Minister Search Committee Mar 1, 2020 Update
The Search Committee continues to meet on Monday mornings from 8:00-10:00 and on Wednesday evenings from 5:30-7:30. Between meetings, each member works on the tasks for which they are responsible.
As of February 27th, we have received 18 Ministerial Profiles.
All Ministerial Profiles continue to be read, reviewed, rated numerically, and thoroughly discussed. Each candidate is measured against the established criteria developed from our church profile, survey, and summaries.
Over the past two weeks, some members of the Search Committee visited the Congregational churches in Cumberland and Saco. Both churches recently went through the search process and now have settled ministers for whom there is great enthusiasm. We enjoyed worshipping in each of these welcoming churches and appreciated the moments of innovation and sense of community. After the service, each minister met with us and shared their thoughts about what makes a search committee effective. Their insights included:
• Practice timely communication with all candidates. It is a matter of courtesy, but it will also make a positive impression on interested applicants.
• Realize that most candidates will learn all they can about a church and the wider community, including checking our website and using other social media.
• Be prepared for all interviews. It is important to create an interview process that will result in a mutual learning experience for both the candidate and the search committee.
• Let the candidate know that the congregation cares about the well-being of their minister and will want her or him to have a healthy balance between work and their personal life
• Encourage the congregation to use the interim period as an opportunity to talk about the future and what changes might be interesting to explore. Change up the worship service in small ways. Churches that have optimized these opportunities experienced a smoother transition to a settled minister.
Even as we continue to receive and process ministerial profiles, we have selected some candidates for first interviews. We will be using Zoom (which is an online conference tool similar to Skype) for all first interviews, regardless of where a candidate lives. This will ensure consistency. Three committee members will ask the questions, while the other members will listen and take notes. Interview questions have been developed. The process has been agreed upon and will be shared with the candidates.
Our work and relationships have benefitted from the power of prayer, scripture, poetry, and inspirational writing, which have been an essential part of every meeting.
We will continue to follow our communication schedule to update the congregation on Sunday every two weeks, send out the same message via e-mail as soon as possible that same week, and update the Central Board at regular intervals.
Thank you for your patience, prayers, and respect for confidentiality. Daily prayer uplifts us now and will strengthen our community once our search has been completed.