Rector's Reflections: Welcome Margaret
I am delighted to announce the hire of our new temporary administrative assistant, Margaret Lias. Margaret arrives via a prayerful search for some short term office help while we wait to see what the "pandemic-shaped church" of 2022 and beyond will require in terms of staffing. She is over-qualified and blessedly willing to do two major things for us in her 5-hour a week contract. She will be checking our email and voicemail daily (once we fix our phones to allow for off-site message checking!) so that Katy and I can be more responsive to the community. And she will be taking on some overdue projects that we simply haven't had the bandwidth for; right-sizing our copier contract, updating our safe church policy, and helping us organize some of our systems to name a few. As a faithful. lifelong Episcopalian who is preparing for the ministry of the diaconate; Margaret brings us the gift of administration as a ministry, with eyes for where we can be better organized to meet the needs of the community. I am deeply grateful for her acceptance of our invitation to join us for the next few months, and I hope you will read her own message to you below! Also, please tune in next week as I'd like to introduce you to our new 5hr/week Tech Minister who starts this coming week.
Yours in Christ,
Greetings! I’m Margaret Lias and I’m thrilled to be your new Temporary Administrative Assistant. I bring myriad skills and experiences that I believe will be an asset to doing all I can to help facilitate your work as the body of Christ.
Not too long ago I reached out to Becky (whom I met years ago when her daughter was just a little baby!) to see if there might be ways my skills can be useful to St. Paul’s while the staff is between administrators.
My first church administration experiences were as a child at St. James Episcopal Church in Birmingham, MI. I helped my mother (the church’s preschool director/teacher) and the parish secretary fold leaflets for Sunday’s services. I discovered an early love of church administration right then and there! Over the years I went on to support a handful of churches including the Episcopal Cathedral of St. Philip in Atlanta, GA, and Trinity Episcopal Church in Boston. Additionally, as a lifelong Episcopalian and professional church musician, I’ve been a part of countless parishes around the country. Eventually my administrative work focused on liturgy, volunteer management, and stewardship. When I left church work, I went on to raise money for secular organizations. Most recently, I was the Director of Development for Emmanuel Music in Boston. I left this position when my spouse and I entered the adoption process. Our delightful son, Elliot, was born in July, 2019 and since that time I’ve been a stay-at-home mom, and until the pandemic hit, was still singing professionally with organizations around the country and here at home. I’m also a part-time Parish Administrator for St. Paul’s in Dedham. My spouse, Meghan Sweeney, is Rector of All Saints’ Episcopal Church in Attleboro and she’s a theology professor at Boston College and director of BC’s PULSE Program for Service Learning. We moved to Dedham from Jamaica Plain a year ago and we love being here.
In addition to parenting, music-making, and church administration, I’m a postulant for holy orders to the diaconate in our diocese. My hope, God willing and the people consenting, is to be ordained to the vocational diaconate in 2023. (To learn more about me and the ordination process, please feel free to visit my website: www.margaretlias.com) The focus of my diaconal work is shaping up to be liturgical music and the ministry of administration.