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Update from the Search Committee | August 26, 2021

Dear Parish Family, 

The Search Committee began meeting in June, and during these initial meetings, we have focused on laying groundwork that will be fundamental to the discernment process in the months ahead. To build unity, we spent time getting to know one another by sharing our personal faith journeys. To understand where our church has been and where it is now, we reviewed the rich history of the Advent, the Diocese of Alabama, the national Episcopal Church, and our former deans. We prayerfully divided leadership duties and set goals for the busy months ahead. Most importantly, our meetings have involved time in God’s word and in prayer. Each of us believes that our committee and our search must be steeped in prayer and centered around God’s word. We pray for our church family, our clergy, our vestry, and each other. We also pray for whoever God has chosen to be our next Dean. 

We have developed a parish survey so that the congregation may provide feedback, regarding the specific talents and qualities that are desired in our new Dean.  Soon, the survey will be sent via email, postal mail, and linked on our website. Individual Advent members, 16 years of age and older, may submit a survey response. Your input is both valuable and vital to this process. We look forward to hearing from each of you.

The entire Search Committee desires to be transparent; however, we simply are not able to share all details and discussions. Our Process & Timeline, below, will be a helpful resource in understanding the work of our committee. If you would like to follow along on our progress and read future updates, visit AdventBirmingham.org/DeanSearch.

What can you do to help?  Pray for us and with us — Pray that our committee will work the process and faithfully wait on God to act.

  1. Read with us — To help guide our search, we are reading When the Word Leads Your Pastoral Search by Chris Brauns. We encourage you to get a copy and read it along with us. It will provide insight as to how we are approaching this process: “Unless the Lord builds the house those who build it labor in vain” (Psalm 127:1).
  2. Pray for our next Dean — Pray that he/she will be available and obedient to God’s calling and for his/her family.
  3. Understand our need for confidentiality — As we move through this search together, please do not ask us to share information discussed in our meetings regarding specific candidates. 
  4. Communicate with us — Share your thoughts, comments, and recommendations with us in person or via email (DeanSearch@Cathedraladvent.com).

Mary Hanson has graciously taken on the role of being our Prayer Coordinator. She has organized Advent House prayer teams, sends prayers to small groups, and connects with anyone willing to pray for us. We would love to include you as we seek God’s promises for our church. If you would like to receive these prayers, please email Mary to be added to the list.

Finally, we would like to collectively have a monthly prayer focus, and this month, we ask that you join us in praying for unity:

Holy Father, who with Christ and the Holy Spirit are one, bring oneness to our Advent Search Committee. We pray that this team will be unified in purpose and walk together in the direction you set before them. Protect this group from the evil one who would seek to divide and sow seeds of discord.  Allow trust to flourish among them as they labor to uncover the minister you have been preparing in heart, mind and spirit for our church, through Jesus Christ our Lord, Amen. 

In Christ,

The Search Committee

Process & Timeline

As we approach our 150th anniversary as a congregation, we believe that by God’s grace and provision, we continue to be called to ministry here in the heart of Birmingham. Given that belief, we also believe that even now God is preparing the heart, mind, and spirit of our next Dean and Rector.  

The Search Committee for the next Dean and Rector of the Cathedral Church of the Advent is committed to discharging our duties with the following understanding and guiding principles: 

    1. We will work the search process faithfully, prayerfully, intelligently, diligently, and intentionally.
    2. We will wait on God to move faithfully, prayerfully, intelligently, diligently, and intentionally.  

PLAN 
Interim Dean appointed by Vestry
Search Committee appointed by Vestry

PREPARE 
Appoint Prayer Coordinator for search process
Develop Search Committee unity and trust (pray, discuss, listen, read, and research)
Appoint various lead positions within committee
Prepare Survey
Prepare Parish Profile
Prepare Dean Position Profile
Gather information

DISCERN
Collect and receive list of potential candidates
Review, research, study, listen, and discuss candidates
Prayerfully glean candidates to meet Dean’s Profile
Visit, meet, and interview    

CALL
Choose, confirm, and recommend final candidate to Vestry 
Extend call 
Announce new Dean and Rector
Praise, welcome, and celebrate

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