My second Fridley spring lurches forward into the final stretch of this interim time. For many of you this past month has been pretty much business as usual. Sundays have come and gone; there have been Sunday services and committee meetings and clean-ups and building repairs. There was a small flurry of activity when we all spruced things up a bit in honor of the secret visits of the pre-candidates vying for the honor of being your minister. No heroic efforts here except those of Land and Facilities to finish the arch in the middle of the expanded classroom and those of our DRE to clean out the supply closet. Thank-you one and all. On the whole, you all do a better than average job of keeping things tidy.
For others, March was, well, a real march. Your Ministerial Search Committee has been exerting truly heroic efforts as it narrowed down the field of possible candidates and conducted weekend interviews with the final three. This month it will be your turn to choose and to be chosen. Please be ready. Here is a short list of readiness suggestions.
- Candidating week is scheduled from April 15-24. Watch for a schedule of activities and then put them on your calendar. These events will be designed to help both you and the candidate to get acquainted. Remember, this is a kind of courtship in which you are seeking the basis for a mutual connection.
- In all ways, come with an open heart and an open mind. The candidate will not meet all of your hopes or expectations on the first visit. You will not meet theirs. First impressions are important but that’s what they are. “First” impressions. It is the accumulation of impressions over time, received in hope and gratitude, that form lasting bonds between imperfect people and between imperfect churches and imperfect ministers.
- Prepare yourself by taking time to remember your own story and what you bring to and what you want from your church. A way to do that is to review the “Kinds of Commitment” sermon from March 20 that is linked on the MSUS website and answer the questions posed at the end. This is not so much about what you share in those first encounters as about the integrity you bring to the process.
- Be mindful of how you share the time you spend with the candidate. Be welcoming; be brief; be interested; be real.
This is such an important time for MSUS. Your Search Committee has done an extraordinary job of courting and vetting your candidate. Please be sure to thank them and to do your part to forward this process.
In love and gratitude,