A Parish in Transisiton: Information about Our Search Process
Message from the Search Committee Chair:
"Please keep us and the candidates in your thoughts and prayers as you are in ours."
(Sep. 12) I had to make a difficult telephone call last week. It was to a very talented, loving priest. One with a warm, caring personality, who is pastorally-minded and has a recognized gift for preaching. I had to call this person and tell them we would no longer be discerning with them. Not because they weren't a good fit for us. Quite the opposite. This person would have felt right at home at St. Michael's and Arlington in general. Truly, we would be lucky to have them as our next Rector. No, the only reason we had to release this candidate was because we're being called to three other candidates who are even better fits.
The Search Committee has discerned three finalists for our open Rector position. And, for as hard as that phone call was, we are very excited about where we are in the process. In the coming weeks, we'll be meeting these three candidates to discern together in person, share a meal, and see them preach.
As I'm sure you can relate, coordinating busy fall schedules is no easy task. As such, it looks like the end of October will be the earliest we'll be able to complete all these visits. Afterward, we'll discern our one candidate and present them to the Vestry and Diocese. So this well could be one of the last updates you hear from us before naming our new Rector. We'll keep you posted otherwise.
Please keep us and the candidates in your thoughts and prayers as you are in ours. And feel free to reach out to me or any member of the search committee with questions or comments. Not just for us either, but for the candidates themselves. We'd be happy to include them in our discernment. Verbatim questions from the parish would be a great way for them to get to know us better.
Mick Sutter Search Committee Chair
Message from the Search Committe Chair:
"We've discerned a shortlist of candidates...They’re an incredible bunch"
(Aug. 6) Hello again St. Michael’s! The search for our next rector continues swiftly and enthusiastically on all fronts. Since our last update, we discerned a shortlist of candidates to speak with via FaceTime or Skype. We’ve had the pleasure of talking with a few already and the remaining we expect to conduct this month. Once completed, we’ll be discerning 2 or 3 finalists with whom we’ll visit in their home parishes.
I do think it’s important to take a moment to recognize the grace of the process so far and how hopeful, joyful and comfortable the conversations with the candidates have been. They’re an incredible bunch, and while St. Michael’s will only be calling one, we’re confident that, in one way or another, you’ll see all their gifts writ large in the Episcopal Church in the future. Their interest in St. Michael's is a tremendous credit to the community we’ve built as a parish.
Please keep us in your thoughts and prayers as discernment continues and know that you all are in ours (and very much in the candidates' as well). As always, if you have any questions please reach out to me, Cindy, Helen, Beth or Rick.
Mick Sutter, Search Committee Chair
Message from the Search Committe Chair:
"I’ve been humbled and buoyed by the clergy that are feeling called to St. Michael's"
(July 23) Greetings St. Michael’s! Now that we’re in the thick of discernment, I’ll happily be providing you with regular updates on behalf of the Search Committee. The application period for our next rector officially closed on Sat., Jul. 15, and I’m pleased to report that we received a very healthy response — not just from within the Diocese or the Mid-Atlantic area, but from far and wide. Our call was heard from the Gulf of Mexico up to just short of the Canadian border and as far west at Nebraska. We received applications from 15 states in all.
Of course, quantity isn’t what’s important. Quality is. And, personally, I’ve been both humbled and buoyed by the clergy that are feeling called to St. Michael's. Unlike my experiences hiring in the corporate world where it’s more about finding that needle in a haystack, here the opposite is true. During the early stages of discernment, ruling candidates out has been what’s particularly difficult. There are tremendous gifts being offered to us at this moment. Credit goes to the Profile Committee and all your work as a congregation that went into our parish profile, because our small church is being received with joy and enthusiasm.
Not to trivialize it, but it feels a bit like coffee hour after a special event like a baptism when we have one of those amazing spreads in the parish hall. When my kids were smaller, they would come up to Kim and me with their plates STACKED with food. “Pick one,” we’d say, and their faces would drop. Yes, they'd have to choose the one thing that was exactly right for them. But, looking at the table, we also knew it would be very difficult for them to go wrong. Thankfully, it would appear God is giving us a similar exercise over the next month or two.
Please keep us in your prayers and know that you all are in ours. If you have any questions, feel free to reach out to me, Cindy, Beth, Helen or Rick. And, as always, thank you for the privilege to serve in such an important capacity.
Mick Sutter, Search Committee Chair
Discernment Process Underway...and We Ask for Your Prayers
(June 25) Even though the Search Committee’s official commissioning was held during the 10 AM service on Jun. 25, we have begun the discernment process. As we continue our work on behalf of the parish, we ask you that you support us in prayer:
God you are wisdom and light. We come to you seeking your guidance as we discern who will lead us closer to you, and lead us in mission. Help our search committee to have listening hearts and open minds. Enliven each of us with hope, trusting your guiding hand in our search process. We ask this for the sake of Jesus Christ, in whom all our intercessions are acceptable through the Spirit. Amen.
Summary Results of the Rector Search Survey
(May 20) A summary of the results of the Rector Search Survey is now available. Click here to download a copy. A limited number of print copies are also available for pick up in the Parish Hall. Included in the summary is information from the April 2 parish forums where the timeline for our search was presented and small group discussions were held.
Thank you to everyone who has participated by attending a forum, completing a survey, or voicing your ideas and concerns.
"What would you want a new Rector to know about St. Michael's?"
(May 9) It should come as no surprise that this word cloud generated from your answers to question #10 on the Rector Search Survey prominently features "community." A word cloud is a visual representation of text where greater size and color are given to words that appear more frequently.
Beginning with the Apr. 2 parish forums, the Profile Committee has been gathering the information necessary for our Community Ministry Portfolio (CMP), the document that will introduce us to potential candidates. Thank you to everyone who has participated by attending a forum, completing a survey, or voicing your ideas and concerns to members of the Profile and Search Committees. These thoughtful comments are exactly what is needed to complete the CMP. We are very pleased to report that 69 surveys were submitted. The Profile Committee is now putting the finishing touches on the CMP and also preparing summaries of the survey and forum data. Our target date to distribute an easily readable summary of the survey results is Sat., May 20. Print copies will be available at church on Sun., May 21.
We are on track to submit the CMP to the Diocesan Director of Transition Ministry by Jun. 1, the target date set by the Vestry. Once the CMP has been approved and posted, the Profile Committee will disband and the Search Committee (Mick Sutter (chair), Beth Addington, Rick Hightower, Helen Hines, and Cindy Matlack) will begin its work. Please keep both committees in your prayers as we strive to best represent St. Michael's.