Who is the right candidate to grace our sanctuary?

Who is the right candidate to grace our sanctuary?

Prayer for the Mission of Grace Church

O gracious and loving God, fill our hearts with a burning desire to discern your vision for our beloved community. Show us where you wish us to grow; real to us where we need strengthening; help us to shine as a people of faith, hope, love, joy, and generosity. – prayer by Barbara Klugh



Grace Community Portfolio (OTM)

Grace Portfolio

Parochial Reports

Six candidates move forward for initial interviews (May 2017 update)

We had a very productive meeting with Bill Spaid, Canon of the Ordinary and Diocesan Transitional Officer, on April 20. We were presented with full portfolios for ten candidates. These candidates bring a wealth of experience and diversity.  This is both an exciting and audacious time for the committee. We realize our deliberations will not only affect the lives of the candidates but also the future of our parish. In our Office of Transitional Ministry (OTM) Portfolio we had to list four gifts/skills that are important for the next rector to have. They are (in no particular order): Inspirational Teacher, Communicator, Pastoral Shepherd, and Ministry Facilitator. These skills/gifts were based on a review of the Grace Parish Profile, based on parish survey results, along with intense committee discussion. Our Parish Profile and OTM Portfolio are posted on our website. This process will help us stay focused on the individual candidate’s capabilities as opposed to comparing candidate to candidate. We have now reviewed all of the candidates’ profiles and resumes and decided to proceed with initial interviews with six of the candidates. We have initiated the phone interviews; when completed we will discern who will continue in the interviewing process. As always, we ask for your continued prayers. By MaryLee Pakieser, Chair.

Rector Search Committee will receive candidates this month (April 2017 update)

The Rector Search Committee will be meeting with the Canon of the Ordinary, Bill Spaid, on Thursday, April 20,  to receive and review the candidates who have been approved for our consideration. Without being very specific, we have received more than five and less than 15 applicants. Now comes the very difficult and sensitive work as we move through the detailed process of discernment for a new rector. Please hold us daily in your thoughts and prayers as we do our very best to listen to the Holy Spirit and to each other as we continue this work.

Rector Search Committee update (March 2017)

The Rector Search Committee continues on its journey to discern a new rector for Grace.

As we reported, the Community Ministry Portfolio, which describes our parish and ministries for potential candidates, was posted on the clergy transition web site in December. Our posting will remain open until March 31. We elected to place an advertisement with Episcopal Digital Network, which reaches more than 70,000 clergy and other active and involved Christians.  We believe this is a way to reach a broad audience and increase the number of candidates who might be interested in Grace.  To view our ad, click here https://goo.gl/QC9Iqb

We are close to receiving a list of candidates.

Canon Bill Spaid, our Diocesan Transition Officer, receives all applications and conducts the initial vetting to determine which candidates qualify for our consideration. He has received applications!   Hopefully in the very near future we will be receiving the list of candidates and start the interviewing process.  The committee will screen the initial group of candidates to determine those we will invite for a first interview.  As we start this phase of the work we are bound by confidentiality to not discuss our work outside of the committee – We are mindful that those applying for this job are in a vulnerable state as they are discerning a change from their present position.

As we continue our work, we ask you to hold our committee, Canon Bill Spaid, Bishop Whayne Hougland and all the candidates in your prayers.  We invite God’s Holy Spirit to guide us in our discernment, and we appreciate your patience as we engage in this holy work on behalf of the parish.

MaryLee Pakieser and Sandy Seppala Gyr

Rector position posted (December 2016)


Mary Lee Pakieser, Chair

Great news! After several weeks of hard work, your Rector Search Committee has completed our Community Portfolio, the first step in letting clergy candidates know of our open rector position. The portfolio has been reviewed and approved by the Vestry, and forwarded to the Rev. Bill Spaid, Canon to the Ordinary and Diocesan Transition Officer, for posting on the clergy search website. Our posting will remain active for the next 90 days. If you know of any clergy who may be interested in our position, please direct them to Bill Spaid wspaid@edwm.org , office phone 269 -381-2710.

While we wait with anticipation to receive candidate names and information in 90 days, your Rector Search Committee is not idle. We are developing our interviewing process and questions, with the help of the Rev. Bill Spaid. He assures us that our posting will attract several candidates (perhaps more than 10!) and that we are an attractive, healthy parish for those seeking a new position.

We appreciate your prayers as we continue this work on behalf of our parish.

MaryLee Pakieser, Chair

Rector Search Committee completes Community Portfolio (November 2016)

As of November 1, 2016, the Rector Search Committee (RSC) has completed the first step in the process! The Community Portfolio is a formidable first step where we had to answer 12 questions about all aspects of our church. This required studying and researching the church survey, brainstorming key concepts, writing several drafts with subsequent discussions that we finalized in our final draft. This draft has been forwarded to the Vestry for their review and approval.

What’s next? The Vestry is adding to the Portfolio the personnel information needed for the hiring process. Once that is done, the Portfolio will go to the diocese where the bishop and the intake officer, Bill Spaid, will finalize and post it on the website. The position will then be public for applicants.

The next stage for the RSC is to begin to prepare for the interviewing process.  Our preparation as a committee will include an on site visit with Bill Spaid. He will focus on reviewing the various steps and aspects of the selection process with us.

As always please keep us in your thoughts and prayers.

Mary Lee Pakieser, Chair, Bob Foote, Vice Chair, Sandy Seppala, Recording Sectary, Ellen Schrader, Correspondence Secretary, Marian Vermeulen, Vestry Liason, Rosemary Hagan, Chaplain, Bill Mongomery, CharleneAllen, Dixie Stephen, Glen MacPherson,  John Lien, Steve Wade

Rector Search Committee (April 2016)

By Donna Olendorf
Senior Warden

Meet the Rector Search Committee

It is my great privilege to introduce to you the following members of the Rector Search Committee (RSC):

  1. Charlene Allen
  2. Bob Foote – vice-chairman
  3. Rosemary Hagan – chaplain, nonvoting member
  4. John Lien
  5. Glen MacPherson
  6. Bill Montgomery
  7. MaryLee Pakieser – chairperson
  8. Ellen Schrader – communication secretary
  9. Sandy Seppala – recording secretary
  10. Dixie Stephen
  11. Steve Wade
  12. Marian Vermeulen-vestry representative
L to R: Sandy Seppala, Charlene Allen, Ellen Schrader (bottom row); Rosemary Hagan, Dixie Stephen, Glen MacPherson (middle); Steve Wade, Bill Montgomery, John Lien, Bob Foote (top). Not pictured: Marian Vermeulen, MaryLee Pakieser.

L to R: Sandy Seppala, Charlene Allen, Ellen Schrader (bottom row); Rosemary Hagan, Dixie Stephen, Glen MacPherson (middle); Steve Wade, Bill Montgomery, John Lien, Bob Foote (top). Not pictured: Marian Vermeulen, MaryLee Pakieser.

These 12 parishioners are beginning a sacred journey of utmost importance to Grace, which will require a significant commitment of both time and of talent. Over the next 12 – 16 months, they will be meeting regularly to develop strong communication levels that will enable them to identify, screen, and ultimately recommend a final candidate to the vestry for election and call. All members are expected to attend regular meetings, to follow through on tasks in a timely manner, and to serve for the full duration of the search process. We thank them for their service.

The vestry would also like to thank those who applied but were not discerned. Everyone who applied was worthy, and would have been a valuable contributor. But we had more candidates than openings and we were committed to mirroring the statistical characteristics of the church.

How were they chosen?

After careful study of the Parish Survey, the vestry selected a Search Committee that reflects the values of the congregation as well as the demographics of Grace Church.

It is comprised of five men and seven women. Six members attend the 10 o’clock service, four attend the 8 o’clock service, and two attend the 5 o’clock service.  One member is in the 20 – 34 year age range, two are in the 35 – 49 year range, five are in the 50 – 69 year range, and four are over age 70.

How it works:

The committee has 12 members, 11 voting members, and no substitutes. If someone drops out, the group shrinks by one. As chaplain, Rosemary Hagan is a non-voting member, which will prevent the possibility of a tie vote.

What’s next?

The next step is for the Search Committee to meet and select officers. Then Transition Minister Canon Bill Spaid will contact the chair to set up an orientation meeting. The RSC will be installed by Chaplain Rosemary Hagan at all three services later this month. One of their first orders of business will be to complete the online Office for Transition Ministry Portfolio, a national database open to rectors who are looking for a new position.

During the months ahead, the RSC will establish a projected timetable for fulfillment of the search committee’s responsibilities. They will also communicate the progress of the search committee regularly to the parish through announcements, bulletins and newsletter articles. The next Search Committee update will come from the Search Committee itself.

Click this link for:  Detailed search timeline