As we move into fall, the process that will lead to the calling of our new rector moves into a new phase.
Please join us at Adult Forum on Sunday, October 10 at 9 a.m. in the Parish Hall, when members of the Discernment Committee will provide an overview of the process and answer questions you may have!
We are participating in the national search process, following the guidelines of the Diocese of Virginia and The Episcopal Church’s Office for Transition Ministry.
To recap our process so far:
We’ve completed a major self-study phase, which encompassed several critical activities designed to help us understand what St. James' needs in its next rector. These activities included:
Praying for guidance and direction.
Learning and understanding the Diocese's approach to discernment.
Understanding the specific information required for the Community Ministry Portfolio.
Spending time with parish members at Shrine Mont to listen to their questions and concerns regarding the search process.
Engaging Holy Cow and surveying the parish through the Congressional Assessment Tool (CAT).
Receiving the CAT interpretation and developing our own understanding of the results of the CAT and its implications for our search.
Holding a series of Parish Conversations to help us dig a bit deeper into the CAT results.
Outlining, drafting, reviewing, revising, and refining the final version of St. James’ Community Ministry Portfolio.
More praying for guidance and direction.
Following the completion of the self-study phase, we posted St. James’ Community Ministry Portfolio to the system used nationally by The Episcopal Church to connect candidates with openings.
Clergy candidates complete an individual portfolio, while parishes seeking candidates complete the community portfolio.
Each portfolio includes the same questions for clergy and parishes, addressing such topics as recognizing success and fulfillment; liturgical style and practice; incorporating others in ministry; self-care for spiritual, emotional and physical well-being; change and conflict; involvement in the wider church or geographical community; a recent ministry project; and preparing for the church of the future.
Our answers to the questions give prospective candidates an idea of what St. James’ is like, while the candidates’ answers provide parishes an idea of what *they* are like!
While The Diocese of Virginia does not make the Community Ministry Portfolio public, we can assure you that all of our efforts in the self-study phase, as well as robust dialogue and debate, have gone into developing this portfolio as we have taken our responsibilities to heart.
As a group, we all feel that the responses reflect our best efforts to describe St. James' and the opportunities for our next rector.
St. James’ began receiving applications from prospective candidates on September 14; our application period will close on October 20.
After that period closes, the Discernment Committee will review the applicants’ portfolios and begin interviews. This process will take some time! Several rounds of interviews will provide an opportunity for both the candidate and the committee to learn more about each other, discern whether our gifts and the candidate’s gifts are complementary, and listen to the Holy Spirit working through the process.
Following the completion of interviews, the committee is charged with recommending one candidate to the vestry. We anticipate calling a new rector after the first of the year.
We thank you – the members of St. James’ – for sharing your experiences, hopes and dreams for this parish. We are carrying all that you’ve shared with us into this process, and we ask your continued support, prayer and engagement.
Please join us on October 10, or reach out with questions or comments: email Stacy Cleveland, chair of the Discernment Committee.
Many thanks for your time, attention and prayerful support,
The Discernment Committee
Mary Frances Forcier
Rachelle Graves Schroeder