On the Emmaus Road

A Guide to Transitions in Ordained Leadership

Mary Brennan Thorpe

Nov/2020, 160 Pages, PAPERBACK, 6 x 9

ISBN-13: 9781640653016

How can a church best respond when their priest tells them “I’m retiring,” or “I’ve been called to another parish?”

This book outlines to receiving a new ordained leader, recognizing that every parish is different. Discerning exactly what your parish needs can be both a challenge and a joy, and On the Emmaus Road affirms that you can listen to God’s voice while attending to other day-to-day tasks. Based upon several years of doctoral research into the work of search committees in the Diocese of Virginia, this book has been refined through the experience of using its new methodologies in over seventy-five calls.

With both traditional and creative new approaches to the clergy search process, Thorpe gives a wealth of resources for your parish to not only survive the days to come, but thrive in the midst of them.

THE REV. DR. MARY BRENNAN THORPE serves as Canon to the Ordinary in the Diocese of Virginia. She has facilitated over a hundred transitions in all sorts of congregations. Her own circuitous Emmaus Road includes careers in technology design, public policy, and advocacy before ordination. She is a graduate of Jersey City State College, Hartt College of Music, Virginia Theological Seminary, and Columbia Presbyterian Seminary. One of her original icons adorns this book, and she is a musician, wife, mother, and grandmother.



  • Discernment
  • calls
  • vestry
  • congregations
  • search committees

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