Return to Rector Search

Rector Search Updates

Updates Regarding the Rector Search from the Service Bulletins

November 2018

The Rector Search has been extended beyond November 15th.

Applications are still being accepted for the postion of Rector at Bethesda Episcopal Church.

This Ministry Portfolio describes our parish.

The opening is posted at the National Office for Transition Ministry and the Episcopal News Service.

Potential candidates should apply through the Episcopal Diocese of Albany (description of the application process).

August 5, 2018

THE RECTOR’S SEARCH HAS GONE LIVE!

The search committee is pleased to report that the Ministry Portfolio for Bethesda has been published on the national church’s website for the Office of Transition Ministry, thereby indicating that we are searching for a new rector. The 7-page long portfolio advertises the position, providing details on our worship services, the compensation package, our last three rectors, our church school, and the names of people to contact from the bishop to past and present wardens. It also includes answers to 11 questions about the parish and the four skills we identified using your responses to the parish survey as the most important ones for our new rector. It also directs those interested to our website, our Facebook page, and several YouTube video about parish events.

The deadline for applications is November 15. We encourage you to spread the word about our opening through your networks. Each of you can help us develop a pool of strong candidates. Any priest interested in looking at our portfolio should go to the Office of Transition Ministry website. Anyone who is interested in applying should do so through the normal procedures on that website.

Please feel free to contact me or any other member of the vestry if you have any questions about the search process.

June 24, 2018

THE RECTOR SEARCH COMMITTEE REPORT ON THE RESULTS OF THE PARISH SURVEY

TODAY AFTER THE 8 O’CLOCK SERVICE Please stay for the parish meeting after the 8 o’clock Eucharist at which I will report on the results of the parish survey. If you cannot make today’s meeting, I will hold another one on Tuesday (June 26) immediately following the 6:30 pm liturgy. The National Office for Transition Ministry’s Community Portfolio Information has been sent to the Diocesan Transition Minister, Elizabeth Strickland, for her review. As I indicated last week, after getting her feedback, we will make any necessary changes and then submit the portfolio. It will then be posted on the National Episcopal Church’s database so that clergy can access it and apply for the open rector’s position at Bethesda. I will let the parish know as soon as it is posted. If you know of anyone who might be interested in becoming the next rector of Bethesda, you will be able to direct them to the Portfolio and they will be able to submit an application through the National Church’s website.

June 17, 2018

THE RECTOR SEARCH COMMITTEE REPORT ON THE RESULTS OF THE PARISH SURVEY
I will hold two meetings, one next Sunday (June 24, 2018) immediately following the 8 o’clock service and one a week from Tuesday (June 26) immediately following the 6:30 service, at which I will report the results of the parish survey. I will also answer any questions parishioners might have about the search process. Please make every effort to attend one of the following two meeting:

Sunday, June 24, 2018, 9:00 am, in the Church Nave
Tuesday, June 26, 2018, 7:00 pm, in the Church Nave

Here is an update on our progress this past week: The Search Committee met for the fourth week in a row to complete work on the National Office for Transition Ministry’s Community Portfolio Information on June 11. It is currently being reviewed by the Diocesan Transition Minister, Elizabeth Strickland. After getting her feedback, we will make any necessary changes and then submit the portfolio. As I have indicated, it will be posted on the national Episcopal Church’s database so that clergy can access it and apply for the open rector’s position at Bethesda. I will let the parish know as soon as it is posted.

June 10, 2018

SEARCH COMMITTEE UPDATE

The Search Committee Is making final revisions to the Office for Transition Ministry Community Portfolio Information. The Search Committee met for the third week in a row to work on the portfolio on June 5. This meeting and the previous one were spent revising our answers to the narrative questions on the National Office for Transition Ministry’s Community Portfolio Information. We have agreed to the answers to eleven of the twelve narrative questions and are making final edits. We hope to finish our work on formulating our answer to one of the questions in the coming week. Once we have all of them finalized we will share our draft with the Diocesan Transition Minister, Elizabeth Strickland. After getting her feedback, we will make any necessary changes and then submit the portfolio. As I indicated last week, it will be posted on the national Episcopal Church’s database so that clergy can access it and apply for the open rector’s position at Bethesda. As of Tuesday of this past week, 106 parishioners had responded to the survey. We thank all of you who have already completed the survey and invite those of you who have not yet done so to complete it as soon as possible. Even though the deadline has passed, your responses will still be part of the final report because I have not yet written it yet. You will need to respond soon, though, because I will begin work on it as soon as the portfolio is submitted. To pique your interest, here are a few more preliminary results: the typical respondent attends services nearly every week (42%) and almost one quarter (24 percent) attend every week. Over 60 percent report that their attendance has remained the same over the last five years, while 25 percent say it has decreased and 15 percent say it has increased.

June 3, 2018

SEARCH COMMITTEE UPDATE

In our May 24, 2018, meeting, the SEARCH COMMITTEE agreed to have three informational meetings with the congregation to take place in September. The importance of confidentiality during the search process was discussed. Based on the parish survey results, agreement was reached on listing effective preaching, pastoral care, attracting members, and empowering lay leadership as the four most important gifts and skills. The search committee decided to ask Mary Withington and Matt Veitch to serve as the Parish Leader and Local Community Leader references respectively. The components of the compensation package for the next rector were also discussed.

THE SEARCH COMMITTEE Has Begun Meeting to Fill Out the Office for Transition Ministry Community Profile Information Form.

The Search Committee consists of the Vestry, and as Junior Warden, I am chairing it. I will be making regular reports on our progress in the bulletins. Even if you aren’t in church on Sunday, you can find the bulletins online at our website and read the notices. Here’s the website address: http://bethesdachurch.org/ministries/services/sermons-service-sheets/ 

And now to remind you of the Search Committee’s work prior to this month: We have had two meetings with the Diocesan Transition Minister, Beth Strickland, one last November and one in April and one with her and the Bishop in January. Darren Miller reported on the first two meetings when he held parish meetings in January. I intend to hold another round of meetings in September, but I am happy to talk to anyone prior to that time if you have any questions. I will be at Evensong this afternoon and will stay for the reception if you want to discuss the search process.

To report on our more recent activities, the search committee met on May 24 and again on May 30 to work on filling out the National Office for Transition Ministry’s Community Profile Information Form. This information will be posted on the national Episcopal Church’s database so that clergy can access it and apply for the open rector’s position at Bethesda.

The profile asks for very specific information—what is our average attendance, what will the stipend be, and even who were the last three incumbents in this position. I doubt there are very many churches where those three names take you back to 1953! If we hadn’t included Dean Vang as the most recent one, we would have gone back even further.

The portfolio also asks a dozen questions that require a written narrative of no more than 1200 characters including spaces. That is a very stringent limit with which to describe our liturgical style, our involvement in the wider community, our stewardship, etc. But we are almost done thanks to the hard work of the other members of the vestry. Once we are done, I will check with the Diocesan Transition Minister and she will then post our rector position in the Office of Transition Ministry’s database. I will let you know when our position announcement goes live. If you have any possible candidates in mind, you can direct them to the announcement and they can apply through the regular process.

A special thank you to those of you who completed the survey by the deadline. Your answers were critical to filling out the parish profile. For example, the last question was “If you were to identify the gifts and skills you need in your next priest as you move into the future, which words would you use to best describe these gifts and skills? (Enter no more than four descriptions made up of one or two-words each. For example: administration, asset management, preaching, pastoral care.)” We answered that question with the following four gifts and talents because they were the answers you gave us on the survey (see table below): Effective Preaching, Pastoral Care, Attracting Members, Empowering Lay Leadership.

 

Skill Mean
(1=Very important; 6=Very
Unimportant)
Most Important for
a New Rector
(Number)
Minister to sick, etc. 1.29 67
Parish growth 1.36 100
Works well with vestry 1.41 100
Effective preaching 1.44 67
Program to visit sick 1.46 51
Support all backgrounds 1.47 47
Administer office 1.56 98
Incorporate youth 1.58 35
Counsel people 1.58 50
Sunday School 1.62 20
Empowers laity 1.65 0
Impart revelation 1.74 27
Involve laity in outreach 1.76 39
Promote leadership 1.78 0
Stewardship 1.79 0
Local outreach 1.81 33
Spiritual development 2.02 21
Assist victims 2.08 22
Manage finances 2.16 0
Trains laity to proclaim 2.23 0
Interfaith 2.32 0
Visit disaffected 2.33 11
Teach adults 2.43 3
Other outreach 2.81 5
Chant 3.26 3

As the table above indicates, every single one of the 100 parishioners who answered the survey
by the deadline said that providing effective leadership for parish growth and working
well with the vestry were the most important skills for a new rector in the areas of parish growth and lay leadership respectively. Sixty-seven said effectively delivering sermons that tie
the scripture readings to life and world issues as well as personally ministering to the sick, dying,
and bereaved were the most important gifts for the new rector in terms of worship and pastoral
care.

May 27, 2018

WE ARE STILL ACCEPTING LATE SURVEYS

As of the May 15 deadline, 101parishioners had responded to the rector search survey, either online (84) or on paper (18). We thank all of you who have already completed the survey and invite those of you who have not yet done so to complete it as soon as possible. Even though the deadline has passed, your responses will still count because I have not yet written the full report. I only gave a preliminary report to the vestry at our meeting on May 16.

To give just a sense of those preliminary results, 30 percent of the survey respondents attend the 8 am service on Sundays, 65 percent attend the 10 am one, 3 percent switch back and forth between the two, 7 percent attend the 6:30 pm Tuesday evening service, 9 percent the Wednesday noon one, and 3 percent a weekday service at the Home of the Good Shepherd. You will notice that those numbers add up to more than 100 percent, which means that some of us go to more than one service during a week.

Sixty-one percent prefer the service they attend because the time is convenient, 54 percent choose it because of the music, 14 percent because the service is shorter, and 8 percent because their children are in Sunday School. Nineteen percent listed other reasons ranging from fellowship to tradition to time conflicts.

I will continue to work on analyzing the survey data and report on the results to you as they become available. Please contact me if you have any questions about the survey or any other aspect of the search for a new rector.

May 20, 2018

THANK YOU: TO EVERYONE WHO COMPLETED THE RECTOR SEARCH SURVEY

As of May 17, 84 parishioners had responded to the rector search survey online and another 17 had sent in completed paper copies of the survey. We thank all of you who have already completed the survey and invite those of you who have not yet done so to complete it as soon as possible. It will still count, but I gave the first report to the vestry at our meeting on May 16.

As I indicated previously, every member of the parish who is 16 or over is welcomed to complete the survey.

We ask that you consider all the questions prayerfully. For your answers to have the greatest effect on writing the job description and parish profile, please submit your online or paper survey as soon as possible. As a member of the Bethesda family, we need to hear from you, so please take the time to respond as soon as you can.

May 13, 2018

DEADLINE FOR COMPLETING THE RECTOR SEARCH SURVEY IS MAY 15

As of May 1, 55 parishioners had responded to the rector search survey online and another 10 had sent in completed paper copies of the survey. We thank all of you who have already completed the survey and invite those of you who have not yet done so to complete it before the May 15 deadline. Please know that if you submit your survey after that date, it will still count, but I am giving my first report to the vestry at our meeting on May 16.

I indicated last week, every member of the parish who is 16 or over is welcomed to complete the survey.

We ask that you consider all the questions prayerfully. For your answers to have the greatest effect on writing the job description and parish profile, please submit your online or paper survey by May 15. As a member of the Bethesda family, we need to hear from you, so please take the time to respond as soon as you can.

May 6, 2018

The Rector Search Survey Is Live.

As I indicated last week, one of the first steps in the search for a new rector is to survey the parish. Every member of the parish who is 16 or over is welcomed to complete the survey. We prefer that everyone complete the survey online but have provided the option of doing so on paper for those who prefer to fill it out that way.

We sent the link to take the survey online out by email last Sunday (April 20). If we don’t have your email address or if you have unsubscribed from Bethesda’s email list, you will not have received the link to the survey. If you want to receive the online survey link, please contact the office and give Barbara Latzko, Bethesda’s administrative assistant, your email address and ask to be sent the survey link via email. You can email her at barbara@bethesdachurch.org or call the church office (518) 584-5980.

If you prefer to answer the survey on paper, it will be enclosed with the parish newsletter, which is already in the mail. It is being sent by bulk mail so it may be awhile before it reaches your mailbox. If you don’t receive it by May 8, please contact Barbara Latzko (see contact information above) and ask to her to send you one. I will bring printed copies to church, so you can get one from me too.

To return a printed copy of the survey, your best option is to bring it to church and put it in the offering plate (or hand it to me or an usher). Your second option is to put it in an envelope and mail it to Bethesda Episcopal Church at 43 Washington Street, Saratoga Springs, NY 12866. Finally, you can remove the survey from the newsletter, fold it in half so that the address on the last page is on the outside, tape it on the three open sides, put $.70 worth of postage on the survey, and drop it in the mailbox.

We ask that you consider all the questions prayerfully. For your answers to have the greatest effect on writing the job description and parish profile, please submit your online or paper survey by May 15. As a member of the Bethesda family, we need to hear from you, so please take the time to respond as soon as you can.

April 29, 2018

The Rector Search Survey Is Live.

As I indicated last week, one of the first steps in the search for a new rector is to survey the parish. Every member of the parish who is 16 or over is welcomed to complete the survey.  We prefer that everyone complete the survey online but have provided the option of doing so on paper for those who prefer to fill it out that way.

We sent the link to take the survey online out by email last Sunday (April 20).  If we don’t have your email address or if you have unsubscribed from Bethesda’s email list, you will not have received the link to the survey.  If you want to receive the online survey link, please contact the office and give Barbara Latzko, Bethesda’s administrative assistant, your email address and ask to be sent the survey link via email.  You can email her at barbara@bethesdachurch.org or call the church office (518) 584-5980.

If you prefer to answer the survey on paper, it will be enclosed with the parish newsletter, which is already in the mail.  It is being sent by bulk mail so it may be awhile before it reaches your mailbox.  If you don’t receive it by May 8, please contact Barbara Latzko (see contact information above) and ask to her to send you one.  I will bring printed copies to church, so you can get one from me too.

To return a printed copy of the survey, your best option is to bring it to church and put it in the offering plate (or hand it to me or an usher).  Your second option is to put it in an envelope and mail it to Bethesda Episcopal Church at 43 Washington Street, Saratoga Springs, NY 12866.  Finally, you can remove the survey from the newsletter, fold it in half so that the address on the last page is on the outside, tape it on the three open sides, put $.70 worth of postage on the survey, and drop it in the mailbox.

We ask that you consider all the questions prayerfully.  For your answers to have the greatest effect on writing the job description and parish profile, please submit your online or paper survey by May 15.  As a member of the Bethesda family, we need to hear from you, so please take the time to respond as soon as you can.

Please contact Catherine W. Berheide, Junior Warden if you have any questions about the survey or any other aspect of the search for a new rector.

God be with you,

April 22, 2018
One of the first steps in the search for a new rector is to survey the parish. We will send the link to take the survey online out by email. If we don’t have your email address, please contact the office and give it to Barbara Latzko, Bethesda’s administrative assistant, and ask to be sent the survey link via email. You can email her at barbara@bethesdachurch.org or call the church office (518) 584-5980. If you prefer to answer the survey on paper, it will be enclosed with the parish newsletter, which should be mailed next week.

We ask that you consider all the questions prayerfully. For your answers to have the greatest effect on writing the job description and parish profile, please submit your online or paper survey by May 15. As a member of the Bethesda family, we need to hear from you, so please take the time to respond as soon as you can.

Please contact Catherine W. Berheide, Junior Warden if you have any questions.