Leader Search – Member Update

Recognizing that the search for our next leader is important to all of us, the Leader Search Task Force is committed to keeping you apprised of our work. This is the first of many communications. We also value your thoughts, so please feel free to contact us through email at ESSLsearch24@gmail.com. Emails sent to this address are only available to the Task Force members (Katie Borders, David Brown, Cy Henningsen, Lindsey Nissenbaum, Brian Vandenberg, and co-chairs, Don and Carole Beere).

For those who may not have been through this process at the Society, here is a brief review of how the search works: once the job posting is approved by the Board, the Task Force will post it; the Task Force will review applications, select the top applicants, interview them, and check their references; the Task Force will identify one finalist, and the name, along with all supporting documentation, will be referred to the Board. If the Board is in agreement, that candidate will be invited to the Society to meet the congregation and give a Platform. The congregation will vote on whether to hire the individual.

Except for holiday breaks, the Task Force has been meeting weekly since October 1. Because we are very concerned that the search accurately reflects the priorities of the congregation, we have held seven Listening Sessions, three on weekday evenings (one of which was via Zoom), one on a Saturday morning, and three on Sundays (two after Platform, one before). Seventy-seven people, in addition to members of the Task Force, attended the sessions, which asked three questions:

  • What credentials should a leader have?
  • What are the most important responsibilities of a leader?
  • What personal attributes are most important in our leader?

We are now organizing the responses from the Listening Sessions and the emails we received to understand the priorities of the congregation. Thank you to everyone who attended a Listening Session. Your input is very helpful.

Our next step is to develop a draft of the job posting. We plan to have this ready for the Board’s consideration in January. Once a job posting is approved, we will be listing it every place we think might attract someone who fits the job description. If you have ideas of places to list, please let us know. Also, let us know if there are individuals to whom we should send a job announcement. Our goal is to cast a wide net.