Search Team Annual Report

Shortly after last year’s annual meeting, the COVID-19 pandemic forced us into remote communication and meetings over Zoom.  Despite an inability to meet in person, the Search Team continued with our task of finding a settled pastor for First Church in Pembroke.  From February through August, the team met weekly to discuss plans, profiles, questions and compensation.  From September through the current time, the team met biweekly, with additional times scheduled for interviewing candidates.

While First Church was still affiliated with the UCC, we were forwarded one resume’ and profile for review.  The team did provide an interview to this pastor, but it became clear that they were not interested in the role and subsequently withdrew their profile from future interviews.  There were positive outcomes from the interview, as it allowed us to test out interview questions and the format by which we presented the questions.  Through this interview, we were able to revise and consolidate questions for a streamlined approach to the interview process.  July’s vote to leave our affiliation with UCC and to join the NACCC opened up new options for potential pastors.

Since joining the NACCC, First Church has received six profiles and has subsequently interviewed four potential candidates.  After the initial reviews, the Search Team proceeded to second interviews with two candidates, including their submission of a sample sermon for the team to view.  We are now individually viewing and re-viewing each sermon and are meeting again mid-January to discuss our comments with each other.  As Chair, Francine has been in touch with the candidates, answering questions as they arise.  Due to the spike in COVID cases and the travel restrictions from other states, bringing these two candidates to Pembroke for additional interview time, and viewing the church, parsonage and town are on hold.

Once the next steps of in-person interviews can safely-occur, the team will execute those and then present the final candidate to the congregation to hear a sermon presented.  If there are any questions or concerns about the current process, please let us as a team know.  You can ask any questions by email, or a phone call to any team member.

-Respectfully submitted, Julie Bosworth

Search Team Members:  Francine Palmer (Chair), Jim Lapham, Donna Pulselli, Pat Small, Jay Hodge, Julie Bosworth