The Search for CHT’s Next Rector
Frequently Asked Questions and Answers
Q: Who is on the Rector Search Committee?
A: Dick Ullman, Coach, firstname.lastname@example.org
Ashley DelBianco, Co-Chair, email@example.com
Ben Leiby, Co-Chair, firstname.lastname@example.org
Jack Downes, email@example.com
Amy Arcaro, firstname.lastname@example.org
Esha Bhatia, BHATIA@email.chop.edu
Sally Griffith, email@example.com
Simson Hui, firstname.lastname@example.org
Thomas Lipscomb, email@example.com
Soozung Rankin, firstname.lastname@example.org
Nancy Rasmussen, email@example.com
Sarah Spell, firstname.lastname@example.org
Ed Weston, email@example.com
Toneh Williams, firstname.lastname@example.org
Q: May I contact a Rector Search Committee member?
A: Absolutely. We are here to listen, hear and serve. Your search committee members touch and reach all corners of the demographics of our church family. Better yet, you are always invited to attend all listening/workshop sessions. Watch for details in the notices at worship, weekly e-news blasts, and monthly newsletters. Please mark your calendar for Sunday, September 20, 2015, immediately following the 11 am worship service for an in depth workshop. Lunch is provided and childcare available. ALL are invited. To assist with planning, please sign up in church or reserve your spot with the church office (email@example.com). This is an opportunity to share all ideas and help us take the next important steps.
Q: If I have an idea or comment to share about the process or next Rector, may I send in a letter or email?
A: Definitely. Please feel free to do so. Your comments will help the community. Please, also, consider attending conversation sessions and workshops. Every voice matters. Watch for information in your worship leaflets, weekly e-news blasts, and monthly CH@T newsletters. A survey will also be sent to the church family this fall and we hope to get a good response.
Q: How much transparency will there be with the Rector Search?
A: Transparency is very important to the Rector Search Committee, the Vestry, the staff, the parish, the worshipping community, and the diocese. While there is transparency with the entire process, the members of the Rector Search Committee cannot discuss names or any details of individual candidates.
Q: When will the next rector arrive?
A: The Episcopal Church recommends a process that is unlike what you may be familiar with from other denominations or what you may experience in your own work place. God is at our table, and we want to be open to God being present at all meetings and a part of all conversations. We pray our new rector will begin work with us by the fall of 2016.
Q: Fall 2016! Why is it taking so long?
A: Part of the process as an Episcopalian is to embrace a discernment period. This means that each step involves many questions and deep soul searching as individuals and as a corporate body. The Rector Search Committee is divided into four sub-committees to work on various parts of this process. These topics help us see who we really are in all its colors – with our previous rector, without a rector, in this space and time in between rectors, with an interim rector, etc. The four sub-committees are: membership audit, data/demographics, history of CHT, parish profile.
Some have felt it is helpful to see this discernment period as similar to our liturgical practice, much like experiencing Lent or Advent – a waiting and preparing period. In addition, because of our liturgical calendar, clergy typically move in January or during the summer. As we are only beginning the self-study process, a late summer 2016 arrival is more likely.
Q: What is the average length of time other parishes engage in a discernment period and meet as a search committee?
A: The average discernment process takes 18 months. If we are able to stick to our timeline, we should have a new priest approximately 15 months after Alan’s departure.
Q: Why did CHT hire an outside consultant?
A: It is helpful to get a perspective from someone who is familiar with the process but not as close to the particular practices and challenges of our congregation. An outside consultant who has successfully helped a myriad of other parishes going through a similar process can provide insight and perspective that is useful and help to keep us on schedule. The Rev. Richard Ullman, who lives locally in Center City, has consulted with parishes like ours all over the country. You will have a chance to meet him at the workshop on September 20.
Q: How many times has the Rector Search Committee met?
A: Since the retirement of our previous Rector, the Search Committee has met twice. The sub-committees have met or will be meeting at least once by early-September. Aside from meetings, the Rector Search Committee stays in touch via frequent emails. We will be meeting more frequently after Labor Day.
Q: Is the Diocese of Pennsylvania involved?
A: Yes. We are in close contact with leaders of the Diocese. Support and resources are available to parishes undergoing Rector Searches and the Bishop must approve the candidate that we recommend to the vestry.
Q: When was the last time CHT went through a Rector Search?
A: CHT last searched for a rector from 2003-2004.
Q: When will the Search Committee begin interviewing possible Rector candidates?
A: It is the Search Committee’s hope to begin meeting candidates in early 2016.
Q: If I know of someone who may be a good candidate for CHT, what should I do?
A: By late fall 2015, a CHT Profile will be available for all. It will be posted on the CHT website and an alert will go out nationally via the usual means of communication through all dioceses. There is a central database for churches who are looking for clergy and clergy who are discerning a call to relocate. All Episcopal clergy have access to the information and postings. You may also simply send the CHT Profile to a possible candidate if you feel inclined.
“They called the church together and related all that God had done with them.”
(Acts 14:27, NRSV)