It is my joy and honor to announce that the vestry has closed the directed search for a new rector with a unanimous vote to call the Rev. Anne Marie Richards to be the 15th rector of Emmanuel Church. I want to thank the diocese, members of the vestry, Jim, Joe, and everyone in the parish who has shared in this discernment as we live into Emmanuel’s future together.
Anne Marie currently serves as the rector of Trinity Church in Newport, Rhode Island. When she was called to Trinity in 2010, she was charged with revitalizing and growing the historic parish following a period of upheaval. In the intervening nine years, the average attendance has nearly doubled, particularly among families with young children; they have undertaken a multi-million-dollar capital campaign; they have established extensive new community partnerships; and they have worked to increase the long-term sustainability of their stewardship. Previously, she served as associate rector at Trinity Church, Princeton, where her responsibilities included direct oversight of their outreach programs and the full range of ministry in a large parish, especially pastoral care. She received her M. Div. from Virginia Theological Seminary in 2005, after extensive non-profit experience and receiving her B.S. in Organizational Development.
While the vestry is excited about the breadth of ability Anne Marie will bring to Emmanuel, we were first impressed by the candor and depth of the responses in her ministry portfolio. Here’s the short description she wrote of how she understands Christian community: “As disciples of Jesus Christ we gather together and are nourished in Word and Sacrament. And we are sent out to heal the world in ways small and large. And we return again. We live together in this ongoing, transforming rhythm of life and love.”
Outside of her official duties, Anne Marie grounds herself by singing every day, because she believes, alongside St. Augustine, that "[s]he who sings, prays twice." She loves to spend time with friends; her husband, Brook; and their two adult sons, Max and Malcolm—not to mention what she describes as her “fabulous, fun, large Irish-American family.” (She’s a Maryland native!) She’s also an avid traveler, constantly looking for the next new place to explore. Finally, she’s involved with a number of organizations in the wider Episcopal Church, including serving on the board of directors for the Consortium of Endowed Episcopal Parishes (CEEP) and as a member of an initiative to encourage and support young leaders in the church, the Gathering of Leaders.
Anne Marie’s first Sunday as our rector will be May 26, 2019. In the meantime, please give her and her family time to say good-bye to Trinity and move before we welcome them in full Emmanuel fashion. Thanks be to God, and welcome, Anne Marie!
With Peace & Gratitude,