St. Paul’s Welcomes Interim Rector

Rev. Jill Beimdiek has accepted the vestry’s call to be St. Paul’s Interim Rector while the search for a permanent rector is underway. Since she cannot immediately meet everyone during the pandemic, her introductory letter follows:

Dear People of St Paul’s,
I am very much looking forward to joining the St. Paul’s family as your Interim Rector. In these strange days of the coronavirus pandemic, this joining will be different–it may be a while before we meet face-to-face, and it will be longer than any of us want before we are gathering on Sunday mornings. So for now I’ll opt for a written introduction.

Many people ask about my last name: Beimdiek. It’s pronounced Bime (like lime) – dick. It’s Dutch and means “by the dike.” I’m very used to it being mispronounced, so don’t worry about it. And you may be wondering what to call me. God knows me as Jill, and calling me by just my first name is fine with me. If you’re uncomfortable calling your priest by first name, I’m okay with Mother Jill.

I am delighted to be back in the Diocese of North Carolina. Bishop Michael Curry ordained me in 2004 and I haven’t had the privilege of serving in the Diocese until now. I’ve served churches in suburban Philadelphia, then Fayetteville, Greenville and Goldsboro, and most recently Columbia, SC. My husband of almost 10 years and I decided our move from Columbia would be our last (our fourth since we married) and we opted for the Triangle. I had spent 15 years in Durham before seminary and two of Chuck’s three adult children are in the area (Durham and Garner; the third is in Fayetteville). We built a house in a 55+ community near RDU and moved in April.
I am what is known as an intentional interim priest. I like the challenges of being with a congregation during the time between long-term priests. I’ve done training in interim ministry and seek to help a congregation become strong, clear about its ministries and identity, and ready to welcome a new rector. The down-side of interim work is knowing from day one that I will have to say good-bye. I sometimes joke with vestries during an interview that if they call me as their interim, I will come fired. It is ministry for a defined time, and when the new rector is called, I exit. It is never easy.

Before seminary at Yale, I worked as a policy analyst in the US Senate, taught English at Duke, coordinated clinical trials in pediatric hematology and oncology, and wrote for the pharmaceutical industry–it’s an odd vocational series, I grant you, but in hindsight I see God giving me opportunities to gain very useful skills as I repeatedly considered and rejected a call to ordained ministry (I first thought I might be called in the early days after the Episcopal Church approved the ordination of women to the priesthood). I also gained a lot of experiences in the church over 20+ years as I “bargained” with God about the rather persistent call that I was choosing to ignore, thinking if I agreed to a request in my home parish (co-chairing stewardship, advising acolytes, chaperoning youth trips, vice-chairing a capital campaign, etc.) God might drop the gentle nudges about ordination. God won. And I’ve been blessed beyond anything I could have imagined to serve as a priest in God’s church.

I look forward to meeting you, whether via Zoom, a phone call, or a socially distanced visit. Stay tuned for more information about how we can begin to get to know each other. In the meantime, know that I am holding St. Paul’s and all of you in my prayers.

Grace and peace,

St. Paul’s Outreach Committee Supports FLAG Project

Through a Facebook post the Outreach committee was made aware of a local project to financially support.  The committee was given a generous donation with a request the funds go locally to help during our current health crisis.   The Facebook article seemed like the perfect opportunity to make this request come true.   FLAG — Front Line Appreciation Group is our current endeavor to support.    The FLAG project started in New Jersey and has now caught on to several other states as the entire country faces the same issues.   A group of people in Clayton decided to use this program to help out our neighbors and friends in the restaurants and health facilities that are available to us at St. Paul’s.      The funds go to purchase meals from our local restaurants that are currently suffering financially due to the closure orders.   These meals are packaged and delivered to both our Smithfield and Clayton hospitals and donated to our health care workers who are on the front-line of taking care of all who are in need of medical help.   This not only keeps our favorite local restaurants with some much needed income but also provides the health care workers with nutritious quality meals at no cost to them.   This frees these workers from having to wonder where they will get something to eat without relying on fast-foods or sandwiches every day.  We all know someone that either is a local restauranteur or health care worker, some even from St. Paul’s,   We are in a position to help them out.     The Brotherhood is also considering making a large donation to FLAG.   If you would like to make a donation you can mail your check to St. Paul’s with FLAG in the memo line.   Let’s keep helping out!

Episcopal Relief & Development and Diocese of NC Offer Guidance in Responding to Coronavirus Concern

Common Sense Guidelines

April 1, 2020

By The Rev. Dr. Jim Melnyk

What follows below are a series of updates dealing with the fallout of the Coronavirus (COVID-19). The latest updates from our Diocese are at the top of the list:

The link below, will bring you to the most current update from our Bishops outlining information dealing with the fallout from the Coronavirus pandemic. It includes information on the suspension of in-person meetings, pastoral care, and worship services through at least May 17, 2020 as well as other resources for communal safety, pastoral care, and worship.