Search Committee Introduction
Dear Members and Friends of South Congregational Church,
In the days since Rev. Jared Rardin announced his future retirement in 2024, we have experienced a range of emotions; gratitude for his ministry, a profound sense of loss, and also excited anticipation about the future of South Church. His 20+ years among us have been very significant in the life and work of our congregation. Our upcoming months together will be a precious time. The Church Council will inform you from time to time about the Church’s plans for special events to celebrate Jed’s ministry.
The Church Council has appointed a Search Committee to undertake the process of identifying a new pastor to follow Jed upon his retirement. The members of the Committee are listed at the end of this letter, you are welcome to contact any of us during the search process with your questions, comments, or concerns. This letter is the Committee’s first report to the congregation. We will keep you informed periodically as we move toward God’s future as a congregation.
The Committee has met twice with representatives of the New Hampshire Conference to learn about the search process. Among other things, the Committee has learned that the pool of individuals who are seeking full-time pastorships is much smaller than it used to be, and that it may take longer than in the past to complete our search. The Committee’s first major task is to prepare a Church Profile, which will serve as the advertisement for the new position. In the coming months, we will be hard at work creating a profile that outlines the strengths and needs of our congregation and the skills and attributes we are seeking in our new pastoral leader. Once this document is complete, we will share it with you.
Using the completed Church Profile, the New Hampshire Conference office will advertise our open position to UCC clergy. The Committee will then read the individual candidate profiles as they are received, screen candidates, conduct interviews, check references, and eventually select a candidate to be recommended to the entire congregation. Pastoral search is a long, deliberate process that will stretch across many months and into 2024. However, when our work is complete, we expect that the congregation will select a new pastor whose gifts God can use with us and among us to realize our new Mission, Vision, and Values.
The tradition in the United Church of Christ of “calling” a pastor affirms the active presence of God’s Spirit in the search process. We will prayerfully seek a pastor with particular gifts and skills while recognizing that candidates are also engaged in their own Spirit-led discernment process. In turn, we ask you all to pray for the members of the Committee and for our candidates, so that we may be open to the Spirit acting among us and engage in this search process in a wise and discerning manner. Thank you for walking alongside us on this journey.
In Christ’s name,
The Search Committee
Helen McGlashan, Co-Chair Janet Zeller, Co-Chair
Nick Babladelis Aiden Ciminesi Betsy Clardy Sean Dunker-Bendigo
Peter Imse Laura Knoy Steve Murray Jill Smart
Leanne Tigert Joseph York
Acting Ministry Assistant - Update
This position on our church staff, was approved as part of the annual budget at the June 22 annual meeting. This person will serve in this part time, 6 month temporary role as our church is in the midst of staﬃng transitions. The Personnel Committee, working with the church staff, has begun the hiring process. We ask that you join our committee in prayer as the search process begins. We look forward to providing further details about the process soon. For more information, please contact Kayla in the Church Office.