A ‘vicar,’ in its most basic sense, simply refers to a clergy person, like a pastor, priest, or minister. However, as the term has evolved, most notably in the Church of England, a vicar is a pastor who serves the people of a geographic region (aka, ‘parish’), as opposed to a single congregation. There is a long, more detailed history of the term that you can read here, but what I find most compelling about a vicar is that it describes a pastor who is responsible not just for the people who attend his or her church on Sunday but who serves all the people who live within a certain boundary.
The term, ‘vicar’ evokes a generous and expansive sense of ministry and service, and one that I aspire to make a reality. As the Vicar of South Austin, all of South Austin is my parish, not just a single church community as we sometimes think of a parish.
That said, I have been called by my bishop, as the Vicar of South Austin, to be a church planter who will, in fact, start a new worshiping community in South Austin. What that will look like or even where it will be located are yet to be seen, but one thing is certain: this new community will do its best–through worship, prayer, and service–to be a blessing to all of South Austin, not just to those who find their way to our front door on Sunday.
Interested in knowing more? Contact me so we can sit down and talk. My email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.