Rector Search

As St. John’s discernment process continues, the search committee has received some comments and letters from members who expressed their ideas, thoughts, or concerns, and we wanted to respond as a committee to explain the context of our continuing work on your behalf.

The in-gathering for the Church Assessment Tool (CAT) survey is complete, and your vestry and search committee have participated in a review of the findings. The vestry will soon be making a report to the congregation, while the search committee uses the information to begin the next stage of our work.

By design, the CAT survey was a more generic instrument, designed to be used in many types of churches, to give the church leadership a sense of the priorities that may need to be addressed now and in the immediate future, as well as the current trends and strengths within the faith community. The Holy Conversations were specific to the current membership of St. John’s, and these responses help to identify core values going forward.

The search committee is now putting together a set of documents to provide information to potential candidates, and to communicate our hopes and expectations for the next rector of our church. One is the Ministry Portfolio, which is required of all Episcopal churches in transition. It comes to us from the Office of Transition Ministry (OTM) and is part of Presiding Bishop Michael Curry’s office. Each diocesan bishop then delegates a transition officer to oversee its development. In East Tennessee, our transition officer is our Bishop’s Assistant, Canon Michelle W. Bolt. The OTM Portfolio is a more focused and Episcopal-oriented document that provides a kind of snapshot of who we are. It will give the search committee a starting point to shaping questions and interviewing strategies.

The other document is a narrative picture of St. John’s. This narrative, often called a Parish Profile, will be a web-based document that relates the history, current ministries, the resources and challenges of St. John’s, and the qualifications we desire in a new rector. The document will also outline what we believe is God’s call to us as a congregation, the lessons learned by listening to the congregation, the unique gifts and challenges of our church, and a description of the local area and our diocese.

We hope this overview will answer the questions we have received so far. We appreciate those who took the time to share their thoughts, and we will continue to give progress reports, as well as share all appropriate information. We continually seek your prayers and are blessed by your support.

Sincerely,
St. John’s Rector Search Committee

Tom McGinnis, Chair: 423-676-8405 (cell), 423-928-3957 (home)
Bob Cooper, Frances Jackson, Ted Jackson, Jackie Mabrey, Rebecca Paluzzi, Lee Phillips, Rita Plemmons