GMP Search Committee prepares first face-to-face gathering as application deadline approaches
Prospective candidates interested in serving as the next General Minister and President of the United Church of Christ have 24 days remaining to submit their profile to the UCC GMP Search Committee. Dec. 1 is the application deadline in this fast-track search effort.
The process of identifying the next person to lead the denomination into the future gears up in December, with the first search committee gathering. That’s why the Rev. Kent Siladi, co-chair of the General Minister and President Search Committee, and his committee colleagues continue to advise congregants in the wider church that if they have a candidate in mind, today is the day to urge him or her to submit their candidacy for consideration.
“We want people with an eye on applying not to be tardy,” said Siladi, who is conference minister of the Connecticut Conference of the UCC. “We don’t want them to get caught and miss out if they feel called to apply for this position.”
The 18-member search committee meets for the first time face-to-face on Nov. 20-21 in Cleveland at the UCC national offices. It will be a weekend for the members to talk through how they will organize the search process, draft questions for the upcoming interviews in January and February, and to get to know each other to build cohesiveness so they are “as much on the same page as possible,” Siladi said.
The committee recently adopted a Search Credo, which will guide its actions as it discerns and dissects the qualifications of the applicants in its selection process.
“We believe our first responsibility is to recommend to the United Church Board the best leader to serve as GMP,” the credo reads.
“In this regard, we believe that we are seeking a leader who has the core competencies needed to lead the United Church of Christ into the future God has in store for us,” it continues. “We are searching for a person of faith, an articulate and theologically grounded preacher and speaker, an innovator who leads with clarity and purpose, someone with convictions and vision and demonstrated competencies to help us create a renewed Church.”
The committee has also pledged an open and transparent process, but will also maintain confidentiality as appropriate. Each committee member also agreed that he or she will not be a candidate for the position, and that they aim to make their decisions by consensus and at least a two-thirds vote in favor of a nominee.
“We believe that our final responsibility is to be responsive to the mission of God’s Church,” the credo concludes. “We are grateful and believe that we are called for such a time as this to align our church with God’s purposes for the world.”
“We’ve all agreed this would be our guide to our deliberation and the life of our work together,” Siladi said.
Some key dates in the upcoming months:
December: Committee reviews profiles and selects final candidates
Jan. 16-17: Telephone interviews with final candidate
Feb. 12-13: In-person interviews with final candidates
March 19: Final candidate introduced to United Church Board
June: Final candidate elected by General Synod
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