Your search team has been meeting almost every Sunday (and some weekday evenings) since last March. We continue to work diligently and as a cohesive team, grateful for our progress and for the support and prayers of this congregation.
One of our members recently commented that he liked how we are continually reaching milestones throughout this process, and we’d like to share a recap of those milestones with you as we near a very important part of our journey:
Organization and Congregational Input
Beginning in March we met to get organized, plan a set meeting time, and discuss a platform for communication.
We all met with the Vestry and Catherine Massey from the Diocese, who is over Transition Ministry, to understand the entire process ahead of us.
We planned and hosted three Congregational meetings led by Rob Voyle. Using his expertise and experience in this area, Rob proved to be so helpful in guiding us and helping us gather input from hundreds (over 250) of you. We looked to you all to find out: who are we at St John’s? And what are we looking for in our 6
Rector? We shared communion, delicious food, and fellowship, but most importantly, we found out what you needed from our search.
During this time, we also met in teams of two with each of the staff to receive their input. Due to their participation in services, they often could not attend the full Congregational meetings.
Creation of Parish Profile and Official Posting for Sixth Rector
With your input from these sessions, we got to work on creating our job description for this important role, known as the Office of Transition Ministry posting or OTM. This was an in-depth position description that told potential candidates much about St. John’s through our responses to various detailed questions.
Our OTM was approved by the Vestry and officially posted early June in various places that would allow priests across the country to learn about St. John’s. Some of you shared this with contacts you had as well, and we are very grateful for your help spreading the word.
While our posting was open, we had some time to meet with Catherine Massey again about how to proceed once applications arrived. We also created a process for review of applications that kept us focused on finding what our congregation agreed we needed most in a Rector. By mid July, we were ready to receive and review information from our applicants.
Review of All Applicants and Research
Once all applications were in, we spent two weeks reviewing each candidate: their resumes, cover letters, and long applications with questions and answers similar to those in our OTM. We listened and watched MANY online sermons and teaching sessions, read blogs, researched church websites, and reviewed candidates’ social media.
Background and Reference Checks
The final candidates have different levels of background checks as well as reference checks involving our team, Catherine Massey and Bishop Sam.
Zoom Interview Candidates
Next we gathered for a long session to select a smaller group of top candidates to invite for one- hour Zoom video interviews. We also notified each of the other candidates with whom we would not be moving forward.
Prior to the actual interviews, we developed common questions for all candidates, and also specific questions for each candidate. We opened each interview with a prayer written by one of our team members, and the candidate closed each session with a prayer. Four different team members asked our questions of each candidate, and another member found a perfect location and supplied food to sustain us.
After the Zoom interviews, we met to decide which candidates to bring to Charlotte to meet the entire Search Team. The Search Team was unanimous in our choices.
We will bring final candidates in October to Charlotte. They come for two nights with their spouses, and we will have the opportunity for the Search Team to experience communion and hear a sermon, and have small group sessions and large group sessions. Of course there will also be formal interview times as well. It is possible we might do a site visit to a candidate if needed.
After we have spent all the time we need to make our final recommendation, we will all meet with the Vestry to explain our choice and provide them with all of the information we have about the candidate.
This is when we turn the process over to them. They will then invite this candidate to come to Charlotte to meet with just the Vestry. We will hold them and the candidate in our prayers as they work through their discernment. After this point, communication to you will come from the Vestry.
So you may wonder: what can I do? We all need to pray for God’s continued wisdom, insight and guidance on this journey. We know that you have prayed for the Search Team as we have worked as a real team and felt your prayers each step of this journey.
You have encouraged us, supported us via emails and notes, given a hug or a pat on the back, and provided questions important to our work.You have respected the confidentiality of this process, which we all really appreciate. Your participation has been tremendous.
Our love to each of you,
Your Search Team