The search committee got off to a great start on January 8.  The members include: Donna Boyle, Alex Fischer-Oelschlaeger, Rhys Fullerlove, Ed Johnson, Diane McCarthy, George Oelschlaeger, Nancy Olson, Gail Sederquist and Sue Spurgetis.

The committee met with conference minister Rev. Kathy Lawes who explained the search process.  During the next six months, the committee will be meeting on a weekly/bi-weekly basis to ensure that we are meeting relevant timelines.

The search committee will meet with the church council to assemble a financial package that we will offer to the selected candidate.  After the search committee has vetted candidates, they will select a candidate to lead a service of worship at the Church of Peace.  After the service, the members of the congregation will conduct a secret ballet vote.  To select a new pastor we must have at least a 96 percent confidence vote.

One point that Rev. Lawes stressed was not rushing through the process.  If we don’t find a qualified candidate that fits our church by the time Rev. Swartz retires, the UCC and conference will find us an interim pastor until we have made our selection.

The committee also has agreed to a Code of Ethics that will help guide us during our process.  With any major search process, confidentiality is paramount.  The committee has agreed to not share any information about potential candidates during or after the selection process.  Please help us by not asking anyone on the committee detailed questions about the candidates.

That being said, we will not be a secret select group.  We will use open communication to the congregation whenever possible.  There will be a poster soon in fellowship hall that will show our progress in the selection process.  We will update the congregation every so often during announcements at church, in the Visitor and on the website.

We will be using the congregational survey to help guide us.  In addition, before we start interviews, we will be conducting focus groups with some members in the church so we can better understand what the wishes and wants of the congregation in our next pastor are.

The committee is honored that the church supports us in prayer and thought as we conduct this important task over the next 6-months, we promise to work hard and honor those traditions that have allowed us to be a cornerstone in the community for more than 115 years.

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