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Rector Search Update

Dear Friends in Faith,

On behalf of your vestry, we’re very pleased to be able to announce the membership of the search committee that will do the initial screening of candidates for our next rector:

Ingrid Finley-Scott, Vestry Liaison and Chair
Spencer Hong
Elizabeth Igwe
Mary Manning
Steve McLean
Mary Nichols
George Marks
Obi Nwajuaku
Ken Robbins
Lawrence Yeo

A few words about the selection process: After prayerful discussion of all submissions, your vestry identified a slate of approximately 20 nominees. We unanimously agreed that we would be pleased to have any one of the nominees serve—something that speaks well of our parish. We then by secret ballot voted for our top choices—keeping very much in mind the diversity of our parish, the importance selecting people of deep faith and discernment, and the desirability of keeping the size of the committee to a number that would not render meetings and discussions difficult. Then we contacted our nominees to ascertain their willingness to serve, making appropriate substitutions for those who were not able. We know that there are those who would have been willing and able to serve on this committee who do not appear above; we are grateful for that willingness and hope all will understand the many factors that led to our calling a small but truly representative group.

Next steps: your search committee will meet with diocesan authorities to be briefed on the mechanics of the process. They will then commence screening interviews—likely through Skype or a similar platform. At the same time the diocese will be conducting various screening processes to assure that the candidates have the kind of record that would warrant a call to our rectorship. The goal is for the search committee to recommend 3-4 finalists from among whom your vestry will discern whom to call to as our next rector. It’s important to remember that this process is not one unique to St. James but rather is one approved and used across the Episcopal Church.

An important word about confidentiality: at this stage the search must occur under conditions of strict confidentiality—otherwise we risk some serious problems, including losing the best candidates. So—just as we will be charging the committee with the need for that confidentiality, we charge all of us—vestry members included—to refrain from sidling up to a search committee member and asking about candidates! We are asking the search committee to undertake a task of delicacy and judgment. We can all help them in this important work by refraining from asking questions the process does not allow them to answer.

But there is information you can expect. You will get regular reports on the status of the process itself: how many submissions the committee receives; when the Skype interviews begin; the number conducted by various times; when the first “cut” occurs and how many candidates remain. You will continue to receive reports of this nature in written and oral updates at all three services—up until the time the Vestry makes its final choice and that candidate has accepted the call, at which glorious time the name of our new Rector will be announced.

Meanwhile, we ask you to keep in your prayers the committee, the candidates, and for the one who will eventually be called, that all might be said and done in accordance with God’s will for us!

Gratefully,
Emily Abbott, Junior Warden
Stephen Yeazell, Senior Warden