Father Sandy Webb Called as Sixth Rector of Church of the Holy Communion
May 27, 2015
Memphis, Tenn. - Pentecost, the birthday of the Christian church, was an appropriate Sunday to announce the call of Church of the Holy Communion’s sixth rector, the Rev. Sandy Webb, elected unanimously at a special vestry meeting on May 12, chaired by the Rt. Rev. Don Johnson, Bishop of West Tennessee.
Senior warden Ann Duncan made the announcement May 24 on behalf of the vestry: “Under Sandy’s leadership, the parish is experiencing new energy and engagement. A full complement of well-qualified clergy and staff is in place; adult formation has been revitalized; we are welcoming visitors and new members in more intentional ways; facilities have been refurbished; planning for a capital campaign is under way; Episcopal Service Corps is a new model for outreach; attendance and stewardship giving have increased for two years in a row.”
The Reverend Sandy Webb came to serve at Church of the Holy Communion in July 2013 and has served as lead pastor, preacher and teacher since then, overseeing its staff and accountable to the vestry for administration of the budget. Immediately before coming to Holy Communion, Sandy served as associate to the rector at St. John’s Episcopal Church in Roanoke, Va. As an extension of his work at St. John's, Sandy served as chaplain to the Roanoke City Fire-EMS Department (a program that he founded), and as a community representative on the Institutional Review Board at Carilion Clinic and Roanoke Memorial Hospital.
A “cradle Episcopalian” from Massachusetts, Webb worked in the Executive Office of the General Convention at the Episcopal Church’s national headquarters in New York City before attending seminary, advising several policy-making committees, helping plan a reorganization of the Presiding Bishop’s staff and coordinating worship services for as many as 8,000 people. He continues to plan and direct General Convention worship services under a special contract with the Presiding Bishop’s office.
Sandy is an honors graduate of Hamilton College in Clinton, N.Y., and Virginia Theological Seminary in Alexandria. His scholarly work has been published in the Journal of Episcopal Church Canon Law; his letters and essays have appeared in the Christian Century, The Anglican Digest and The Living Church. He was ordained at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine in New York City.
Webb’s Pentecost sermon looks forward, not just in the life of Holy Communion but in the life of the city of Memphis: “We live in a city divided by race and affluence, by neighborhood and occupation, by our access to healthcare and education. A divided community can only be healed when its members choose to reach across their divides. Love is not passive.”
Webb’s first sermon as rector of Holy Communion, as well as his and Duncan’s opening remarks, can be read and heard at A Sacred Presence, one of Holy Communion’s blogs. For more information or interviews, contact Cara Ellen Modisett, Minister of Communication, at cmodisett [at] holycommunion [dot] org or 901-767-6987.