May 21, 2017
Here’s where we are in our work to transition to a new settled pastor.
Our Profile Writing Committee has been meeting regularly on Thursday nights since the end of March and will continue through the summer, with the goal of having a draft of the Church Profile ready by the end of September and completed in October.
Those serving on the Profile Writing Team are: Anne Warner, Fred Goodhue, Jan Varnon, Mariel Addis and Nancy Winninger. They are guided by Rev. Peter Wells , a former Area Minister for the Massachusetts UCC who knows our church well and has helped churches in this process in the past.
The profile template from the Massachusetts United Church of Christ asks us to consider and answer a number of questions as we explore where we have been as a church, who we are today, and what our vision is for the future. The profile also helps define the skills, gifts and graces we are looking for in our next settled pastor.
During meetings the committee has reviewed the profile asking questions like:
• What do we already know
• What do we not know that we should find out
• How do we find out what we don’t know
• Who do we need to talk to
• How do we involve the congregation and others in the process
That last question is perhaps the most important given we want the profile to reflect the Haydenville Congregational Church. This can only be done with as much input as possible.
The Profile Committee’s work includes a lot of meetings, interviews and conversations with members of the congregation as well as gathering financial and demographic information about the church. Two all-church meetings were held in May and the profile committee is asking every church family to complete an anonymous survey form. (Here is a link to the survey. )
In addition they have and will continue to reach out to leadership, committees, staff, members and friends, and stakeholders to help create the profile.
For the profile to be complete, it must reflect the interests and concerns of all constituencies in the congregation; it must present our best collective vision for the future.
Once the Church Profile completed, the Transition Leadership Team will then work with the congregation to select a Search Committee. Candidates for the Search Committee will be presented to Church Council for approval.
The Search Committee will use the Church Profile to review the profiles of pastoral candidates, beginning with our Acting Pastor, if he wishes to be considered. Once the Search Committee makes a decision about a final candidate, that person will be presented to the congregation at a Candidating Sunday. The congregation will then vote on whether to call that person as our settled pastor.
The profile template and documents being used by the Profile Writing Committee can be found at the end of this article.
Our deep thanks for the willingness of the Profile Writing Committee to serve our spiritual community in this important way.
Your Transition Leadership Team
Jim Foudy, Jo Cannon, Carolyn DuBois, Sam Icklan