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Redeemer in Transition

The Rev. Dr. Paul D. Tunkle, rector of The Church of the Redeemer since November 2001 retired in May 2014. This page will chronicle our parish journey in this time of transition.

The Rev. David J. Ware called as the 11th rector of The Church of the Redeemer.

Read the report delivered by the Search Committee at the 2015 Annual Parish Meeting.

Rector Search Web site

February 2015

God has truly provided, and the Search Committee is amazed and humbled by the quality of our applicant pool!   

Since December, we have been referred to and connected with 70 + candidates.  Since the latter part of January (when we began tracking), 356 people have visited our Search website.  The end result: the Lord has blessed us with 28 applicants, for whom we are supremely grateful.  We thank all of you who have nominated candidates and who have prayed for us.

The Search Committee will soon complete our initial review of the candidates and has begun the process of thinning the pool. We’ve been reviewing written information and listening to recorded sermons provided by the candidates.  In March, we will interview candidates by Skype, and after that we’ll focus in on references.  In future months, candidates will be visited in their parishes and interviewed in person.  After that, we’ll invite a small handful of candidates to Baltimore to see our Church of the Redeemer. 

Please remember that information about the candidates themselves is necessarily confidential.

 As we progress in discerning God’s call, we ask that you continue to hold up our committee and the candidates in prayer.  The Committee has written a prayer for our candidates:

All knowing God,
Our source of hope and guidance,
We pray that our candidates will hear Your still, small voice
in their hearts and minds and know that You are with each of them
on their journey—
So that together we can trust and rest in God’s will.

In the name of Jesus, Sustainer of us all.

Brandon Berkeley
Chris Kurz
Co- Chairs, Rector Search Committee


December 2014

Rector Search Process Update

The Search Committee has recently completed our Rector Search webpage, and we are eager to show it to you.  The dedicated webpage describes who we are at The Church of the Redeemer and the qualities we seek in our next rector.  It is our hope that this description will help potential candidates as they determine whether God is calling them to new ministry at Redeemer.  The webpage is up and running; take a look at it at www.redeemerrectorsearch.org

If you would like to nominate a priest for the Search Committee to consider, you can download a Recommendation form here or you may email Search@redeemerrectorsearch.org to request a form.   In addition, there are forms hanging on the Search bulletin board in the ambulatory outside the main church.  Or you may contact Brandon Berkeley (410-433-7961) or Chris Kurz (410-532-6250), and we can email or mail the form to you or assist you with any questions.  The Search Committee welcomes your nominations, trusting that God is working through all of us as we discern who will be called as Redeemer’s eleventh rector.  Please remember that we must hold all candidate names and information in complete confidence.

Redeemer will be open to receive candidate applications  through February 15, 2015.  Review and consideration will be on a rolling basis.  Please pray for the Search Committee and for the candidates as we go forward together in this process of mutual discernment.

October 2014

Rector Discernment Process—Overview

The Rector Search Committee met sporadically over the summer and has been meeting weekly since the beginning of September.  We feel the presence of the Holy Spirit as the Committee has worked to become a strong team, dedicated to finding the right candidates to be our Rector.

What follows is an overview of the Rector Discernment process, which includes three broad phases:

  • Self-study of the parish, implemented by the Portfolio Committee;
  • Development of digital materials to describe the parish to potential candidates via the internet; and
  • Solicitation, review and selection of suitable rector candidates.

Phase One invited your reflections about who we are as a church, what God is calling us to be, and the qualities we seek in our next rector.  The Portfolio Committee organized congregational meetings, solicited participation in a parish survey, and completed an Episcopal Office of Transition Ministry (OTM) Portfolio for use in matching potential candidates with Redeemer’s needs.  A draft version of the descriptive parish profile has been given to the Vestry.  We are enormously grateful to the Portfolio Committee for their hard work.  In our efforts going forward, we will stand upon their shoulders.
The Search Committee is now poised at the beginning of Phase Two.  We will use the information learned during the self-study to create a Search webpage, for interested applicants to view online.  It is our intention that the webpage will provide candidates with needed information about Redeemer and illustrate those gifts and talents we seek in our next Rector.

In Phase Three, after online posting of the OTM Parish Portfolio and opening of the Search webpage, we will receive applications and review candidates.  Candidates will come from several sources: 1) responses to our Redeemer Search website;
2) responses to the OTM posting and other diocesan inquiries; and 3) names given to us by clergy and Redeemer parishioners.  As the candidate pool narrows, we will interview candidates and check references.  The Search Committee is charged with presenting three suitable candidates to the Vestry.  Once we have presented our candidates to the Vestry, the vestry will go through its own discernment process to decide which candidate to call as Redeemer’s next Rector.

Periodic updates about our progress will be forthcoming in the next several months.  At some future point, we will be open to receive your recommendations about specific candidates.  Please bear in mind that confidentiality about all candidate identities is of utmost importance.

Finally, the Search Committee asks your prayers for us as we proceed.  This will be a God-centered process of consensus, as we seek the guidance of the Holy Spirit each step of the way. 

Brandon Berkeley
Chris Kurz
Co-Chairs, Rector Search Committee

Most Holy Lord,

You are the One who calls and sends and reveals.  Pour out Your Holy Spirit on our parish, and guide us as we seek to discern Your will for us.  Help us to know where You would lead us and what work You call us to do.  Broaden us and challenge us, for we remember that the work we do is designed to reflect Your glory.  We pray that You would give us ears to hear Your Spirit as we watch for the one You are sending to be our Rector.  In Jesus’ name we pray,


Portfolio and Search Committees Announced- May 29, 2014

It is with delight that the Vestry announces the formation of the Portfolio and Search Committees.

Portfolio Committee

Summary of the charge to the Committee:

  • Develop a plan for the parish self-study, using a variety of means for gathering data about the congregation, e.g. congregational meetings and survey, internal and external interviews, etc.
  • Ensure that the parish portfolio accurately reflects the Church of the Redeemer, including honest descriptions of our physical and spiritual state, our history our strengths and weaknesses, and our future challenges and hopes for the Church and the local community, as well as the qualities, gifts and skills we seek in our next Rector.
  • Work with the Vestry to develop a vision and goals based on the work of the Committee.
  • Communicate with the Vestry and parish as to the progress of the Committee's work plan.

Note: To see the full charge of the Vestry to the Portfolio Committee, click here.

Members of the Committee:

  • Chair:                   Bo Grimes
  • Vestry Liaison:      David Pantle
  • Members:             Barbara Bachur, Amy Heilman, Paige Marvel, Muffie Sandberg 


Search Committee

Summary of the charge to the Committee:

  • Develop and implement a search plan, incorporating the work of the Portfolio Committee.
  • Ensure that the parish is accurately reflected in all documents, communications and interviews.  Give honest descriptions of our physical and spiritual state, our history, our strengths and weaknesses, and our future challenges and hopes for the Church of the Redeemer and the local community as well as the qualities, ministries, gifts and skills we seek in our next Rector.
  • Through a prayerful process of discernment and with the help of the Holy Spirit, select through the process of consensus and present three suitable candidates for consideration by the Vestry to be called as the next Rector of the Church of the Redeemer.

Note:  To see the full Vestry charge to the Committee, click here.

Members of the Committee:

  • Chairs:                 Brandon Berkeley, Chris Kurz
  • Vestry Liaison:     Anne Pidcock
  • Members:           Millicent Bain, Matt Buck, Deborah Callard, John Gephart, Karen McGee, Diego Merida, Jan Schroeder, Murray Taylor, David Wallack

Charge to the Portfolio Committee

Charge to Search Committee


Interim Rector Announcement

On behalf of the Vestry it is my delight to announce that, by enthusiastic consensus, the Vestry agreed to call the Rt. Rev. Robert W. Ihloff, D. Min., D.D. (Former Bishop of the Diocese of Maryland 1995-2007) as our Interim Rector, beginning June 1, 2014.

Bishop Ihloff brings incredible gifts to Redeemer:  rector, bishop, andThe Rt. Rev. Robert W. Ihloffparticipant in various aspects of the National Church; teacher, preacher and stewardship leader; broad educational credentials including two doctorates and three honorary doctorates; commitment to social justice and team ministry; and on and on.  His enthusiastic commitment to service as our Interim Rector is infectious. If you wish to know more about Bishop Ihloff, please click here to see his professional resume. I know that you will all give him a warm Redeemer welcome as he joins our wonderful faith community.

I and the Vestry want to thank the Interim Rector Search Committee, chaired so ably by Tom Spies, for their prayerful and productive work.  The other members of the Committee were Janet Ayres, Barbara Fegley, Hilary Klein, Chuck Nabit, and John Thompson.

If you have any questions, please do contact me at:maryhdekuyper@gmail.com

Blessings to all,

Mary H. DeKuyper, Senior Warden


The Church of the Redeemer Congregational Meeting
November 17, 2013

Transition Overview


  • A Rector is tenured; he or she serves until he or she retires or reaches the age of 72.  A Rector does not report to the Vestry, but is accountable to the congregation, the Vestry, and the Bishop.  At Redeemer the Vestry and Rector believe in a mutual ministry.
  • An Interim Rector serves a definite term as defined in a covenant (contract) with the Vestry and during his or her time with us will have all of the authority of a Rector.  He or she is accountable to the congregation, the Vestry and the Bishop.  The Vestry will look for an Interim Rector who will work in the mode of a mutual ministry.
  • The time of transition is one of discernment that will lead to the call of a new Rector. This is not a search process leading to a hire.  The parish needs to set a place at the table for the Holy Spirit and to pray and reflect that we may listen and become aware of what is best for The Church of the Redeemer now and in the future. Our end goal is not an employee/employer hire, but rather a mutual discernment between the Search Committee, the Vestry and the priest whom we are calling to be our rector.


Opportunities for Parish Input throughout the Transition Process

  • Small and large meetings/conversations over the months ahead (before and after Paul leaves).
  • Parish survey (after Paul leaves)
  • Communicate with vestry members and eventually with the Search Committee.

Opportunities for Informational Updates

  • Periodic updates from the Vestry, the Search Committee, and others yet to be determined.
  • Updated web site, which will have continuing activities of parish life, transition information, parish “profile” (based on parish meetings/conversations and the survey), profile for the new Rector, celebrations of Paul and Judy’s gifts to the parish, etc.  The web site will serve as our published profile, which will hopefully also be a vehicle to attract newcomers to the parish.

The Vestry Makes the Major Decisions

  • Call of an Interim Rector
    • Approves the profile for our Interim Rector
    • Selects and gives charge to the Interim Rector Search Committee
    • Offers Call to Interim Rector, based on a covenant (contract) with him or her that has been approved by the Vestry.


  • Call of a Rector
    • Approves profile for the new Rector and the parish profile.
    • Selects and gives charge to the Search Committee. *
    • Calls the new Rector from a pool of three or so candidates referred to the Vestry by the Search Committee.

Time Line for Time of Transition  (Because this is a discernment process, not a search, the times are only approximate.  Some activities may take less time and some more.)

  • November 17, 2013 through May 17, 2014- Celebrate Paul and Judy **
  • November 2013
    • Congregational Meeting
    • Select Interim Rector Search Committee
  • December 2013 –January 2014
    • Interim Rector Profile Development
  • February 2014
    • Start Interim Rector Search
    • Select Profile Committee***
  • April 2014
    • Call Interim Rector
    • Select Search Committee (Will need a large, diverse pool from which to select names for this critical function.
  • May 2014
    • May 18, 2014 Paul’s last Sunday at Redeemer
  • June 2014
    • Interim Rector Arrives
    • Parish Survey Sent Out
    • Search Committee training, preparation, etc.
  • August 2014
    • Parish and Rector Profiles Approved
  • September 2014
    • Active Search Begins
    • September 6, 2014 Consecration of New Diocesan Suffragan Bishop
  • October 2014 through April 2015
    • Active Search Process continues
  • May 2015
    • Call to New Rector
  • August 2015
    • Farewell to Interim Rector
  • September 2015
    • New rector Arrives

NOTE: The times allotted for the active search and the call and for the new Rector to arrive after agreeing to the call are based on the complexity of the search and also not knowing the new Rector’s personal situation.)

*          Those parishioners who would like to be considered as members of the Search Committee and who would like to suggest others to be considered please send the names to maryhdekuyper@gmail.com.
**        If you are interested in opportunities to work on celebration activities, please forward your name or the names of others you might suggest to Mary DeKuyper, at the email above.
***      If you are interested in serving on the Profile Committee- designing survey, planning and conducting congregational meetings, analyzing results of parish input, and writing a parish and rector profiles for approval by the Vestry, also send names to Mary.

At its Vestry retreat on November 8 and 9, 2013, the Vestry drafted a prayer for its work over these next many months.  We invite you to join us in this prayer,

Gracious and merciful God, who guides The Church of the Redeemer in our life together, we pray for courage, wisdom, and faith during our time of transition. Bless and guide us in finding a new Rector. Help us to let go of our anxieties, celebrate the moment, and increase our vibrant ministry. In the name of Jesus, who nurtures and supports us. Amen.

Mary H. DeKuyper,
Senior Warden


From the Vestry Meeting of October 15, 2013

The Vestry met on Tuesday, October 15th to hear the search process report and recommendations of the Transition Advisory Committee (TAC).  The Committee members are Deborah Callard (Chair), Jeff Ayres, Brandon Berkeley, Pierce Linaweaver, and Anne Pidcock (Vestry Liaison).  The Committee met with the Rev. Canon Stuart Wright, Canon for Transitions for the Diocese of Maryland, researched best practices in search processes and talked to a variety of churches within and outside our diocese.  They also met with the Rev. Thelma Smullen, our former Interim Rector, who served as a consultant to the Committee. The Committee reached consensus on their recommendations through a prayerful process.  After the report was given, the staff and Vestry had an opportunity to ask clarifying questions, and then the staff, including our Rector, Paul, was excused. The Vestry spent a few minutes more with the Committee before the TAC members, except for Anne Pidcock (the vestry liaison), were also excused from the meeting.

The Vestry, now alone, undertook its first decision: how they would make decisions.  They agreed that the use of consensus  (all in agreement or with even the few not in agreement consenting to go forward and support the decision) would be the mode used.  This decision was the first use of consensus!

First, the Vestry recognized that these next months until Paul’s leave taking offered important opportunities to thank and celebrate Paul and his ministry.

Second, the Vestry agreed, again by consensus, with the major components of the search process, as recommended by the TAC.  They are:

  • Update the web page and use it as the vehicle for disseminating a profile of the parish and a profile for the desired characteristics and experience of the new Rector.  This would replace the printed profiles done in past searches. A hoped for by-product would be that the web site would also be a vehicle to tell Redeemer’s story to potential parishioners.
  • Hold congregational meetings to inform and listen.  These meetings would be held all during the process and could inform the content of the profile mentioned above.  The first of these meetings will be held on November 17th after the 10:00 service to update people on the search process, answer questions and listen to comments and suggestions.  The meeting times will vary over the months.
  • Select a Search Committee and its chair
  • Call an Interim Rector
  • Undertake the active search for our new rector
  • Call our new rector and welcome him or her to Redeemer

Third, the TAC and the Vestry were in complete agreement that good communication was one of the key ingredients to a successful transition, as it is in all that we do in the parish.  However, this special time demands of all of us to listen with both our minds and hearts and to contribute our comments and suggestions in a caring and open manner.  We will have congregational meetings, an updated web presence, updates posted on the web, in e-Redeemer and in The Chimes, and one-on-one.  I, along with the other officers and Vestry members, welcome your comments and questions.

The Vestry will meet alone to further discuss the timing of the elements of the process at its November 8th and 9th retreat.  The timetable needs to be flexible enough to allow true discernment and reflection all through the process and also move us toward our desired goal of having a rector to lead the parish into its future.  The Vestry may also discuss the specific activities that need to take place under some of the major components of the process.  The staff will join the Vestry for the last portion of the retreat to discuss the many shared responsibilities and work of the parish beyond the transition process.  Many exciting programs are planned and there will be a myriad of opportunities to be involved in this work and in the search process.

I ask for your prayers in support of all those involved in the various aspects of this transition process, for Paul and Judy, and for all those who call The Church of the Redeemer their spiritual home.

Mary DeKuyper
Senior Warden


From the Minutes of the August 20, 2013 Vestry Meeting

Transition Report. [Anne Pidcock]  Anne reported that the transition advisory committee met for an organizational meeting.  Deborah Callard is chairing the committee, which also includes Jeff Ayres, Brandon Berkeley, Pierce Linaweaver and Anne. Its primary purpose is to advise the vestry about procedures that the Episcopal Church follows in Discerning a Call for a new Rector. They will research the current "best practice procedures" about engaging a consultant, an interim rector, costs and budget, a timeline for the process and communication with the parish. The Vestry liaision will report to the vestry each month about the committees' progress and the vestry will decide on how to proceed. 

Anne said that Canon Stuart Wright, the Diocesan Canon for Transitions, had been very helpful.  Rev. Wright had told the committee about two recent changes in the process.  The first is that much of the matching of candidates to the position takes place by computer, so the process is much more streamlined.  Canon Wright told the committee that the transitions ministry conference on which he serves is finding the matches are better using this process.  Second, instead of developing parish profiles, parishes now rely on their websites to convey information that the profile used to convey.  Websites contain information about the parish’s approach to stewardship and its liturgical practices and the like. 

On the question of whether there is a need for an interim rector at Redeemer, Stuart Wright said yes, for at least one year.  He says an interim is necessary to separate the parish identity from the departing rector and give the parish the opportunity to see itself in a new way.  Interim rectors are trained specifically for interim ministry. 

Anne said the committee would be meeting again on September 5, 2013.

The Vestry discussed comments received from parishioners about the transition process. The Vestry will discuss the transition at each Vestry meeting, the core values of Redeemer, the information that has been gathered and what is known about best practices in the church, generally.


August 2013 (published in the Fall Chimes)
From Mary H. DeKuyper, Senior Warden:

I thank all of the parishioners who have contacted me since May and shared their thoughts about this time of transition.  While the advice offered varied greatly, there was a common underlying theme:  a strong commitment to this remarkable, vital community that is The Church of the Redeemer.

I have appointed, with the consent of the Vestry, a Transition Advisory Committee to advise the Vestry and me.  The members of the Committee are: Deborah Callard (Committee Chair), Jeff Ayres, Brandon Berkeley, Pierce Linaweaver, and Anne Pidcock (Vestry Liaison).  They will be inquiring about the best practices involved in a search process, and as a beginning, the full committee met with the Diocese of Maryland’s Canon for Transitions, the Rev. Canon Stuart Wright.  Their research could include talking to other churches, reading publications, etc.  The committee’s findings and advice will be presented to the Vestry as a framework for the Vestry’s decisions.

It is important to remember that the Vestry, alone, is the body that makes the critical decisions, which will include, the actual search process and its timetable, the make-up of the Search Committee and the call to a new Rector.  Both the Transition Advisory Committee and the Vestry will be involved with the Holy Spirit in an on-going discernment process.

I found the following prayer written for the congregation and used all during the search process that brought us Paul Tunkle.

Almighty God, hear our prayer for this parish family.  Guide our minds and fill our imagination with every good hope and vision for the future. Grant that your Word may be truly preached and truly heard among us.  Show us by your Spirit how to fashion our lives according to the example of your Son, and strengthen us for our mission to serve you in all that we do.  Through Jesus Christ our Lord, Amen.