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As members of the search committee, we are often asked “how many candidates have you interviewed so far?” It seems like a good idea to review what has been happening here at St. Philip’s and explain some of the tasks that have been absorbing us, which must be accomplished before the position is even posted.

GoalsThe Parish-wide Day of Discovery (October 31, 2015) kicked off the search process. The parish community gathered to discover our strengths and to express how these strengths align with the parish’s core values, using a process called Appreciative Inquiry. During the next month, the Vestry met weekly to process the input gathered on that day to compile a list of key goals and values for the parish, to select the Search Committee, and to create a charge to the committee to guide its work.

ValuesThe Search Committee met for the first time in December, ostensibly to get acquainted and to determine an optimal time for further meetings, perhaps in the New Year. Instead, we plunged right into work. We did not select a chair of the committee — we are all dedicated to the process of working together collegially and collaboratively.

The first task of our charge was twofold: to develop search criteria based on St. Philip’s mission statement and on the congregation’s goals and values, and to prepare our ministry portfolio. We have been working on responses to twelve prompts that describe our parish’s history, successes, and goals. These prompts are part of the search procedure as set forth by the Office of Transition Ministry of the larger Episcopal Church, which we are following with the guidance of the Diocese, specifically Canon Megan Traquair, and our Search Consultant, Canon Frank Clark. Our responses will be used to prepare our ministry portfolio, which we are aiming to submit on/about the beginning of February. Only then will the Rector position actually be posted. Potential candidates for the position respond to similar prompts, also through the Office of Transition Ministry. (Canon Clark likens this process to posting “online dating profiles”.)

An additional, and major, project is working to develop a parish profile, which will be posted on our web site and will allow prospective candidates to better assess the full extent of St. Philip’s many programs and ministries.

Applications for the position will be submitted through the Rev. Canon Megan Traquair, Canon to the Ordinary of the Diocese of Arizona. Those who would like to suggest someone for this position should recommend to that person that they contact Canon Traquair at the Diocese of Arizona. After applicant submissions are closed, Canon Traquair will provide our search committee a list of candidates that have passed initial screening for major “red flags.”

Then, beginning in April, the committee will screen candidates for skills that meet the specified goals and criteria. At that time we will conduct interviews via Skype. Our goal will be to present to the Vestry a short list of nominees who have the necessary skills and abilities to be our next rector, by the beginning of May. During the month of May, the final few candidates will be interviewed by the vestry on-site, in the hopes of issuing a call by the beginning of June.

Our weekly discussions are always guided by our rich history, but with a focus on our greater future. We ask ourselves, “After 5 years of success, what will St. Philips look like and what will we be doing?” We remember that, “A leader’s job is to look into the future and see the organization not as it is, but as it should be.”

This is an ambitious timetable, and your Search Committee is working hard to meet deadlines as we carry out this exhilarating and exciting charge. We welcome your questions and input — you may contact the entire committee (Herb Burton, Bob Couch, Mary Herring, Mary Kautz, Richard Kuns, Jim Marr, Gwen Powell, Mary Margaret Sprinkle), by emailing search@stphilipstucson.org.

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