Dear people of Truro,
The vestry is pleased to announce that we have unanimously extended a call to The Rev. Canon Mary Maggard Hays to serve as priest-in-charge, and that Mary has graciously accepted. Mary has begun her role leading the parish this week.
Mary is no stranger to Truro Anglican Church. From last year until this spring, she has served both in public and also in providing pastoral care and encouragement for the clergy, staff, and congregation, helping the parish through a time of transition after the departure of our previous rector, supporting our clergy and staff leadership, and pointing the people of our parish towards the healing that comes from the Lord Jesus. Where anything has been amiss, she has worked to reform it; where anything has been right, she has worked to strengthen and confirm it. Mary has spent much of her time helping the clergy and staff leadership team, further developing their gifts for ministry. After a period away from Truro for the past several months, we are pleased that Mary has agreed to return in this leadership role.As priest-in-charge, Mary will take on all the responsibilities and authorities customarily associated with an interim rector. She will begin her leadership in August, but she will fully assume her duties at the beginning of September. She will be part-time in her role, focusing her efforts on guiding the church through this time of transition, serving as the leader of the clergy and staff, and participating in the public ministry of the church.
The vestry all express their gratitude to Mary for taking on this role. Our parish has faced many difficulties and trials, even as we can also see God’s hand of blessing on us. In seeking to provide for the spiritual leadership of the parish, we sought someone who was patient but also unwavering; someone gifted for the ministry, but who could also help others exercise their gifts; someone who was deeply experienced and capable of leadership, but also someone who would be a caretaker in a time of transition; someone who was capable of administration, but also someone who at the end of the day was above all a pastor and minister of the gospel. We believe that God has provided Truro with such a person in Mary.
Bishop John Guernsey writes, “I am delighted in the call of Canon Mary Hays to serve Truro as priest-in-charge. She is a wise and gifted priest with a deep commitment to prayer, Scripture, and mission. She has a tremendous track record in helping churches through significant transitions, and I know she will be a great blessing to Truro in this role.”
The vestry wishes also to thank the parish’s leadership team: Liz Brewster, Jamie Brown, José Garrigo, Mike Seawright, and Coleman Tyler. For the past months, they have capably and carefully led the parish, preaching the Word, administering the sacraments, pastoring the people, leading our ministries, administering the church, and calling upon us to pray. In a difficult time to be a minister, they have been faithful and tireless shepherds to the people of God. We are grateful that they will continue their fruitful ministry among us.
The vestry welcomes Mary back to Truro. We invite you to pray for her, and we have included some appropriate selections from the Book of Common Prayer below. We hope that the people of the church see in her the same thing we do: a faithful friend to this parish who will point us to the Lord Jesus.
With our prayers and well wishes,
The Vestry of Truro Anglican Church
A letter to Truro from Mary Hays
Dear Truro Family,
I am humbled and honored to accept the vestry’s call to be your priest-in-charge, while you seek a new rector. Truro has had a place in my heart since I served as assistant rector in the 1980s, and the last sixteen months of working with you has only increased that love. Your delight in worship, your deep prayerfulness, your love for internationals, your commitment to meet together, your godly and faithful leaders—all of these are signs that God has a good and fruitful future in store for you. Please be praying for me, for the vestry, for the leadership team and staff, and for the search committee (that will soon be formed) as we all seek to hear and respond to God’s voice. I am sure we will face challenges in the weeks ahead, but we also know that God walks beside us in all of them. Please know how much I am looking forward to serving, along with the other clergy, as a pastor to you and to your family.
A brief biography of Mary Hays
Mary Hays began her ministry in Connecticut and Virginia. She was assistant rector at Truro in the late 1980s, serving under the rector John Howe. Having already earned her Masters in Divinity, she then went on to earn a Doctorate in Ministry from Fuller Theological Seminary, and she taught pastoral theology and leadership at Trinity Episcopal School for Ministry for many years. Since 1998, Mary has been involved in ministry at the diocesan level, first in the Anglican Diocese of Pittsburgh, where she served as canon to Archbishop Duncan, and now in our own Diocese of the Mid-Atlantic. She currently serves as the Canon for Clergy and Congregational Care in DOMA, where she develops clergy and consults with congregations (particularly those in transition).
Mary has been married to The Rev. Whis Hays for 46 years. Whis founded and directs Rock the World Youth Mission Alliance. They are the parents of two grown children, Kate (married to Erik) and Dave (married to Julie), and they have six grandchildren.
Three prayers for the church
Most gracious Father, the Giver of all good and perfect gifts, in your wise providence you appoint leaders for the mission of your Church: Give grace to this your servant, to whom the charge of this Congregation is now given: so empower her with the truth of sound doctrine, and endue her with holiness of life, that she may faithfully serve before you to the glory of your great Name, and the benefit of your holy Church; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.
Most gracious God, we humbly beseech thee for thy holy catholic church. Fill it with all truth, in all peace. Where it is corrupt, purge it; where it is in error, direct it; where anything is amiss, reform it; where it is right, strengthen and confirm it; where it is in want, furnish it; where it is divided and rent asunder, make up the breaches of it; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Almighty and everlasting God, you govern all things in heaven and on earth: Mercifully hear our prayers, and grant that in this congregation the pure Word of God may be preached and the Sacraments duly administered. Strengthen and confirm the faithful; protect and guide the children; visit and relieve the sick; turn and soften the wicked; arouse the careless; recover the fallen; restore the penitent; remove all hindrances to the advancement of your truth; and bring us all to be of one heart and mind within your holy Church, to the honor and glory of your Name; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Dear people of Truro,