Final Report of the 2011-2012 Senior Pastor Search Committee

Home Page PicturePicture: Search Committee with Rev. Meg Watson, our new Senior Pastor to be, (front row-center) and her husbnd Dean (rear row-right).

How The Committee Did It as of the September 2012 Update

It has been a very busy summer for the Search Committee and we are a few steps closer to selecting a candidate for our new Senior Pastor.  Over the past few months, we have been very busy receiving, reading and discussing the many ministerial profiles that have been forwarded to us from the UCC.  We then viewed sermons from those candidates whose profiles seemed like a good fit for our church, at which point we further narrowed down our search to a pool of candidates that we feel are the most viable candidates for our church’s Senior Pastor position and the ones we would like to move on to the interview stage.

The UCC has done a mock interview with us and has helped us set up our interview process and procedure.  At this point we are ready to start interviewing this final pool of candidates.  These interviews will take place over the next few weeks.

Since the search process will move a little quicker from this point on, we will be updating the congregation on a more frequent basis.  There will be a poster in Fellowship Hall that will track our progress, and we will be doing announcements during the Sunday services and on the church website.  We also encourage you to speak with any of the members of the Search Committee if you have any questions or concerns.  Please understand that we are limited in the information we can give you about the actual candidates, but we can certainly fill you in on our progress and the search procedure.  We want to make this process as transparent as possible.

The Search Committee is extremely committed to finding the right candidate for our new Senior Pastor.  We hope that you will continue to keep us in your prayers and that we will soon have a new Senior Pastor who will help us grow our church and take us to where we want to be as a congregation.

God Bless,
Sue A. Mias
Search Committee Chair

The Search Process
We thought it would be helpful if we gave you a brief synopsis of the search process so that you might have a better understanding of what is going on with the search for our new Senior Pastor.

  • Selecting the Search Committee
  • The committee is comprised of 13 members, one person from each Board and seven at-large members.  These members are a cross section of the church’s demographic so the congregation is well represented.  Our Search Committee consists of the following members:
    Sue Mias                        Chair                                             Board of Trustees
    Steve Boucher             Vice-Chair                                   At Large                      
    Serena Volovski           Reporting Secretary                Board of Music
    Tom Sweet                     Corresponding Secretary       At Large
    Deb Hockenberry                                                                Board of Missions
    Cheryl Turner                                                                    Board of Christian Ed
    Gaile Dembeck                                                                     Board of Finance
    Mike Swan                                                                            Board of Deacon
    Karen Prewo                                                                         At Large
    Robert O’Gara                                                                      At Large
    Bess Howe                                                                             At Large
    Nick Bartos                                                                          At Large
    Emily Westerberg                                                             At Large

  • Meeting with Conference/Association Staff
  • A Search Committee begins its work by meeting with the Conference/Association Minister.  The staff person describes the search process to the committee and brings resources to use during their search. Our staff person is Thomas Clough.

  • The Preparation of the Local Church Profile
  • A church profile includes a description of the church’s life and mission, as well as the qualities sought in the next pastor.  This document is prepared using information from the various boards and committees and data collected from the congregation.  Thanks to the Executive Committee’s work last year collecting data from the congregation some of this work was already done for us.  This document helps to guide the Search Committee throughout the search.

  • Publicizing the Vacancy
  • When the Local Church Profile has been completed your Conference/Association office lists our vacancy in the national document, United Church Employment Opportunities.

  • Receiving Ministerial Profiles
  • A ministerial profile is a document that a minister completes if they are interested in pursuing a new call.  The document gives the committee an idea of the candidate’s qualifications and ministerial background.  A UCC Ministerial Profile offers members of the Search Committee the opportunity to read a candidate’s personal faith statement, reflections on ministry, references, employment and educational history, ecclesiastical verifications, salary expectations, and background check information.  This is the most time-consuming part of the search process.  Each profile is at least twenty pages long and the profiles need to be reviewed thoroughly in order to discern if the candidate is a viable candidate or not.  In addition, we often did internet searches and phone calls to obtain additional information about the candidate to aid in our decision on whether the candidate was right for our church or not.  If we thought the minister was a possible candidate we then sent them our church profile and other information about our church, and we requested a video of a sermon they have led.  After viewing the sermons we were able to narrow down the pool of candidates to the ones we thought were the best fit for our church and the ones we would interview.

  • Practice Interview
  • Thomas Clough ran us through a practice interview with a minister who had recently gone through the search process.  By doing this we were able to develop and refine our interview procedure and process.

  • Interviews
  • We will be conducting a series of interviews with the pool of viable candidates.  This will allow us to narrow down the pool of candidates to one final candidate and discuss their Call and Compensation agreement.

  • Offering the Call
  • The Search Committee will make their recommendation for the new Senior Pastor to Church Council and then offer the call to the selected candidate.

  • Final Negotiations
  • At this point, we will meet with the candidate and review the proposed Call and Compensation agreement.  When the negotiations are final and the document ready to be signed on the candidating Sunday, then a mutually agreed upon date for the candidating weekend will be identified.

  • Meeting with the Pastoral Relations Committee
  • The Pastoral Relations Committee will meet with the selected candidate before the name is announced to the congregation.  This will help make for a smooth transition.

  • Informing the Congregation
  • The congregation will be informed of the selected candidate via a mailing which will include background information on the candidate, her/his family, experience in ministry, and educational background.  The letter will contain specific information about the arrangements for the candidating weekend and an indication of the start date.

  • Candidating Weekend
  • This weekend is a time for “getting acquainted” as well as conducting the formal business needed to meet your bylaw requirements for calling a pastor.

  • Congregational Meeting
  • A congregational meeting will be called to present a motion to extend the call and approve the compensation arrangements following the Search Committee report and discussion.

    For more information about this Committee click here to see the FCCV Annual Report.
    The Committee's report to the Church is included in the main body of the document
    and a list of current Commitee members and their terms is at the end.

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