How Long will This Take?!@#&

How Much Time Does a Search Process Really Take?

Church of the Ascension, Lexington, MD, Diocese of Washington DC.  The church of the Ascension began their search process for a new rector in October 2009 and is just now nearing the interview of semi-finalists.  They developed a schedule for that process and a parish profile.  The profile took longer to prepare and was substantially revised after consultation with the Diocese.  Their web site has a dedicated page for the rector search process with a useful quick history of their search methodology. Pay close attention to how long they have taken on key milestones:

October 2009: Rector Vacancy, search committee named.
December 2009: Interim called
April 2010: Parish survey and demographic profile draft
May-August 22, 2010: Bishop wants changes in the profile
September 2010: Vestry approves parish profile five months later.
October 2010: Application period opens for candidates
November 2010: Application close; candidate review
December 2010: 33 candidates screened, six interviews
February 2011: visitation with finalists planned.
April 2011: Recommendation to Vestry planned
May 2011:  Bishop approval of candidate and call negotiations?

Good Shepherd Episcopal Church, Silver Spring, MD.  Good Shepherd has just successfully completed a year and one-half long search process with the call of a new rector from within the Diocese. They developed an ambitious initial schedule that presumed a start in June 2009 and completion in October 2009.  One interesting twist in their process was creating a parish profile committee separate from the search committee (See March 29 entry in link).  The advantage was a profile committee could widely engage the congregation in the discernment and “who are we” process while the search committee worked with the Diocese on the mechanics of the search process, developing questions, etc.  While it did not ultimately save them a lot of time—it still took a year and one-half but there was much broader parish involvement in the process through the profile building.

Trinity Episcopal Church, New Haven, CT.  This established church began the process of calling a new rector at the beginning of 2010 and hopes to complete it by the middle of 2011 a year and one-half later.  Sound familiar?  By July 2010 they had completed their parish profile.  Their website contains a useful set of search process documents and updates including their original search process schedule. An interesting idea used at Trinity to jump start the ‘who are we’ discernment process was a pot luck dinner (January) devoted to “telling our story” which provided the foundation for beginning the profile construction.  A parish survey and demographic analysis took place in April.  The parish profile was then completed in July.

The typical call process takes a year and one-half  to two years.


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