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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. Our goal was to have committees as representative of Emmanuel parish as possible and to include long-time members, newcomers, young members, young families, those that are or have been active in parish committees such as Pastoral Care, Worship, the Guilds and others. We solicited volunteers beginning at the 2020 Annual Meeting and in parish communications that followed. The pandemic and the lockdown that followed interrupted our process and caused us to reflect not only on how to select the committees but also how the entire Search process would have to be carried out in the time of COVID. We restarted our effort in the early summer and were pleased to have a good number of parish volunteers. Tom and Sandy met with the volunteers to give more information on what each of the committees entailed. We chose a committee of 9, including the chair, for the Emmanuel Search Committee which was approved by the Vestry and charged by the Wardens during the August 29th church service. The formation of the Transition Committee and its work will come later in the process. The Committee welcomes questions from members of the parish. If you have a question you’d like to have the Committee address, send it by email to: chesterparishsearch@gmail.com




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.





UPDATES

AUGUST 29, 2020

VESTRY CHARGE TO THE EMMANUEL SEARCH COMMITTEE 

With God’s help, Christ with us, and empowered by the Holy Spirit…

We, Sandra Bjork and Thomas Mack, Wardens, on behalf of the Vestry, appoint Libby Rice, Chair, Carolyn Spencer Brown, Steve Croker, Sandy Durfee, Joe Goetz, Darlene Housley, Earl McGimpsey, Katie Moulsdale, and Bob Tyson as the members of the Emmanuel Church Committee. We appoint Earl McGimpsey as liaison to the Vestry.

 

We charge the Search Committee to do the following:

  1. Begin a process of discernment, in consultation with the Office of the Bishop of Easton, which seeks to articulate the mission, vision and ministry of Emmanuel Church, and searches for an individual to present to the vestry for possible election as Rector.

  2. Write a prayer, for use by the Search Committee, all members of the congregation, and for regular use in worship during the time of searching.

  3. Develop a time-line to keep track of progress, and a goal for completion of the process.

  4. Develop a plan and budget for travel and other expenses of the search committee, to be approved by the Vestry.

  5. Keep the people of Emmanuel Church informed of progress by making oral and written reports using all available resources as appropriate. Candidates’ names and other confidential information are not to be mentioned in these reports.

  6. Make regular reports to the Vestry on the progress of the search. Specific information identifying candidates will not be used until the final candidates are presented to the vestry.

  7. Develop an accurate awareness of the current life of Emmanuel Church, including a realistic understanding of where we are (physically and spiritually), what we have been over our history, what we are today – our strengths, weaknesses and how we work as a church, and our challenges and hopes for the future of ourselves and the surrounding local community. Articulate a parish profile that reflects the ministry and vision of this parish. Provide current community and parochial data in this profile.

  8. Discern the characteristics, ministries and gifts required in an ordained minister to enable the mission and ministry of Emmanuel Church to be met, and together, for us to reach our visions of the future. The Vestry believes that this person should have, in life and ministry, demonstrated loving pastoral care, a passion for teaching, dynamic preaching, and a commitment to spiritual guidance in addition to able administration.

  9. Interview and communicate with such candidates who demonstrate capacity to equip us for our ministries in this place. Serve as ambassadors of our parish that we may be clearly and accurately presented to interested persons.

  10. Visit final candidates, virtually or in person, observing ministry style in its context.

  11. Initiate formal background checks on finalists, through the Office of the Bishop.

  12. Develop standards for the selection of the individual whom the Search Committee believes to be the best potential new Rector for our parish. Prayerfully and with the help of the Holy Spirit select at least three (3) excellent candidates to bring before the Vestry for election of the next Rector.