November 9, 2022
Candidates from around the country are entering into discernment about our Senior Minister position. They learn about us through many routes – their own networks within the region and the wider church, an official posting of our church profile with the Southern New England Conference of the United Church of Christ, direct outreach from a congregation member or friend of Old South, direct outreach from a member of the Senior Minister Search Committee, our website. The committee receives “applications” from potential candidates in the form of a cover letter and a ministerial profile. The profile is an extended resume with short answer questions about the candidate’s reflections on his or her call to ministry and letters from references. The committee meets every other week to review profiles in rolling fashion. Listening to one another and seeking God’s guidance, we are making decisions and building a smaller pool of diverse candidates from which we will invite individuals to interview with the committee. As noted in previous updates, we don’t anticipate starting interviews until January, when the busy Advent and Christmas season is behind us.
We are grateful to a local UCC minister from a neighboring church who has volunteered to help us practice our interview skills in a mock interview scheduled for November 16. We have crafted our interview questions carefully, but look forward to giving our proposed process a trial run to ensure that the questions work to help us get to know a candidate in the ways we hope they will. After the practice interview, our volunteer ministerial candidate has agreed to debrief the experience with us and give us feedback to help us make the experience affirming and welcoming for candidates who enter more deeply into discernment with us.
As we enter now more fully into the work of reviewing potential candidates for our Senior Minister position, we are grateful for the diversity of our committee and the trust and respect we have established with one another. Though we are using a shared framework for evaluating candidates, we each read and resonate with the profiles from the vantage point of our own experiences. Sharing our perspectives honestly and listening openly to one another, we are engaged in the holy wisdom of congregational decision-making.
Thank you, as always, for your ongoing prayers of support.