Update from the Committee
What is Discernment?
By now most of you have heard reports from the Search Committee that we are approaching the end of the search process. The Committee has worked very hard to discern who could be the next leader of Christ's Church. We have met some extraordinary candidates who are very attracted to the opportunity. We completed our search process the weekend of November 18 and submitted three potential candidates to the Vestry before Thanksgiving.
But what does "Discernment" really mean?
Unlike a business interview, discernment in the Episcopal faith involves prayerful reflection upon the intersection of a parish's needs and potential with the rector candidates' visions and skills. Our decisions are not based just on in depth interviews but also on attending worship services to get a better appreciation of the candidate's spiritual leadership of his/her parish community, approach and command of the Episcopal liturgy, and skills as a preacher. Here are some examples of questions the search committee has been asking candidates:
- How do you incorporate youth and teens into your ministry and service and how do you keep them engaged post-confirmation?
- How do you handle pastoral care?
- Tell us about your path into the ministry and what you find the most rewarding and the most challenging; how do you practice your faith in Christ?
- How do you approach your sermons and how do you incorporate current events and life experiences into them?
- What do you see as the broader role of the Episcopal church in a community like Rye?
- How does your family support you in your role as a minister?
And we have asked ourselves after each service: how did we feel about the style of the service? What were our thoughts and feelings after the sermon? What was the relationship of the rector with his or her parish community?
We are certain that whichever candidate is called by the Vestry to be the next rector of Christ's Church, he or she will be the right person to lead us into the next phase of growth and development as a parish and also as individuals. The strong spirituality, intelligence, love, warmth, grace, and leadership that are present in each of these candidates is a testament to the strong state of our parish today. Each candidate has talked about different sections of our Parish Profile that "spoke to them," and it is clear that each of them is attracted to serving as rector of a church like ours.
As always we ask that you keep the Search Committee, the Vestry, and the candidates in your prayers as we help to bring this process to a close.
Tom Jasper and Holly Simmons,
Co-Chairs of the Search Committee