This letter is an update from the Rector Search Committee and an invitation to join in a dialogue to help us determine what to include in our parish profile and what qualities we are seeking in a new rector.

The Rector Search Committee has begun its work with guidance from the Rev. Andrea Mysen, Director of Ministries for the Episcopal Diocese of Chicago, who in that role works with congregations in transitions. The Diocese provides all parishes with a format or plan in calling a new rector that is briefly described below: 

  • Getting Started – The Vestry empowers the search committee to do its work 
  • Self-Assessment – The search committee defines clarity about the congregation’s history, mission, vision, and future goals. This includes preparing written documents that clearly express who we are as a parish and what we seek in a new rector 
  • Discernment – The search committee discerns a finalist to present to the Vestry 
  • Wrapping Up – The Vestry and Wardens issue a call to the new rector 

St. Luke’s has an internal candidate, the Rev. Kat Banakis, and with the approval of the Diocese is undertaking a process called Discernment With One. Before considering any other rector candidates, the Search Committee and Vestry, on the one hand, and Kat, on the other, will determine whether we are the right fit. Only if Kat or the parish decides not to pursue a call will we start a nationwide search to identify other candidates. 

Regardless, the parish must follow the steps outlined above. We are currently in the Self-Assessment step, where we identify what the parish wants and needs in a new rector. In this respect, Saint Luke’s is - happily - a bit ahead of many other parishes. In 2018 the parish engaged in a visioning process that included Story Circles, the Congregation Assessment Tool (CAT) survey, and ultimately the development of the 2018 Vision Plan, which is displayed on the north wall of the nave.

B ecause St. Luke’s has already done much of the foundational work, the next step in our process will be to hold focus group discussions with members, called Rector Search Roundtables. These Rector Search Roundtable discussions will be facilitated by Search Committee members. This is a very important opportunity for St. Luke’s parishioners to guide the Search Committee. The Search Committee will synthesize, analyze and discuss all that we learn from the Rector Search Roundtable discussions, the CAT survey, and other sources to prepare a parish profile describing St. Luke’s and the attributes we seek in our next rector. These documents assist both the candidate and the Search Committee. Any candidate for rector receives these items and the CAT survey to inform the candidate’s personal discernment. Only at this point will the Search Committee be ready to meet with, interview and perform all the other steps we undertake to consider any candidate including Kat.

Following are some questions we anticipate you may have. 

How long will the Discernment With One process take to present a single candidate to the Vestry? 

The Search Committee is committed to a prayerful and thoughtful process, with ample attention to reflection and diligence, while being sensitive to a variety of timing considerations. We cannot give you a completion date more precisely than, hopefully, late spring, but we promise to keep the process moving.

When will the Rector Search Roundtables meet and how can I sign up? 

We will be forming Rector Search Roundtables of about eight members from the list of people who sign up. Most of the groups will be held after services on March 3, but we will try to capture a few more people at other times, so please indicate whether a Wednesday night or Saturday afternoon group might work, if you can't make Sunday. Please sign up online, or on the sheets at the back of the church on Sunday, or by emailing Beth Wright at ewrigh@saic.edu with your availability. 

I participated in a Story Circle last year. Is this the same thing? 

In 2018 St. Luke’s conducted a number of Story Circles, the information from which was used to develop our 2018 Vision Plan. The Rector Search Roundtables focus on identifying what as a parish we need in our new rector. 

Once the Rector Search Roundtables are done, what’s next? 

The search committee will continue to work with the Rev. Andrea Mysen, who will guide us through the process above. We will continue to keep you informed about our progress in the search process through the Winged Ox, Sunday announcements, and special email notices. 

What can I do to help? 

There are many opportunities for you to help. First, participate in one of the Rector Search Roundtables and encourage others to participate. Next, remember St. Luke’s and the search committee in your prayers. 

One Final Comment

All of us on the Search Committee welcome hearing from each of you individually and making sure your views are taken into account. However, in most circumstances, we will be able to listen only, but not respond or comment. And we will not be able to share with you the content of the committee’s discussions. We are committed to transparency of process, but out of respect for all involved we are equally committed to safeguarding confidentiality.