In January 2017, we elected the Nominating Committee, and they have been working hard for the last fifteen months. The old expectation of advertise, listen to and interview candidates, then choose one, no longer applies. The vacancy is advertised on the Church of Scotland list, but it is rare for applicants to come from that.
Today’s Nominating Committees must spend time deciding on their approach. Will they only visit people they are told are thinking of moving or appear on the list of newly qualified people? Will they visit churches in a geographical way or by age of minister or similarity of church in the hope that someone they see and like will agree to change church? Will they send out blanket emails or postcards or letters with flyers? Our committee made these decisions and started on the work.
We are not allowed to tell you what decisions they made or where they have been. However, we can tell you that they have prayed daily and considered 150 possible candidates. They have made numerous visits, some a fair distance away, and emailed or lettered many possibilities, some of whom have replied. They are holding formal meetings on a regular basis and passed on information and decisions regularly by email. They have lived a roller-coaster of excitement and disappointment and have kept picking themselves up and starting again. And they will continue to do this with your support, understanding and, above all, with your prayers.