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This update was read to the congregation on November 17, 2019.
To Members and Friends of Community Church:
As chair of the Senior Minister search committee for Community Church, I would like to share with you a brief update on where we stand in our search efforts.
Our committee has met many times, and continues to meet frequently, as we review possible candidates. We have interviewed several highly qualified candidates, but a finalist has not yet emerged.
As you will recall, we have employed a search firm which specializes in clergy, the Vanderbloemen Group.
But we have not stopped there: we have also received and reviewed over 40 candidates through the UCC Florida conference. Our opening is posted on the UCC’s national website.
Additionally, members of the congregation have provided us with names of several possible candidates.
Also, our committee has reached out to dozens of sources across the country: presidents of notable divinity schools and seminaries, including those at Yale and Princeton; senior ministers at large UCC and other churches throughout the United States; as well as consultants, authors and professional speakers in the ministry field.
We are not yet close to a decision.
This is an extraordinary church and finding the right leader takes time. Our ideal candidate will be an outstanding preacher, without question.
Community church is what is often called a “purple church” – we bring together worshippers from many religious traditions, varied political viewpoints, left and right, and wide-ranging life experiences – this is our DNA and this is one of our significant strengths.
And this makes it especially important that we find a leader who can continue to unite us, along a broad middle ground – in the belief that “there is more that binds us together than separates us in the worship of God.”
And just as important, our next Senior Minister must have the skills and temperament to lead a large organization – managing staff, setting strategy, and keeping our bottom line as healthy as it is now. This is a significant management job.
It’s a tall order, and our committee takes very seriously both the honor and the responsibility of seeking the person to lead us into the next decade.
We have been harmonious, open-minded and collaborative in all of our efforts, and that most certainly continues.
We are grateful that church leadership has hired the Rev. Dr. Anna Copeland as Interim Senior Minister. She will be an additional resource to the committee in our efforts, and her presence here gives us some comfort in the fact that leadership will be in capable hands during this transition time.
We will continue to provide updates periodically in the church bulletin and on the website.
We ask for your prayers that we will continue with our process of discernment to see it through to a successful hiring of the next Senior Minister God has chosen for this magnificent church.
David E Sams, Chair
Senior Minister Search Committee