Updates from the Vestry and/or Search Committee are listed with the most recent, first:
Editor's Note: At the 10:30 service on Sunday, April 22, Helen Campbell and Trey Roberts, Search Committee co-chairs, presented a progress report on the search for a new rector of St. James Episcopal Church. You can listen to Trey's comprehensive report of facts and status, here, and/or read the entirety of their report, below.
Thank you for your continued prayers and support as we move through the process to call our next rector. We want to update you on progress, including a recap of the search process.
April 2017: The Search Committee was created by appointment of co-chairs Trey Roberts and Helen Campbell. The membership was formed with the input of names from the parish, then selection of members by the Senior Warden, Junior Warden, and the committee co-chairs. Members named were: Andy McCall, Bahin Leonard, Bob Israel, Catherine Harrell, Charlie Frey, Jay Noland, John Sykes, Julia Spaht, Martha Vasquez, Susan Rolfs.
Summer 2017: With the assistance of The Rev. Canon Shannon Manning on behalf of Bishop Thompson, the committee’s organizational work began with many hours of research on our parish, as well as potential candidates in order to best align our parish needs with a future rector. In other words, "Where are we and what do we prioritize as St. James, and how does that match individual priests who are open to a new calling?"
A parish survey was created and more than 300 people participated. The high number of responses assure good, accurate information. You care greatly about St. James and your responses give the committee comprehensive input on all aspects of our church and church family.
With an open invitation to the entire parish, listening forums were held for parishioners to discuss any and all issues considered important for the Search Committee to address in the church profile.
Stakeholder meetings were held with clergy, selected church staff, as well as key ministries, to gain input about the workings of the church.
October-December 2017: The Search Committee prepared, and the Vestry approved, our St. James profile which is available on our website or hard copy in the church office.
The parish family was invited to nominate potential rector candidates for consideration. Clergy also submitted nominations.
An Office of Transitional Ministry profile was prepared for The Episcopal Church (national office) and candidates from around the country put their names into our search.
Mid-March 2018: Candidate nominations were closed with an initial pool of about 50 candidates. All candidates’ names were sent to our Diocesan office for approval, a requirement before the Search Committee can take any action.
January-March 2018: Candidates were individually researched and then presented to the full Search Committee for discussion and consideration. The list of candidates was narrowed, and continued with Skype interviews. Candidate references were contacted by telephone.
April 2018: The committee members began to travel for confidential face-to-face meetings and to attend services in the candidates' home parishes. Out of respect for the candidate and their current ministries, the committee members do not identify as such at the parish visited. Visits are expected to conclude by mid-May.
The Search Committee will prayerfully discern its recommendation of a new rector to the Vestry. The candidate will be invited to Baton Rouge to meet with the Vestry and visit St. James. If the Vestry concurs with the Committee’s recommendation, the call for a new rector will be made.
This process is designed to be prayerfully undertaken, listening to God throughout each step of consideration. The process also involves envisioning the life of our congregation under the leadership of each candidate. St. James has grown and changed in positive ways over the course of these many months and the Search Committee is encouraged and supported by our parish’s confidence and respect for this unique process. The call of a new rector moves on God’s time and we know God is at work in our midst.
The Search Committee will continue to provide updates in the eMessenger, The Messenger (monthly), service leaflets, and through reports during services, and we invite you to pray daily for St. James and this important discernment:
Loving God of unchangeable light, we thank you for our St. James family. For generations, you have guided us to this holy place, our cornerstone of faith. Grant us patience, strength and wisdom as we walk together to discern your will. Bless us and bless our journey. We ask this in Jesus’ name by the power of the Holy Spirit. Amen.
The St. James Search Committee is pleased to update our St. James family as we progress in the calling of a new rector.
Here is where we are in the process:
We are committed to having a comprehensive, inclusive search to find our next rector. We have been open to reviewing every candidate that we've been introduced to, which has created a melding of the interview phases.
The candidates and their families have been flexible and open to working with us to coordinate the interviews and visits around full church and school calendars. We are now traveling and meeting with our candidates in their home parishes. This has put us on the road and in the air to meet our priests and their families. We have made good friends with our candidates and their families, and we actively support each other in prayer as we all discern God’s calling for us at St. James.
We appreciate our families’ and the parish’s support and patience during this search process. We ask for your continued prayers for the committee as we continue our journey to meet our candidates.
The Search Committee has narrowed the candidate applicants to a group of finalists. We are excited about moving into this next stage of the process!
Calls are being made to the candidates' references, and visits to personally interview the candidates in their home parishes will follow.
Please continue to keep the committee in your prayers.
The Search Committee continues to read and review applications and has begun to conduct Skype interviews with potential rector candidates. As our work progresses, we will be calling references, visiting candidates' churches and will begin to narrow our list of candidates. Our hope and desire is to present our selection of a new rector to the parish in the summer. Please continue to keep the committee in your thoughts and prayers.
The Search Committee began its work with the parish-wide survey in September. Over 300 parishioners responded. Listening forums followed, to receive more personal feedback from the congregation. Personal interviews with clergy and staff completed the initial work to prepare a parish profile and questionnaire for the national church’s website. Canon Shannon Manning presented the results of our parish-wide survey in a town hall meeting and we are very grateful for the work the diocesan office is doing to help us in our search process.
The parish has been very helpful with nominations of potential candidates for rector. All of the nominations must go to the diocesan office for screening. Once the committee has received names of vetted candidates from the diocesan office, a letter and profile will be sent asking about their interest in being a candidate for rector at St. James. As we receive acceptances from potential candidates, the committee will be charged with the responsibility of learning as much as possible about the candidates. Skype interviews will follow before the selection of final candidates. All information about potential candidates is confidential. There is no timeline for completion of this process, but we are optimistic that a new rector can be selected by late spring.
The Search Committee continues to ask for your prayers as we proceed with the search for our new rector for St. James Church.
Committee members: Helen Campbell and Trey Roberts, co-chairs; John Sykes, Charlie Frey, Jay Noland, Andy McCall, Bob Israel, Catherine Harrell, Martha Vasquez, Susan Rolfs, Bahin Leonard, Julia Spaht.
Almighty God, giver of every good gift: look graciously on your Church, and so guide the minds of those who shall choose a rector for this parish, that we may receive a faithful pastor, who will care for your people and equip us for our ministries; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen. BCP, p. 818