If you missed the Congregational Meeting last Sunday, December 8, then you missed our report, shared by Libby. Here it is:
Hopefully you’ve all been following the work of the Ministerial Search Team through the newsletter, Community Matters announcements, and the blog on our webpage. You should know that we conducted a congregational survey and hosted the Beyond Categorical Thinking workshop in September, and that we hosted cottage meetings and focus groups in October. We then spent the month of November consolidating all of that data into cohesive summaries for our congregational record. We submitted that record to our coach on the November 22, and he approved it. In fact, he said he had “never seen one as good,” and he was “particularly impressed” with Wildflower’s “maturity and resilience.” Right now, we’re finishing up our documents packet, which is due to our coach next Sunday.
The next part of our work will begin in January, when we’ll start getting information about ministerial candidates who are interested in Wildflower. From January to March, we’ll be conducting interviews, both in phone and in person. You may find this phase frustrating, because we won’t be able to share with you the specifics of who we’re interviewing or when those interviews are happening. Confidentiality is a must during this stage of the process. But — generally — we will interview by phone anybody we choose to, and we’ll then select three people to come to Austin for us to meet them in person and watch them give a sermon at a neutral pulpit. Once we’ve evaluated those three individuals, we very much hope to announce a candidate to you in April.
If that happens, the candidate will then visit Wildflower for Candidating Week at the end of April. That will be a busy 10 days in which the candidate will preach at two Sunday services and meet with various teams, church leaders, and staff throughout the week, as well as having at least one congregation-wide open session with the candidate. At the conclusion of the 10 days, after the second Sunday service, we will have a special congregational meeting to vote on whether the church wants to hire the candidate. As a reminder, a minimum of 90 percent approval is required to move forward, and most candidates prefer an approval vote of 95 percent.
The Search Team would like to thank all of you for participating in this process with us. We have been gratified by how many of you answered the survey and attended various meetings. We thank you in advance for your patience for the next few months as we go about our work. And remember, if you ever have any questions, don’t hesitate to let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org. Also, we will be having an “Ask the MST” forum next Sunday at 1:30 right here, so please feel free to come chat with us then.