Good things are in store for St. Paul's! That's the logical conclusion we have come to being the chairs of St. Paul's rector search committee. Between Jan. 24 and Feb. 5, the search committee will have met for 14 hours to conduct phone interviews with over a dozen finalists in the rector search (chosen from an original applicant pool of over 40). This conversation stage of the process has been truly exciting.
The pool of finalists we've ended up with is diverse in many ways, which leaves us feeling that the search committee has remained particularly open to connecting with not a particular type of candidate, but the best candidate for St. Paul's. For example, the finalists represent a diversity of age, from people in their 30s to people in their 60s. Among our candidates are both men and women, married and single, gay and straight. Our applicant pool includes people without children, people with young children, and people with grown children. It includes "cradle Episcopalians" and candidates who started their journey of faith in other Christian denominations; candidates from around the corner and around the world.
There are some things all of the candidates have in common-first and foremost, they are all excited about St. Paul's. They are doing good things in the world and good things in the Episcopal Church. They are accomplished, creative, and thoughtful and have been wonderful to speak with-our committee members may feel exhausted at times, but more than one has said "This is really interesting!" or "I thought this would feel like a burden, but it's actually been fun." There has been something quite wonderful about conversing with all of these good, thoughtful people about things that we believe matter-our faith, our church's role in the community and in the world, and the goal of finding an excellent match between our church and the right candidate to join us on our journey.
The next stage will now be a challenge-discerning which candidates to choose for the next, smaller group of candidates; subsets of the search committee will visit those people and hear them preach in their home churches. Please keep the search committee and the candidates for rector in your prayers as we continue the search process and move closer to the next phase of our life together at St. Paul's.