Rector Search 2019
The Rector Search Process
In the coming months, and with the guidance of the Diocese of Texas and Bishop Andy Doyle, our parish will search together for our next leader. Good Shepherd is blessed with a growing and energetic congregation, one full of community spirit and a love for God – a congregation who can draw upon this transition period as a time of reflection and joyful expectation. The search process is a linear one, as outlined below, with each step requiring time and consideration. We invite every member of the Good Shepherd family to join us on this journey.
Phase 1: Pre-search
Pre-Search is a time of thoughtful discernment. As a parish, we will invite the presence of the Holy Spirit to guide us through the following stages:
CAT SURVEY COMPLETION
Pre-search begins with an honest assessment of our parish through the Congregational Assessment Tool (CAT) survey, provided by HolyCow! Consulting. This detailed survey has been emailed to our entire parish list and asks questions about every aspect of our parish life. The CAT survey is an important tool of discernment in the rector search process, and the survey results will directly inform the creation of the Parish Profile. The more participation in the survey we have, the more accurately we can represent Good Shepherd to prospective rectors.
PARISH PROFILE CREATION
In April 2019, the Vestry Executive Committee formed a Parish Profile Committee comprised of individuals skilled in research, writing and communications, and project management. The Parish Profile Committee will consolidate the results of the CAT survey with its own in-depth research of Good Shepherd in both its current and historical iterations. The final product will be a narrative document that allows prospective rectors to see who we are, where we came from, where we hope to go, and what we seek in our next leader.
RECTOR SEARCH COMMITTEE NOMINATIONS AND FORMATION
The call for nominations for the Rector Search Committee began on April 2, 2019. Thank you to every member of our congregation who prayerfully considered who among us is called to this important ministry and submitted these names accordingly. In early May 2019, the Vestry identified a balanced and diverse group of individuals with a deep love of and commitment to Good Shepherd to find our next Rector.
Phase 2: Active Search
During this months-long phase, the Rector Search Committee will vet, visit, and interview many candidates. Candidates may be self-referred; referred by parishioners; or recommended by others (such as the Bishop and Canons of our diocese). Names of candidates may be added at any point during active search but must be approved by the Bishop Doyle before being contacted by our Rector Search Committee.
While the committee will keep the congregation informed about the general progress of the search, the specifics of the search (the candidates’ names and current parishes, for example) must remain strictly confidential.
After deep prayer and careful reflection by the Rector Search Committee, Active Search culminates in the selection of a single candidate for the Vestry’s consideration. The Vestry will listen to the recommendation of the committee during a specially called meeting and vote.
Phase 3: The Call
Upon approval by the Vestry, the Senior Warden will call the candidate to let him or her know the positive results of the vote. The Bishops and Canons of the diocese are also informed, and the candidate is issued a call to serve and invited to visit Good Shepherd. (This visit will not be a public one, as the priest may still be committed to his or her current parish.) If the call is accepted, the Bishop is notified and plans to celebrate this new ministry begin in earnest.
Timing and Expectations
Although we cannot predict the precise length of our rector search, we can assume the timeline will be no shorter than 12 to 18 months, and possibly longer. The Episcopal Church of the Good Shepherd is a large and complex community; finding the right spiritual leader will take patience and prayerful consideration.
The time of transition between rectors may be viewed as a fearful and anxious one; or it may be viewed as a journey of hope and honest discernment for our community. With trust in God; the support of our dedicated clergy and staff; the joy and energy of our congregation; the comfort of our new and bustling campuses; and the practical guidance of our 2019 Strategic Plan, Good Shepherd is in an incredibly healthy position to navigate this journey with grace. We aim to make the process a transparent one; to that end, the Vestry and Wardens welcome any and all questions you may have.
Simultaneous with Pre-Search and possibly Active Search is the search for an Interim Rector. Because the responsibilities of our current clergy are many, we will not select an Interim from within. Candidates for Interim Rector come directly from the Diocese of Texas and will be trained in transition ministry. If you would like to recommend an interim candidate, please contact the Rev. Blake Rider, Diocesan Transition Minister, at firstname.lastname@example.org.