by Search Committee Chair Richard Cabes
A common question I’ve been receiving lately is, “Where are we in our search for a new rector?” To best answer this question, I must first explain the search process. This can be done by looking at the words themselves, “search” and “process.”
The first word, “search,” is the initial step to find priests who are in good standing in their dioceses, are at or near a point of transition in their current ministry, and are discerning God’s continual, and sometimes unexpected call to the next chapter in their life-long ministry. The bishop and canon to the ordinary are also involved in the research and approval of each candidate as part of the search. St. Martin’s is in the latter part of the search, yet it is still ongoing as we are continually discovering new candidates. As we ramp down the “search,” the Search Committee is simultaneously beginning the “process.”
We are currently in the initial stages of the “process.” We are conducting phone interviews with each of the approved priests, and using the various resources made available to us to research them. The process will continue in this phase until we have covered every candidate in our list to give us the broadest spectrum of priests, experiences and potential outcomes. From here the Search Committee will regroup, revisit our initial vision based on the parish profile, and discern through prayer, reflection and trust to where God is calling us a committee. We will then be ready to enter the final phase of the process, which starts with a finalist selection of candidates. This phase involves in-depth interviews, visits, phone calls, and travel by committee members. The process continues at this pace until we have a final candidate(s) to present to the Vestry as our next rector. The vestry will then decide on the candidate and work with the bishop and Canon to make the official “call.” If the candidate accepts the call, then the Senior Warden will announce the news to the parish at the appropriate time.
All aspects of the search process must adhere to strict confidentiality to protect the anonymity and trust between the applicants and the Search Committee. For this reason, no detailed information will be communicated by the Search Committee. Your understanding of this need for confidentiality is very much appreciated.