The transition process that began with the departure of Fr. Rich has shifted into a new gear. The Rev. Barb Schmitz, a professional Interim Minister called by the Vestry, began her ministry with us on November 15. Until she arrived, we were very blessed to have The Rev. Dr. Clark West as our visiting supply priest. Rev. Barb has served parishes in transition in Central New York, Arizona, Maine, and most recently Louisiana. Barb is a native of Buffalo, NY, and is a clergy member of the Diocese of Central New York. Barb has served churches that needed an interim for all kinds of reasons, ranging from clergy death to clergy retirement to clergy accepting a new position.
Ordained for 26 years, Rev. Barb has served parishes and dioceses as rector, interim, diocesan administrator, and assistant to the Bishop. At one time, she worked full time in consulting and teaching conflict resolution. She currently is more than 80% through the Organizational Development Certificate program with the Gestalt International Study Center of Cape Cod.
This will be her third sojourn in Ithaca. A 1983 graduate of the Johnson Graduate School of Management, Barb returned to Ithaca in 2007 to serve as the Interim Chaplain for the Episcopal Church at Cornell. During that time, Barb joined us for a Lenten evening meal and also preached the sermon at a Maundy Thursday service at St. John’s. She is familiar with the city and hopes that it will make for a faster “landing.” Her focus while at St. John’s will be on assisting us with the developmental tasks of the transition time. We anticipate that Rev. Barb will be with us until sometime in the first half of 2017, and/or just before a new rector arrives.
Rev. Barb especially enjoys preaching and congregational development. On her days off, Barb keeps busy with the stock market, reading about medicine, following politics, walking, and cooking. She is the human coach of her cat, Pookie. After enduring summer temperatures up to 106 degrees, Barb looks forward to returning to Ithaca and getting her winter clothes out of storage.