The Search for Our Next Rector
O God, by whom the meek are guided in judgment, and light riseth up in darkness for the godly: Grant us, in all our doubts and uncertainties, the grace to ask what thou wouldst have us to do, that the Spirit of wisdom may save us from all false choices, and that in thy light we may see light, and in thy straight path may not stumble; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
In the coming months, our parish will search for our next leader. The current season of All Saints' is one of contemplation and change, as well as a time of growth, excitement, and renewal. The search process is outlined below. Each step will require time and consideration. The Vestry invites every member of the parish to take part in this endeavor. Please talk to the vestry and to one another, respond to surveys, participate in events, and pray and reflect on who we are called to be as a parish family.
Step 1: Pre-Search
Healing and Counseling
All Saints as a parish has suffered a real loss and individuals continue to express feelings of hurt and confusion. To help us in our grieving and healing, we have retained the Lombard Mennonite Peace Center to lead us in a Healthy Congregations workshop. Here is how they describe that activity:
The Healthy Congregations workshop is designed to equip leaders to respond to the presence or potential threat of anxiety in a congregational system in ways that prevent destructive conflict and help the church stay focused on its unique mission and purpose. This workshop will help you:
- Learn how you as a leader can influence the health of your congregation – how to detect and avoid unhealthy patterns of living together in community
- Learn how to keep anxiety from becoming infectious
- Gain confidence in responding to challenges and opportunities
- Learn how to put limits on invasive behavior, manage reactivity, and overcome sabotage
- Discover how leaders can function as the congregation’s immune system
- Learn to focus on strengths, resources, options, and the future
Congregational Assessment and Discernment
All Saints' will retain HolyCow! Consulting to design and conduct a detailed congregational assessment survey. The survey will be distributed to our entire parish and will include questions about many aspects of our parish life. The Congregational Assessment Tool (CAT) survey and the interpretation of the survey are vital to our self-discernment process. In addition to the survey, we will hold congregational forums and small group meetings. If you are interested in the search process or wish to join the formal search committee, you should plan to attend these events.
Please participate actively! The survey results will directly inform the creation of the Parish Profile, and will be instrumental in communicating our vision for the future.
Parish Profile Creation
Early in 2020, the Vestry intends to call a Parish Profile Committee comprised of individuals skilled in research, writing, and communications. The committee will create a Parish Profile. The Profile will be a document that provides prospective rectors information about our parish: who we are, our history, the work we do, the challenges we face, what we would like our future to look like, and the Rector we seek. The Committee will draft the Parish Profile by consolidating the results of the CAT survey with a qualitative description of our parish and programs, and with the results of our individual and corporate discernment.
Rector Search Committee Nominations and Formation
Once the Parish Profile is complete, and other Diocesan requirements are met, a Rector Search Committee will be called and trained. Please consider prayerfully whether you would be willing to participate. It is vitally important for the life of our parish that a diverse group of individuals put themselves forward for this lengthy process.
Step 2: Active Search
The Rector Search Committee will evaluate, visit, and interview many candidates. Candidates may be self-referred, referred by parishioners, or recommended by others (such as the Bishop and Canons of our diocese). Names of candidates may be added at any point during the search but must be approved by Bishop Doyle before being contacted by the Rector Search Committee. The committee will keep the Vestry and the congregation informed about the general progress of the search, however the specifics of the search (e.g. the candidates’ names and current parishes) must remain strictly confidential. After prayer and reflection by the Rector Search Committee, the search culminates in the selection of a single candidate for the Vestry’s consideration. The Vestry will listen to the recommendation of the committee and vote. If the Vestry affirms the recommendation, we will proceed to the call.
Step 3: The Call
The Senior Warden will inform the Search Committee chair, the Diocese, and the candidate of the results of the vote. The candidate will be issued a call to serve and invited to visit All Saints'. The visit will not be a public one, as the priest may still be committed to another parish. If the candidate accepts the call, the Bishop will be notified. An announcement will be made to the parish when the Diocesan process is complete.
Timing and Expectations
We aim to have a new contract in place before the end of Father Lane's contract in the Summer of 2021. Finding the right spiritual leader will take patience and prayerful consideration. We must do all the work necessary to ensure we make the right choice.
The time of transition between rectors is a journey of hope and honest discernment for our community. We wish to make the process a transparent one. We welcome any questions you may have. Please share your hopes, thoughts, and prayers with each other, and most especially with the vestry and the search committee.