Introducing Travis S. Hines, New Rector, Immanuel Anglican Church
I am the Rev. Travis Hines, a follower of Jesus, husband to Leslie, dad to Jesse (19), Georgia (16), Lucy (13), and Julia (11), a pastor and priest. And Marnie’s personal pooper-scooper. (Yes, she’s a dog.) Born in Texas and raised in a faithful Christian family shaped by the Vineyard movement, I originally pursued a calling as a high school English teacher. Within a couple of years, however, the Lord made it clear he had called me to be a pastor. In that same time period, I received the grace of Jesus in a unique way through the Rite of Reconciliation and experienced the presence of God in a Compline service. These experiences convinced me it was vital to learn more about liturgy, sacrament, and the Anglican way of following Jesus. Drawn by the community at Trinity School for Ministry, my wife, newborn son and I moved to Ambridge, PA in August of 2001, where eventually I became the seminary’s Director for Distance Learning.
In 2008 I was ordained to the diaconate by then Bishop Robert Duncan, and a few months later joined him and the Diocese of Pittsburgh in leaving The Episcopal Church. In 2010 our family moved to Uganda, where Bishop George Katwesigye ordained me to the priesthood on behalf of Archbishop Duncan. While in Uganda, I worked alongside nationals to prepare East Africans for ministry through teaching New Testament studies and mentoring students. This intense cross-cultural experience significantly re-formed our family, and awakened us to the challenging and life-giving necessity of participating in a Christ-centered community deeply dependent on the Holy Spirit and committed to loving each other sacrificially. After returning to the United States, we rested for a year and a half in Ft. Collins, CO, where I worked alongside my two brothers in their cheese shop and bistro. In 2015 the Lord led us to the family of St. Bartholomew’s Episcopal Church, where I served as their associate rector. Within a year, the rector accepted a call to another church, and I assumed the responsibility of leading the vestry, staff and community through nearly 18 months of transition. Since the arrival of our current rector in November 2017, I have been focused on developing structures for small groups and adult formation, serving as chaplain for our preschool, and guiding the leadership of the South Sudanese congregation that is a part of St. B’s.
In reflecting on how the Lord has led our family over the years, we have learned that he calls us through community, where we are invited to participate in what he is already at work doing there. We chose Trinity primarily for the community that would shape us. We were called as missionaries to live, love and learn with the particular community of BBUC in Kabale, Uganda. We were called to join the St. B’s community in cultivating faithfulness to Jesus. And now, joyfully, we are called to participate with Immanuel Anglican Church in living out the mission of “God with us for the sake of others.” We look forward to being with you soon!
L to R: Joe Fucello, Kathy Oravetz, Scott Ankers, Angie Morlu, Carolyn Culbreth, Bill Harding, Deb Tomchek (Chair), Mike Harpster, Rich Garon
I am delighted to introduce to you the Rector Search Committee. These individuals have committed to praying, meeting, and discerning over the next several months as we seek the person the Lord has already identified as our next Rector. As you will see, the Committee represents a wide range of parishioners: people who have been at Immanuel a long time, others who have joined in the last few years. They are men, women, parents, grandparents, working, retired – all with a wide range of experience that they will bring to this important work.
The Committee is committed to providing regular updates to the parish regarding their work. However, many of the details of their work will need to remain confidential to honor the privacy of candidates who will be in the process.
As the Rector Search Committee begins their work, please commit to praying regularly for them and for Immanuel as we seek the Rector God has in mind for our church. Here is a prayer from the new ACNA Book of Common Prayer that powerfully expresses our desires for the Committee and Immanuel.
Almighty God, giver of every good gift: Look graciously on your Church, and so guide the minds of those who will choose a Rector for Immanuel that we may receive a faithful pastor who will preach the Gospel, care for your people, equip us for ministry, and lead us forth in fulfillment of the Great Commission; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Bishop Dave Bena, Interim Rector
David is a Marine, Bishop of the ACNA, long-time member and friend of Immanuel, and former Interim Rector (just prior to Clint’s arrival). As our former Interim Rector, David led Immanuel through a difficult season that included a Rector’s surprise departure, the loss of our property through the lawsuit with the Episcopal Diocese of Virginia, as well as two worship locations. Yet despite these difficulties, Immanuel’s attendance grew under his leadership. Our giving grew as well. He led Immanuel through an informal capital campaign, raising an initial $250,000 for the purchase of our new property. He established our Move Team and grew our ministries as well. Finally, he guided our Vestry through the Rector Search Process that identified Clint Kerley as our Rector. He will begin his tenure as Interim Rector August 1 and serve through the end of 2019. David will be part-time, serving on Sundays and in the office a couple of days a week.
Announcement from Clint Kerley
On Sunday, June 9, Clint Kerley announced his resignation as Immanuel’s Rector effective Sunday, August 11. You can watch a video statement below.
Why is Clint Leaving?
Clint was not looking to leave Immanuel. The Rector Search Committee of St. Stephen’s Anglican Church reached out to him. After much prayer, Clint felt called by God to join the process. Due to St. Stephen’s proximity to Trinity School for Ministry (the seminary from which he graduated), Clint will have the opportunity not only to lead a parish, but train future leaders in the Anglican Church in North America. This is a unique calling, blending Clint’s call to pastor with his interest in academic and leadership development.
When will Clint leave?
Clint’s last Sunday at Immanuel is currently scheduled for Sunday, August 11.
Who will lead us?
Diocesan Canons give leadership of the parish to the Senior Warden in the absence of the Rector. Rich Garon, Sr. Warden & Randy Murch, Jr. Warden have already met with Bishop Guernsey to discuss the transition. The Vestry will meet with Bp. Guernsey Monday, June 10 to discuss the topics of Interim Rector and the formation of a Search Committee. Other ministries and groups (such as the Move Team) will continue to function with the strong leaders already in place.
Who will serve as interim rector?
The Vestry will select an Interim Rector. The Wardens have already asked Bp. Guernsey to compile a list of candidates. We plan to have someone in place mid-July so that they can overlap with Clint before he departs (see above for update on Dave Bena, new interim Rector).
Who will be on the Search Commitee?
The Vestry will determine the makeup of the Search Commitee based upon counsel from Bp. Guernsey and Canon Mary Hays. Mary has already offered to serve as our search consultant, having led transitions like this for nearly 20 years in the Diocese of Pittsburgh. We plan to have the Search Committee selected and beginning work in July.
How long will it take to call a new rector?
Immanuel should be able to call a new Rector by the end of this year or first part of next year.