Christ Church in Manhasset has called Reverend Allison Moore, Ph.D. a new Interim Priest in Charge, to help guide the parish through the search for a new rector after The Reverend David Sibley accepted a call to St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Walla Walla, WA.
Moore grew up in Southern California, went to college in Boston, MA, and fell in love with cities: the energy, the clash of people with different needs and agendas, and the happy occasions when people sharing living space find common purpose. Listening to women seeking safety, a new life and often God in a battered women’s shelter in Manhattan led her to seminary, to a PhD and college teaching and eventually to ordination. She has served parishes in White Plains, NY; Fort Lee, NJ; and Irvington, NY, as interim and rector (priest who leads a congregation). Along the way she raised two daughters and wrote a book about balancing (or not) parish ministry and parenting. When not in church or with family, she loves to sing, swim, kayak, hike and play with various arts and crafts.
Moore likes interim ministry because it highlights transitional space. In a fast paced culture, we often don’t pay much attention to the time between different chapters of our lives. Interim ministry provides a chance to reevaluate priorities, to become more intentional about practices that have become habits, perhaps to let go of some habits that have ceased to be useful and to reassess the relationship of the parish to its larger community.
The relationship of church to community has changed over time. In the “good old days,” (whose date often depends on selective memories), attendance at a congregation was a social norm, and congregations were often social hubs for families. In the past 50 years the culture has changed significantly. There is less respect for authority and institutions of any kind, more civic youth activities, more women in the workforce, the social media revolution and a significant questioning of the appropriate role of religion in public life. Pews and church schools are emptier. Yet congregations have a vital role to play in creating healthy, respectful community life, in helping people find meaning and value in their lives, and in honoring the presence of God in daily life and work. Allison would love to know what residents of Manhasset and environs who are outside the church want, fear or expect from Christ Church. And anyone looking for a church home for Lent, look at the Christ Church website www.ChristChurchManhasset.org.