August 14, 2022
We met in the last week of July with Alex Shea Will, the Area Conference Minister for the Northeast Region of the Southern New England Conference, who will be our partner throughout the journey of searching for and calling a new Senior Minister. He helped us understand his role and the role of the regional and national United Church of Christ in our process. He shared with us his perspective on best practices for welcoming candidates and engaging in faithful discernment.
Following his counsel, we have begun the work of developing tools to use in evaluating potential candidates. Drawing on the congregational profile prepared by the transition team, we are crafting a set of criteria that describe the key characteristics of the senior minister we are seeking. We are writing interview questions that will allow us to invite potential candidates to tell us what we most want to know about them. We have educated ourselves on different types of implicit bias and discussed strategies to ensure that we keep ourselves open to whomever God is calling to Old South and that we fling wide a door of radical welcome to candidates representing every type of diversity in human experience.
This coming week, a subset of us will be meeting with the Old South Church staff, to hear their perspectives on the church profile that has been developed and to learn their priorities for a Senior Minister. As a search committee, we want to respect the unique insights of our existing ministerial team and are eager to work in partnership with them as the search process unfolds.
We have met four times now as a committee and anticipate a few more meetings of preparatory work before we release the church profile and begin welcoming applications from candidates. With each meeting, we get to know each other better and grow to appreciate more deeply the wisdom that each of us brings to the discussion. We begin and end our meetings with prayer and devote time in every meeting to close reading and reflection on a passage of Scripture; we are committed to listening for God’s voice throughout the process. Please keep us and our work in your prayers.