FAQ'S & UPDATES
Almighty God, who knows us far better than we know ourselves, look graciously upon us, the people of Emmanuel Chester Parish, and grant us the guidance of your Holy Spirit as we seek to call a new spiritual leader.
Guide the members of the Search Committee as they labor to be faithful in doing your will. Inspire our conversations, deepen our prayer and bless us all with open spirits, discerning hearts and clear minds as we go through this journey together.
Call to us a Rector who will join Emmanuel in continuing our mission to serve God through outreach, stewardship and prayer, and lead us to meet the challenges of this world. All this we ask through your name, Jesus Christ. Amen.
Frequently Asked Questions
How was the Search Committee chosen?
Choosing the Search and Transition Committees is the responsibility of the Wardens Tom Mack and Sandy Bjork. With the help of the parish, the Search Committee will create a parish profile and discern candidates for the new rector, and the Transition will manage the goodbyes of the outgoing clergy and welcoming of the new clergy. Our guidance from the Diocese was to choose a committee of 6-10 for both Search and Transition.
What is the vestry’s role in the rector search process?
The Vestry originated the rector search process and appointed the members of the Search Committee. The Vestry charged the Committee to conduct a search for the new rector and to submit at least three names of prospective candidates from which the Vestry will elect the new rector, notify the bishop of the election and issue a letter of call. A member of the Vestry, Earl McGimpsey, was appointed to the Search Committee and acts as a liaison between the Vestry and the Committee, reporting to the Vestry the progress of the search. The Vestry approves the Search Committee budget and requires that the process move forward in a timely manner. While the Vestry receives regular monthly reports of the Search Committee’s progress, it will not receive information identifying candidates until the final candidates are presented by the Search Committee. The Committee welcomes questions from members of the parish.
What is the role of the Bishop in the Search?
The Bishop and the Canon to the Ordinary (the senior priest who works with the Diocesan Bishop, who is called ‘the Ordinary’) met initially with the Wardens and Vestry. They provide assistance to the parish as needed, and will conduct background checks and interview the final slate of applicants to assure their competence. The Search Committee will present this slate to the Vestry which then has the task of calling the next Rector. The Bishop will conduct a final interview, and a Letter of Agreement will be issued to the new Rector and signed by the Bishop, the Canon to the Ordinary and our Senior Warden.
How long will the search take?
Right now, with the pandemic creating issues that cannot be anticipated, any timeline can only be tentative. However, the Search Committee has created an optimistic timetable from our start in September 2020 culminating with the installation of the new rector in September or October 2021. Each step in the process has been carefully planned, with month by month completion dates in place. We will put a more detailed timeline on the Rector Search Page in the coming weeks.
Our rectory is so small, does that mean a priest with a family cannot be called?
Absolutely not! Our rectory is a great asset to our parish as an option for an incoming rector. But he or she can choose where and how they want to live. If they choose to rent or buy elsewhere in the community, we would have the option to rent our building or to sell it. And in any case, the rector would receive a housing stipend from Emmanuel to help to cover their costs.
How does the Search Committee know what we are looking for in a new rector?
The Search Committee considers that finding out what our fellow parishioners desire most in our future rector to be the first of its important tasks. We will be starting with asking each of you to complete a survey, the Congregational Assessment Tool (CAT). This anonymous questionnaire, compiled and administered by the national consulting firm of HolyCow! Consulting, Inc will give us an objective report about where we are, and where we are hoping to go, and who we are hoping to become as a parish family. We will follow this, in January, with opportunities to meet in small groups, on-line or in person, to dig into your hopes and dreams. We will hope to reach out and hear from each of you. Stay tuned!
What is the role of the parish? What can I do to help?
By responding to the survey sent by the Search Committee and by attending planned listening sessions, members of Emmanuel will provide essential information to the Committee. And please feel free to reach out to any of the committee members with your questions.
What is the Parish Profile and where do I find it?
Updating the Parish Profile is part of the responsibility of the Search Committee. It is a document that provides important information about Emmanuel, including information about our services and programs, budget, parish life and goals, and previous clergy. It should include our mission statement and goals, our history, a description of our programs, a financial summary, as well as our hopes and dreams, and the qualities we seek in our next rector. The Committee is beginning to gather information for this document, and in the coming months will seek the input of everyone in the parish to complete it.
How does someone apply for the position of Rector?
All applications are made through the Diocese of Easton.