Review of Candidate Profiles.
The Search Committee has begun the next phase of the process of calling a settled Pastor.
After we submitted the “profile” of our church, the denomination posted a cover letter we had written, together with two photos we submitted on their website. Prospective candidates can search the website for opportunities that they are interested in. If our church meets their search criteria, they read what in essence is a summary of our profile. If they have interest they can then request a copy of our full profile which is sent to them electronically. It they are still interested they can then request a copy of their own Pastoral Profile be forwarded to us. The conference reviews their profile first to be sure that it is complete. Up to this point we are not aware of names or number pastors expressing interest.
Our profile was “published” in early December, and with the busy Christmas season we are very happy to have ten profiles to “read”. Going forward, each week the Conference will forward additional profiles as they come in.
Pastoral Profiles are a form devised by the UCC for this process just as the Church profile is a form that must be followed. It contains the usual resume information, like education and work experience and names of references. (For a more complete description of what they contain, please refer to the guide “How to Read a Pastoral Profile” we have been provided with in the Search Committee section of the website.)
However, they also include more complex information.
There is a section labeled “Ministerial Essays”. The essay questions reference The Marks of Faithful and Effective Authorized Ministers at the United Church of Christ. The Marks are criterial for what the UCC believes makes for a successful UCC minister. While the process is relatively new, the goal is to use these criteria for evaluating and helping minsters have successful ministries. A copy of a more compete criteria is posted under the Search Committee section of the website.
The first essay begins with standard language: “My sense of being called by God and the church to authorized ministry (from the “Spiritual Foundation for Ministry” section of The Marks”, followed by a quarter page personal essay.
The second essay is similar and begins: “My concept of Covenant and how it informs the nature, purpose and polity of the UCC ….” The third essay begins: “I am passionate about . . . “.
The fourth essay is based on one of The Marks chosen by the candidate.
In addition to the standard educational information the Profile also asks for relevant professional development taken by the candidate. Candidates are also asked to describe three of their key accomplishments.
The names and addresses of three references are included. These folks provide answers to four questions. Those providing references are asked to 1. Describe their role and relationship to the Minister, 2. This mister’s areas of strength in the practice of ministry as I experience them are, 3. Some areas of improvement in this minister’s practice of ministry and in my experience of them are, 4. Describe a significant experience you have had of this person in ministry. There is also a place for additional comments.
The Candidate then provides a “Self-Appraisal” answering the same questions.
There is then a page labeled “Self-Disclosure” which in essence asks about black marks that might be found on their records-employment discipline and terminations, convictions etc. A criminal background check conducted by the UCC is attached.
The profile is also certified as reviewed for accuracy by the Conference leader currently responsible for the candidate.
The current plan is for each member of the Search Committee to read each profile and evaluate it against the criteria set out in our church profile. We, as a group, and working with consensus, will then put them into one of three categories: interested, not sure, and not interested. Those in whom we show interest will be asked to submit additional information, including sermons. Once that information is received the candidates status will again be reviewed and a decision made as to whether to move forward with interviews and reference checks for each candidate.
We expect that groups of candidates will be progressing along different places in this process at the same time.
We hope to keep you informed as we move along. We thank you for your continued prayers and support . ~ The Search Committee