Dear Friends in Faith,
We’re writing with a rector search update.
As you will likely recall, we have assembled a search committee (see a previous update for details), which will undertake the important task of moving from a list of 30+ candidates to a group of about three finalists—who match the criteria established during our congregation-wide discernment process—a group whom they will recommend to the vestry.
That process of discernment will begin shortly and will likely occupy several months. Before it can begin, however, the diocese conducts a background screening of all candidates not already known to them. With this completed, Canon Joanna Satorius (the diocesan officer who handles searches) meets with the search committee to brief them on logistics, then turns over to the search committee both the resumes and personal profiles of the applicants. Those profiles consist of the applicants’ responses to a number of questions developed by the national church—questions designed to help all concerned appreciate the strengths of each person’s ministry and how it might interact with our hopes.
Having digested these written materials the search committee will then conduct Skype™ (or similar) interviews with the candidates, seeking to discern the match with St. James: the relevant question is not who the committee likes best, but who best matches the profile you have developed during the discernment process that occurred this spring.
When the search committee has narrowed the candidates to a few, it will meet with the vestry, brief them on its processes and tell them a bit about each candidate. At that point we typically invite each of the candidates (with spouses where applicable) to Los Angeles on separate weeks. Over the period of two days, the candidate (and spouse where applicable) tour the premises of the church and rectory, and meet for conversations with the members of the vestry both formally and informally.
Following these visits, the vestry will hold a prayerful retreat and then “call” our next rector. At that point the confidentiality that must accompany earlier phases of the search drops away: as soon as a candidate has accepted our call, we will joyfully share this news with the congregation and begin plans to welcome our next rector.
Perhaps needless to say, circumstances may call for variations on this pattern, but a typical search involves the phases noted above. We will, of course, continue to keep you posted.
Emily Abbott, Junior Warden
Steve Yeazell, Senior Warden