Almighty God, we ask your guidance and blessing as we seek a Rector for Holy Trinity Church; be present in our deliberations and make us aware of your will for us. Guide us and our parish in the days ahead. Prepare that person that you have in mind for us to receive your call. And keep us all mindful of our calling to serve your purpose and to witness to your love, through Jesus Christ our Lord, Amen.
Frequently Asked Questions Answered
While the search for a new Rector is a time of hope as we discern where God is calling us and who will lead us there, it can also be a time of uncertainty. We’ve answered the most common parishioner questions below. If you have concerns or questions, please don’t hesitate to contact any member of the search committee (pictured at right and listed at left).
What is the role of the Interim Rector in the search process?
The Interim Rector’s primary task is to care for the congregation during the transition — not to guide the search. The Interim Rector may help gather data for the Parish Portfolio but not write it. The Interim Rector is not involved in the review of Rector candidates or in the discernment process for the new Rector of Holy Trinity. The Interim Rector may not be a candidate for the permanent Rector position.
What is the role of the Canon for Transition Ministry?
The Canon for Transition Ministry is our search consultant on behalf of the Bishop. The Canon for Transition Ministry coaches the process, provides information about the “clergy marketplace” and disseminates information about Holy Trinity at regional meetings of transition ministers.
What is the role of the Bishop?
The Bishop is the chief pastor of all congregations in the Episcopal Diocese of North Carolina. The Bishop wants Holy Trinity to call the priest who is the best possible match for our parish at this time. The Bishop does not send parishes “someone he likes,” rather, he supports parishes in their search processes. The Bishop will not allow us to call someone he believes would damage our parish.
When and how is our Rector position officially announced?
The Search Committee’s goal for officially posting Holy Trinity’s announcement of our rector position is the first of March. The position will be posted on the Episcopal Diocese of North Carolina’s website and on the website of the national Office of Transition Ministry. Spring is the most active season for priests interested in making a change, and these websites are where interested candidates look for job announcements and apply for positions. Our deadline for candidates submitting applications will be the end of April.
Does Holy Trinity’s Search Committee actively recruit new Rector candidates?
No. We only will consider applications submitted by priests who are discerning a change and who initiate the process themselves. We can, as every parishioner of Holy Trinity can, talk with friends and other clergy to tell them of our Rector position and encourage them to share this information with potential Rector candidates. Spread the word, and who knows? Maybe hearing that Holy Trinity is in a search process will trigger interest even in priests who haven’t yet considered a change.
Can parishioners suggest potential Rector candidates to the Search Committee?
If any parishioner knows of potential candidates, he/she should encourage that priest to go to Holy Trinity’s posting on the diocesan website (episdionc.org) starting in March 2020, or get in touch with Canon Catherine Massey, Canon for Transition Ministry for the Diocese of North Carolina. Holy Trinity only can take applications that come through the diocesan process.
Can Holy Trinity’s associate priests be considered for our Rector position?
It is the policy of the Diocese that current or former associate priests may not be considered for our Rector position.
What happens if our new Rector is not in place when our Interim Rector is scheduled to leave?
Many things can happen to cause a delay in the arrival of our new Rector. Our search process may not go as quickly as planned or a new Rector may accept our call but cannot leave his/her current position as early as we would like. With any situation, our Interim Rector, our Vestry, the Diocesan Canon for Transition Ministry, and our Bishop will be in conversation to decide on appropriate coverage for Holy Trinity either by extending the time of our Interim Rector’s tenure or by asking one of our three associate priests to serve as Priest-in-Charge until our new Rector arrives.
Is it true that our associate priests and the church staff have to offer their resignations once the new Rector is in place?
It is not true, as some have feared, that our staff and associate priests have to resign on the new Rector’s first day. It is true, however, that our new Rector will determine his or her own staff. History has shown that it is in the best interest of the new Rector and the parish to solicit the support of the existing staff and associate priests to foster a smooth transition. During the time we are searching for a new Rector the entire parish is involved in transition, including our priests and parish staff. Transition for our priests is a time of reflection and discernment about what God is calling them to do in their respective ministries. We would love for our “dream team” of priests and our staff to remain with us going forward, but we must wait to see where this period of transition leads us.
What process will the Search Committee follow once all rector applications are received from Canon Massey?
As applications are sent from rector candidates to Canon Massey, they are stored electronically and will be sent collectively to the Search Committee on June 1. Once we receive these applications, the committee is charged with maintaining total confidentiality for the sake of the candidates. We will not be able to share any details at all – including the number of applications received – even with the Vestry.
The Search Committee will review each application, which should include letters of interest, resumes, and Office of Transition Ministry profiles, to determine which candidates are the best for the Search Committee to consider. This process also involves listening to a candidate’s sermons, visiting church websites, and discussing applications with the entire committee. The several candidates the committee decides are the best possible fit for Holy Trinity will then be interviewed by the committee in one-hour Skype or Zoom meetings. If necessary, we will follow up with a second round of interviews with some candidates. After further discussion and discernment, the Search Committee will narrow our list to our top 3-4 candidates. These candidates and their spouses will be invited to visit Holy Trinity for meetings and meals with the Search Committee, a tour of the community and Holy Trinity's facilities, and an opportunity to preach and celebrate the Eucharist with the Search Committee only, again exercising total confidentiality. Once these visits have taken place, the Search Committee will begin the decision-making process suggested by the Diocese. That process involves prayerfully envisioning the life of our parish under the leadership of each priest rather than comparing and contrasting different candidates. The goal of the process is to bring clarity to the decision in order to make a unanimous choice of Holy Trinity’s next Rector. The final job of the Search Committee will be to meet with the entire Vestry to summarize our work and to recommend one candidate to the Vestry for their consideration.
The advice we as a Search Committee have gotten from Canon Massey is to trust the process and pray our way through it. We are very much committed to that but do not know at this point if we will need to modify the process described above because of restrictions related to the COVID-19 pandemic. We will keep you informed as we move forward and ask your continued prayers.