestry review and approval.


5. Develop a communications plan, report regularly to the Vestry, and keep the people of Christ Church informed regarding the succession process, excluding candidates’ names and profiles.


6. Discern with parishioners and accurately describe the current life of Christ Church, reflecting the ministry and vision of the parish. This process will use the services of The Rev. Dr. Thomas as transition specialist and the Canon to the Ordinary, as well as “Listening in Lent”, tool provided by the Office of Transition Ministry and the Transition Ministry Conference, and the like. The Vestry will review and approve this description before it is placed on the parish website (ChristChurchMiddletown.org). The target posting date is April 15, 2018.


7. Discern the characteristics, ministries, and gifts required in a priest to partner with us in leading this community, to maintain the mission and ministry of Christ Church, and together bring our vision of the future to reality.


8. Interview and communicate with candidates who demonstrate capacity to equip us for our ministries. Maintain confidentiality when considering specific candidates for Priestin-Charge. Serve as parish ambassadors giving a clear and accurate sense of the parish and parishioners. Arrange for visits to Christ Church and, as appropriate, visits to final candidates.


9. Develop a timeline and goals to track progress toward the completion of the succession process. Ideally the Succession Committee will recommend a final candidate for Vestry interview and recommendation to the Bishop of New Jersey for appointment as Priest-in-Charge by August 1, 2018.


10. The Vestry desires to have the new Priest-in-Charge in place on December 1, 2018.