October 2022 Report from the Rector Search Committee.
Greetings to all.
The search committee has met twice since our installation, and we aim to keep the congregation updated about our work during this time of clergy transition. Here is a summary our work thus far. The next major activity in the search are 12 Questions we will present on Sunday, November 6.
At our first meeting on October 12, we shared hopes and intentions for the search process and outcomes, We learned a great deal about rector search processes from our search consultant Diane Pollard and we outlined our working procedures as a committee.
We are so blessed to have the clear, wise guidance from Diane, from our diocesan transition officer, Canon Martha Kirkpatrick, and in the many thorough documents that lay out the process. We plan to continue meeting every other week, as our schedules permit.
We met again on October 26 and focused on the first phase of the search. On November 2, we will participate in a workshop on unconscious bias, provided by the diocese and required of all Delaware clergy search committees.
In the Episcopal Church, clergy searches happen in two main phases.
In Phase One, a Parish Profile is created. In Phase Two, the job description (with the Parish Profile) is posted, applications are received and reviewed, interviews conducted, a recommendation developed, and an offer is made. The whole process will take us into Spring 2023; our goal is to complete Phase One by the end of the calendar year.
Twelve Key Questions
The Parish Profile will be built around twelve key questions that are provided by the National Office of Transition Ministry, and includes other information about the receiving church (that’s us, SsAM!). Typically, the whole parish is invited to contribute to how we, the committee, will complete the Profile. We are inviting all of you to take part in this committee task by responding from your own perspective to the twelve questions.
On Sunday, November 6, the Rector Search Committee is hosting two coffee hours (following the 8:00 AM service and following the 10:30 AM service) for the purpose of gathering congregation input on the twelve questions. We will circulate the questions ahead of time so everyone has time to think about them.
After November 6 we will follow up with an online survey for anyone unable to attend the coffee hours that day, as well as a FaceBook page mediated survey process for the same input. We look forward to a robust participation, so that our work on the Parish Profile can faithfully represent the thoughts, practices, values and passions of the SsAM community.
The SsAM Rector Search Committee
Thomas Angell, Ernestine Brock-Walker, Carey Corbin, Sherry Goodill, Christina Brennan Lee, Joshua Martin, and William Young
November 2022 Report from the Rector Search Committee
We offered four ways for church members to provide input to the Parish Profile:
IN-PERSON: On Sunday November 6, after the 8:00 a.m. and 10:30 a.m. services, members came to the parish hall to write in their responses to the questions on specially prepared poster-sized pages.
ON-LINE SURVEY: An online survey was available for SsAM members. The deadline was November 19.
PAPER SURVEY: For those who typically receive their Vision and other church announcements via the US Postal Service, we sent the survey in paper form along with a return envelope.
FACEBOOK: For those who are active on Facebook and follow SsAM, we posted a new question each day, one per day for 12 days. Christina Brennan Lee, a Search Committee member, posted the questions and collected the responses that come into Facebook.
We hope that we were able to hear and learn from everyone in the SsAM community! We will be melding your answers to the 12 Rector Search Questions into the narrative portion of the Parish Profile. The Profile will be used in the position posting by the diocese. The Rector Search Committee aims to have its part completed and submitted to the diocese before Christmas of 2022.
The 12 Questions
The 12 Questions are listed below. These questions come from the national church’s Office of Transition Ministry and are used across the country for clergy searches. Some questions are posed with the language “you” and “your”: This refers to SsAM as a whole and for your convenience we’ve added a clarifier (SsAM) in those instances.
1. Describe a moment in your worshiping community’s recent ministry which you recognize as one of success and fulfillment.
2. Describe your (SsAM’s) liturgical style and practice for all types of worship provided by your community.
3. How do you (SsAM) practice incorporating others into ministry?
4. As a worshiping community, how do you care for your spiritual, emotional, and physical well-being?
5. How do you engage in pastoral care for those beyond your worshiping community?
6. Describe your worshiping community’s involvement in either the wider Church or geographical region.
7. Tell about a ministry that your worshiping community has initiated in the past five years. Who can be contacted about this?
8. How are you (SsAM) preparing yourselves for the Church of the future?
9. What is your (SsAM’s) practice of stewardship and how does it shape the life of your worshiping community?
10. What is your worshiping community’s experience of conflict? And how have you addressed it?
11. What is your experience leading/addressing change in the church? When has it gone poorly? And what did you learn?
12. Please provide no more than four descriptors, made up of one or two words each, 4-6 words (separated by commas) describing the gifts and skills essential to the future leaders of your worshiping community.
Thank you in advance for your discernment and sharing in this essential part of our search for a new rector for SsAM.
Sherry Goodill (Chair) and Bill Young (Vice-Chair) on the behalf of the Rector Search Committee which also includes Thomas Angell, Ernestine Brock-Walker, Carey Corbin, Christina Brennan Lee, and Joshua Martin.
December 2022 Update from the Rector Search Committee
Many thanks to everyone who contributed input to the Parish Profile at coffee hours, on-line, and via a paper copy survey. The committee has started drafting narrative portions of the Parish Profile, which is one component of the recruitment package for priests who might consider applying to become our new rector. The profile will be used in the position posting by the diocese.
The Rector Search Committee aims to have its part completed and submitted to the diocese before Christmas. We will keep you updated! We especially appreciate your ongoing support of the committee’s work in the form of your prayers, your questions, and your encouragement.
You may recall that the final question in the survey asks us to provide brief descriptors of “the gifts and skills essential” to the future leader of our worshipping community. The many responses to that question from those who gave input to the committee were interesting and compelling.
We have created a” word cloud” from those responses and wanted to share it with you here as a first and brief “visual” of how SsAM members have so far communicated our wishes and hope for a new rector. In a word cloud, the most frequently offered terms are in the biggest font. Enjoy this reflection of what the community has expressed so far. Click here or the image to see it larger in a new tab.
March 30, 2023 Update from the Rector Search Committee
The search committee devoted February and March to preparing for the interview stage of the search. Soon after the application deadline of April 1st, we will be begin reviewing application materials from the diocesan office, where our Transition Officer Canon Martha Kirkpatrick has been receiving the applications. April will be a busy month for the committee, and we are grateful for your support.
We are also grateful to Rev. Dr. Howie Sasser of St. Thomas’s Parish, Newark, who generously volunteered himself and his time to participate with us in a “practice interview” on March 29th, and give us feedback, so we can be ready and fine-tuned for the real interviews that we will conduct in the coming weeks. We will keep you updated on our progress as the process unfolds.
Sherry Goodill (Chair) and Bill Young (Vice Chair)
April 11, 2023 Update from the Rector Search Committee
We are so excited to now begin the next chapter of our search, and that is to start our review of applications from those who have felt called to serve as our next rector. And we are pleased and impressed with our candidate pool. To protect the privacy of those who have applied, members of the search committee are not permitted to share any information about the applicants or the applicant pool; and we thank you in advance for respecting these expectations for confidentiality. However, we can and will keep you updated in our progress over the weeks to come. Thank you for your ongoing prayers and support, especially as we enter this important phase our work.
The SsAM rector search committee
April 19, 2023 Update from the Rector Search Committee
We are so excited to now begin the next chapter of our search, and that is to review applications from those who have felt called to serve as our next rector. And we are pleased and impressed with our candidate pool. To protect the privacy of those who have applied, members of the search committee are not allowed to share any more information about the applicants or the applicant pool; and we thank you in advance for respecting these expectations for confidentiality. However, we can and will keep you updated in our progress over the weeks to come.
Thank you for your ongoing prayers and support, especially as we enter this important phase our work.
Additional information and a link to the SsAM profile can be found at: https://www.ssam.org/clergy-transition/.