Senior Minister Search Update: July 26

Hello friends,

I write to provide you with another update on our Senior Minister search.

As you all know, the Senior Minister Search Committee was formed in late November 2020. When I think about all the work it has accomplished since then, I cannot help but be impressed by the devotion of my fellow committee members to this critically important work of the church.

Following the selection of the committee members representing the nine church boards, we gathered in December to select our three at-large members. We took a brief break to celebrate Christmas, and then in January 2021, we decided we wanted to hire a search firm and sent out numerous requests for proposals to firms across the country. In February, our committee held Zoom interviews with three search firms and ultimately selected the Slingshot Group and consultant Mike Goldsworthy. Following that selection, starting in March we engaged in an extensive discovery process with Mike so that he could obtain an understanding of Plymouth, our values, and our congregation. Around the same time, our committee began preparing our UCC profile, which, as you saw when we circulated it to the congregation, was no small task. Our profile ended up being 41-pages, plus attachments! We also prepared a separate profile for Slingshot to utilize. While the creation of these two profiles was a large undertaking, the drafting was made much easier by the hundreds of responses we received from the congregational survey. These responses helped guide us throughout the entire drafting process.

After our UCC and Slingshot profiles went live in early May, our committee set out to determine what our initial interviews would look like and what we hoped to learn about each candidate. In late June, Mike presented four candidates to our committee. Of the broader pool of applicants who expressed interest in the position and who Mike reviewed and spoke with, the four candidates were the persons Mike felt possessed the skills and talents necessary to fill our senior minister role.

The committee agreed. In early July, we held 90-minute Zoom interviews with each of these four candidates. These initial interviews went extremely well and the committee concluded the first round of interviews feeling inspired and hopeful. Since then, we have narrowed down our candidates from four to three and this week we will be holding 60-minute second-round Zoom interviews with those three candidates.

Plymouth Church, I am so excited for our future. It is my sincere hope that you all can feel how invested your search committee is in this important task and that we have been diligently at work. I ask that you continue to keep the search committee, our candidates, and Plymouth Church in your prayers. We will continue to keep you updated on our progress as we are able.

As a reminder, you can stay up to date on all developments from the search committee by visiting the Senior Minister Transition page on Plymouth’s website found here. There you can find a complete archive of all postings as well as new updates. Updates are also sent out regularly in the Monday Moderator Minute e-mail. Lastly, if you have any questions or concerns, the committee can be reached at

In service,
Caroline Valentine
Chair, Senior Minister Search Committee