Associate Rector for Discipleship and Worship

Position Announcement
St. Columba’s Episcopal Church, Washington, DC

St. Columba’s is “a welcoming Christian community of all ages that encourages spiritual curiosity, celebrates children and youth, and embraces the world in the spirit of God’s justice and love.” Located in upper northwest Washington, D.C., this is the largest parish in the Episcopal Diocese of Washington with an ASA of 575 and annual budget of $3 million.

With a new vision and strategic plan, the people of St. Columba’s are committed to practice faith in daily life, equip parishioners to embrace discipleship, and grow personally in our relationship with God. Building upon a long history of nourishing the spiritual life, we have fully embraced Jesus’ Way of Love – to turn, pray, worship, learn, go, bless, and rest – as a path to discipleship. As a community of all ages, our ministries of fellowship and pastoral care are designed for support and celebration in every season of life, especially during times of transition or crisis. Principal worship on Sunday is celebrated with all ages in four or five services in a variety of liturgical styles. Lively, participatory, innovative, musically rich and diverse with a balance of traditional and new, worship is at the heart of our common life in Christ.

St. Columba’s is entering a season of new vision and creativity. Building upon our strong foundation, we are called to a new adventure in discipleship. We seek to live into the future God has for us, and to incarnate our God-given potential as individuals and as a congregation. For more information visit our website and recent strategic plan (still under construction).

Nature & Scope

The Associate Rector for Discipleship and Worship is a full-time, core staff position sharing – with the rector, other clergy and core staff – in the leadership of this church.  S/he functions under the direct supervision of the rector, and leads or participates in a number of staff teams to insure coordination of all ministries.  The Associate Rector for Discipleship and Worship is a pastor, prophet, teacher, and evangelist who works collegially with staff and parishioners to develop and implement offerings and programs that serve the overall mission of the church.  The Associate Rector for Discipleship and Worship is expected to function at a very high level of personal and professional creativity, take initiative and responsibility for specific areas of ministry, and work collaboratively with others.

Essential Responsibilities

Discipleship / Christian Formation for Adults

The Associate Rector for Discipleship and Worship will lead in the design and coordination of spiritual pathways that enable entry, nourishment, and life-long growth in the way of Christ; including ~

  • Develop and coordinate multi-disciplinary practice of the “Way of Love” to support all parishioners in putting faith into practice, and becoming disciples
  • Collaborate with Associate Rector for Family Ministries and others to develop and support comprehensive Christian formation for all ages, from cradle to grave
  • Develop and coordinate opportunities for fellowship and pastoral support, especially in seasons of transition (e.g., for empty-nesters, grief support, etc.), often through small groups – “Columba Circles”
  • Provide Christian education for those in every stage of faith development – from seekers & inquirers, to catechesis & initiation, and hearty nourishment for the spiritually mature


  • The Associate Rector for Discipleship and Worship will lead in the design and coordination of inspiring worship for all services for all ages
  • Preside and preach as one member in the liturgical rota
  • Convene and collaborate with clergy, musicians, and childrens’ ministers to design liturgies
  • Provide support and leadership to all liturgical ministries, e.g., vergers, altar guild, etc.
  • Oversee bulletin preparation. Work closely with musicians to ensure timely submission of music information for bulletins. Provide direct work oversight, including regular reviews, to bulletin assistant

Pastoral Care & Fellowship

  • The Associate Rector for Discipleship and Worship oversees the pastoral needs of the congregation and coordinates care, assigning cases as needed among clergy and lay pastoral care providers
  • Share with other clergy to provide ongoing pastoral care; e.g., counseling, home and hospital visits, marriages, funerals, etc.
  • Provide clergy leadership and support for lay pastoral care ministries, e.g., Stephen Ministers, and fellowship groups, e.g., Mothers’ Group & Creative Aging Network

Core Staff Leadership (shared by all core staff)

  • Nurture health in this congregation, the body of Christ
  • Call forth the gifts of others and support them in the exercise of their ministries; nurture capacity for growth; lead by teaching, equipping, supporting, and raising up the leadership of others - not by doing
  • Provide hospitality and participate in newcomer events
  • Nurture disciples of Jesus Christ
  • Carry St. Columba’s ministry to the broader Washington region


  • Coordinate and communicate discipleship, worship, and pastoral ministries so initiatives and programs are fully coordinated and compellingly shared/marketed with the congregation and community
  • Be a good steward of finances and resources; prepare and work within budget; seek and develop resources within and beyond the congregation
  • Continue professional and personal growth through conferences and retreats; participate in Diocesan activities

Core Competencies

We seek a priest

  • whose love of Christ and personal gifts will inspire others
  • a person who takes initiative, is innovative and entrepreneurial
  • who is deeply committed to nourishing souls and passionate about helping people grow in faith
  • a creative liturgist with sensitive leadership to integrate ancient tradition while introducing contemporary & relevant expressions of faith that is joyful and, at times, playful
  • highly organized and detail-oriented to effectively choreograph and coordinate all the various aspects of liturgy;
  • is a compelling communicator, gifted teacher, and excellent preacher;
  • a person eager to be with our youngest, oldest and everyone in between;
  • an enthusiastic and engaged partner with staff and other parish leaders;
  • with ability to work in a large system with many moving parts; ability to function well up, down, and in teams
  • who can see the big picture, develop plans, and attend to the details
  • a person on fire with the Spirit eager to help this congregation grow into the fullness of our potential as children of God and as the body of Christ.

A competitive compensation package including full benefits is offered. Anticipated start date is spring 2020.

Interested candidates should send a cover letter, resume, OTM profile, and recording or text of a sermon given in the last six months to the Rev. Ledlie I. Laughlin, Rector, St. Columba’s Episcopal Church, or 4201 Albemarle St. NW, Washington, DC 20016. We will review all materials as they arrive and respond to all applicants. No phone calls, please.

Position Announcement (PDF)