Greetings from the St. Margaret's Rector Search Committee.
The Search Committee has had a busy month! We wanted to take a moment to let the congregation know what we have be doing.
Our rector call was posted on the Diocese’s website from early April to the end of May. 58 candidates submitted profiles and resumes; we received many wonderful resumes from well-qualified candidates and from all over the country.
The Search Committee spent many hours reviewing all 58 profiles (a small mountain of material), reading candidate sermons and blogs, and listening to online sermons. We held 2 long evening meetings in which we were asked to discern 15-18 candidates for phone interviews. Our meetings were prayerful and thoughtful and each Search Committee member had the ability to hold candidates within consideration.
Immediately after our discernment meeting, Kathy Anderson sent thoughtful, personal messages to the 40+ candidates who were not selected for phone interviews. Many of the candidates responded with thanks for the kind message and expressed regret that they would not be moving forward as they had heard such good things about St. Margaret’s.
Because the candidates under consideration for our call may also be under consideration at other churches, it is important that we move through the later stages of the process efficiently. After our discernment discussion, we immediately scheduled 5 interview sessions over the following 4 weeks in order to accommodate the candidates' schedules. Several Search Committee members rearranged work and personal commitments to ensure that we were able to stay on schedule.
Lou Steadwell scheduled phone interviews with all candidates within 2-3 days following the discernment meeting. One candidate withdrew from consideration after receiving a call from another church. 30-minute phone interviews began Friday night, June 17, with 3 interviews, continued all day Saturday, June 18, with 5 interviews, Monday night June 20, with 4 more. Due to travel schedules and the July 4th holiday, the final interview session will be held Wednesday night, July 6, with the final 3 interviews.
The entire Search Committee has gathered in one place for each of the phone interviews, so that we can be together as we interview the candidates. Lou Steadwell arranged for take-out meals and snacks at each interview session. Marty Williams made her office conference room available to us, and we sit around a rectangular wooden table with a speaker-phone in the midst. Terry Brady has led off and closed out each interview session with a prayer. The committee prayed that the Spirit would help each candidate to share their gifts with us and prayed that the Search Committee members would hear and recognize those gifts.
We will meet again for discernment the week of July 13 to select 6-8 candidates to visit at their home church and to interview them on home ground. Small groups of 3-4 Search Committee members will visit each candidate.
After the visits to the 6-8 candidates' home parishes/towns are completed, the Search Committee will meet again to discern the 5-6 candidates who will be invited along with their spouse to visit the Search Committee in Washington, DC.
The last discernment will result in 3 candidates who will be recommended to the Vestry.
Aside from the 3 candidates who will be forwarded to the vestry, only the Search Committee will know the names of the other candidates. The parish will only know the name of the person who accepts our call.
The candidates saw the heart of St. M coming through in our parish profile. We received comments on St. M seeming to be a place that is - honest, authentic; courageous and open; welcoming and truly inclusive (not just saying the words, but making it happen). Many candidates noted how the importance of kids and young people seemed to be popping up all through the profile; some noted the emphasis on healing and learning; others saw our intellectual curiosity and hunger for learning; many asked us about growth. Many said, "this is a place where I could see myself and where I would love to serve."
We feel very confident that we will have a wonderful, new rector. We will keep you informed as we progress through each phase of the process.
It is an exciting, energizing, and somewhat exhausting process to be part of your Search Committee. Our group has bonded over laughter, prayer, deep conversation, and the amazing meals Lou Steadwell has provided us at our meetings. We do ask that you hold each Search Committee member as well as each of the candidates in prayer.
Kathy Anderson and Terry Brady
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