Parish Profile Frequently Asked Questions

The Profile Committee has three essential jobs:

  • CAT Survey: Administer the Congregational Assessment Tool (parish survey) and report results to the parish, Wardens, Vestry, and Search Committee. Our sincere thanks for your critically important participation in responding to the survey.
  • Ministry Portfolio: The national Episcopal Church asks congregations looking to call new clergy to complete a document called the Ministry Portfolio (see example here). The heart of this document is twelve questions designed to capture the identity and spirit of a parish in a thoughtful, succinct, and consistent manner. (Respondents are required to keep their answers to 1,200 characters or fewer – including spaces!) The Profile Committee is charged with developing responses to the portfolio questions and submitting them to the national church’s database.
  • Parish Profile: The parish profile is a less structured opportunity for St. Stephen’s to present itself – strengths and challenges – to potential candidates. The profile also allows us to outline the gifts and experience we’re looking for in our next Rector. The Profile Committee is charged with developing and “publishing” the parish profile.
  • Maribeth Barney, Chair
  • Chris Plankey, Member and Vestry Liaison
  • Elizabeth Trapani, Member
  • Susan Wojtasik, Member
  • Craig Reynolds, Member

The Wardens and Vestry are ultimately responsible for the administration of parish affairs at St. Stephen’s. This oversight responsibility includes the Profile Committee’s work.

The Rev. Dr. Richard M. Simpson, Canon to Ordinary and Transition Minister for the Episcopal Diocese of Western Massachusetts, also provides advice, guidance, and counsel to the Profile Committee. Finally, Interim Rector John Tarrant is an experienced and discerning resource available to the Profile Committee.

The CAT survey has already been administered and results provided to the parish, Wardens, Vestry, and Search Committee. Again, our thanks for your participation!

The Profile Committee hopes to complete our conversations about the twelve Ministry Portfolio questions by the end of March.

Finally, the Profile Committee expects to have the profile available by Pentecost (May 31, 2020).

Timelines are driven by many factors, but four issues stand out:

  • Gathering Input: It will take time for the Profile Committee to gather input from the parish and the larger community.
  • Careful Wording and Review: Given the importance of these assignments, it’s critical that the committee create the best possible presentations of the parish’s identity and spirit. Quality presentations – presentations that are authentic, accurate, and compelling – take time to develop. The committee expects to create multiple drafts of each document and conduct several editing/review sessions.
  • Building Consensus: Again, the importance of these assignments requires the committee to build a careful and enduring consensus about our responses, and building consensus takes time.
  • Space and Time for the Holy Spirit to Work: The temptation is to see the search process as a hiring campaign. But as followers of Jesus, we understand that a Rector search includes dimensions not typically found in a corporate or non-profit employee hire.

The Profile Committee plans to conduct “listening sessions” and personal interviews to gather essential contributions/ideas from parishioners and community members.

Our responses to the ministry portfolio questions will be added to the national church’s database of parish profiles. Candidates looking for positions will be able to access St. Stephen’s portfolio, including our responses to the twelve standard questions.

Our parish profile will be published on our parish website. Diocesan and national transition staff will publicize the availability and location of our profile. Interested candidates could also find our profile via direct referrals, web searches, informal word-of-mouth, movement of the Holy Spirit, and methods we can only imagine at this time.

Yes. Definitely. As soon as the profile is published on the website, parishioners – and the general public for that matter – will be able to view all the information. Please note that there will not be a paper-based or “hard copy” version of the profile.