Episcopal Church of the Heavenly Rest
Search Committee News

December 2018:  It’s a Wrap!

It is hard to believe that it’s December! The Search Committee spent the month of November conducting phone interviews and background checks, and reviewing sermons and blogs of candidates. We are getting close to “wrapping up” the last phase of the search. The Search Committee will hold formal interviews this month. We ask for your continued prayers.


November 2018:  The Search Committee is screening potential candidates for our new Rector. The Search Committee co-chairs have welcomed each candidate into the discernment process. The Screening Process involves the following tools:

  • Reviewing applications and resumes.
  •  Reviewing written responses to questions submitted by the Search Committee.
  • Reviewing Sermon tapes and blogs.
  • Seeking additional information about their parish.
  • Request for Background Checks. The NW Texas diocese will initiate Background checks on candidates through Oxford Management Co.

This process is very thorough and can take 3 to 4 weeks. Bishop Mayer will review the results of the Background Checks.


The Parish Profile addresses the expectations for our new Rector. Please remember the candidates who submit their intent; their names are confidential. Although committee members will not share the candidates’ names, please do not hesitate to ask us about the process.


We ask for your continued prayers as we begin “screening” the prospective candidates!


October 2018: The Search Committee will meet with Canon Mike Ehmer, Diocesan Transition officer, to receive a list of prospective candidates for Rector in October. The Canon will prepare informational packets on each candidate. Our committee will contact each prospective candidate to see if they are willing to enter into discernment. The initial discernment will involve reading and research on each prospect. We have asked two questions of each candidate.


1. What are you passionate about in religion today?


2. How do you implement that passion in your church?


The next few meetings will be focused on interviewing skills. Please remember the candidates who submit their intent; their names are confidential. Although committee members will not share the candidates’ names, please do not hesitate to ask us about the process.


         We ask for your continued prayers as we “cast the net”  for prospective candidates!




See below for latest news and updates from the Search Committee: We ask especially that you keep Heavenly Rest in your prayers that our work and our life together may be to the greater glory of God.


Almighty God, giver of every good gift: Look graciously on your Church, and so guide the minds of those who shall choose a rector for this parish, that we may receive a faithful pastor, who will care for your people and equip us for our ministries; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen (BCP 818)


The Search Committee would like to give you the opportunity to recommend the name of any ordained Episcopal priest who you feel would be a good match for our congregation. Please email (insert email address here) or submit suggestion in writing.


August 2018: The Vestry approved the Parish Profile and the Ministry Portfolio at the August Vestry meeting.


The Parish Profile is used to introduce prospective candidates to our church. It includes the church’s history, worship and music, Christian formation, pastoral care, outreach, fellowship, staffing, leadership, facilities, finances, diocese, city and region, and characteristics sought in a Rector. The results of the Holy Cow CAT Survey are worked into the documents.


The Parish Profile will be submitted with the Ministry Portfolio to the Office for Transition Ministry of The Episcopal Church (OTM). OTM operates a database of Clergy Ministry Portfolios, containing information that clergy provide about themselves and Ministry Portfolios of parishes with open positions. Heavenly Rest’s Ministry Portfolio will be run through the computer base. OTM will suggest names to our diocesan transition officer that meet the criteria for the Rector we seek. Canon Ehmer will review those candidates on our behalf and present these names to Bishop Mayer. Candidate’s names submitted by parish members have been sent to the Canon.


When these documents are approved by Canon Mike Ehmer and Bishop Scott Mayer, the opening for a Rector will be posted until the end of September. The Parish Profile is posted at the top of this page.


July 2018: The Search Committee named the following to the Parish Profile Sub-committee: Jennifer Nichols, Nancy Roberts, Kim Snyder and Leah Bennett, church staff representative. Nancy Estes and Lee Hampton, co-chairs also serve on this committee. The Parish Profile defines our parish, including:


* Qualities sought in rector

* Parish financials

* Hopes and dreams of parish

* History of parish

* Programs and organizations

* Information about diocese and community


This group is working to ensure candidates considering the position of rector at Church of the Heavenly Rest will have a dynamic and comprehensive Parish Profile of who we are as a parish.


The Search Committee will compile and interpret data collected from the Church Assessment Tool. The Parish Profile will be made available on the church website and in booklet form. This document must be approved by the vestry and the Bishop.


June 2018: Robyn Strain, consultant with Holy Cow!, made a presentation of the findings from the report. Thanks to the 214 parishioners who responded to the survey. Our response rate as a percentage of average Sunday attendance was 75%.


The Church Assessment Tool identifies tasks that need to be accomplished before the arrival of our new rector. In addition, it uses key indicators such as satisfaction, energy, trends and activity to present an overall picture of our church. It identifies top priorities for ministries as we go forward. The Search Committee will review the results of the Assessment over the next several weeks.


May 10 – June 7: Parish Survey conducted, and results have been compiled.


May 2018: Heavenly Rest’s Search Committee received training in team building exercises and leadership types from Canon Ehmer.


May 2018: Search Committee meeting.


April 2018: Bishop Scott Mayer and Canon Mike Ehmer met with everyone involved in the Search Process:


* Vestry

* Members of the Search Committee

* Interim Rector

* Staff


April 2018: Vestry approves members of the Search Committee.


March 2018: Senior Warden appoints co-chairs of the Search Committee


Thursday Bible Study Thursday, Dec 13 @ 9:30 AM
Hands-On Outreach Thursday, Dec 13 @ 9:30 AM
Swahili Committee Meeting Thursday, Dec 13 @ 10:00 AM
CODA Meeting Thursday, Dec 13 @ 12:00 PM
NMF Leaders Mtg Thursday, Dec 13 @ 1:00 PM

December 9, 2018
Sunday, December 09, 2018
The Episcopal Church of the Heavenly Rest | ADDRESS: 602 Meander Street • Abilene, Texas 79602 PHONE: (325) 677-2091 |  Site by Church Website Design
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Welcome to Heavenly Rest! We are glad you are visiting our site and hope you will accept this invitation to become part of this faith community.  Together we seek to know the reconciling love of the God and share that love with everyone.  Beautiful worship, exquisite music, inclusive fellowship, generous outreach and excellent Christian education await you. We thank God that more and more people are making this church their spiritual home.  Feel the caring, sharing, creating and serving that God intended for your soul at Heavenly Rest.


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