Posts by Al Turner

Discernment Phase of Rector Search

The search for St. Matthew’s new rector continues and has entered a new phase – discernment.  In the coming months the search committee will actually be collecting and receiving names of qualified candidates, interviewing them, and ultimately making a recommendation to the Vestry as to which we believe should be called to be our new Rector.

There are several “gates” still to go through.  (1)  Concurrently, the Diocese is soliciting candidates from the diocese and nation-wide while the parish is asked to recommend qualified candidates that they may know.  (2) Screening by the diocese of all names to find those that would best be suited for a church of our size and growth trajectory.  (3)  Invitations to those on the list to be considered by the committee.  (4)  Interviews with all candidates who respond to the invitation with a desire to be considered.  (5)  Narrowing the list to a smaller pool and then arranging for visits to their parish and church for more in-depth interviews.  (6) Further narrowing the list to a final slate of candidates.  (7) Hosting the finalists for visits to Madison and the local area and conducting even more in-depth discussions.  (8) Making the final selection and recommendation to the Vestry who will then extend a call to the candidate to be our new Rector.

We will continue to keep you updated as we migrate through these various phases.

Parish Profile Published

As many of you are aware, St. Matthew’s has been in a search for a new Rector since the retirement of The Rev. Steve Gurman late in 2016.  Although it appears to be moving at a snail’s pace, we are moving along well.  After many hours of hard work by the Calling Committee, many interviews and meetings, and the tabulation and interpretation of the Parish Survey this Spring, we are able to move into our next phase.   The parish profile has been completed, moving through the review and approval process of the Vestry and Diocese.  Its publication was a major step forward in the overall search process. The parish profile is THE document that a potential candidate will first review to assess whether they would be interested in being considered as our Rector. Now that it is approved, it is available here (Parish and Community Profile, June 2017) for review, download and/or printing.  A few hard copies will be available in the Parish Office, but we ask for you to conserve resources by reviewing on line.

This was a a major undertaking and a huge thanks go to the self study team: Todd Clem, Rose Ann Goss, Victor Hagan, Kirk McCann, Dan Miller, Jessi Sauter, and Andy Williams.

So, what’s next? The Discern & Present team have already begun their work. They met with our Diocese-provided calling coach on July 16 to conduct a retreat and began their planning for how to proceed. Fundamentally, their tasks boil down to (1) soliciting potential candidate resumes, (2) screening them to find the best possible candidates for our parish, (3) visiting the potential rector in their current setting, and (4) selecting one and recommending that person to the Vestry.

This is an exciting time. The administrative requirements of the search are nearly behind us and we’ll soon be actually talking to candidates. The search is moving from the abstract to the real. There’s someone out there known but to God that is already waiting for us to find them and for them to find us. We’ll soon mutually discover each other.

As always, as your Calling Committee Chairman, I invite your questions and/or commentary at any time. You can reach me at 256-468-9981 or

Our journey continues.