Pastor Search Process2024-05-21T18:08:23+00:00

Pastor Search Process

This is an overview of where we are at in the pastor search process, and what to expect as we move through the various steps. Check back frequently, as we will be updating this page with new information and details as the search continues.

It takes a team of people to find a new minister

The Permanent Search Committee is a group of congregants who have volunteered their time and talents to help us in this important mission, and they are the group most involved in the search. Their first big job will be to complete a church profile that reflects who we are and what our priorities are as a congregation. Once our profile is published on the UCC Ministry Opportunities web page, they will begin to receive and review profiles of potential candidates.

Church lay leadership is also very involved in the search for a new pastor. The exec team (our moderator, treasurer, and secretary) recommends a slate of candidates for the permanent search committee to the council, which votes on the recommendation. The moderator and other members of the exec team also work as a liaison between the IL conference and our search committee.

The National Headquarters of the United Church of Christ oversees the UCC Profiles Office. This office manages the UCC Ministerial Profiles Portal and the UCC Ministry Opportunities Listing. It also develops the template for the local church profile. Using these web-based resources, we can attract and interview candidates from all over the country.

The IL Conference of the United Church of Christ is our regional association and the third-largest UCC conference in the country. Part of its mission is to support IL Conference congregations and clergy during times of transition. Rev. Shernell Edney Stilley was recently approved as the new IL Conference Associate Conference Minister for Pastoral Transitions and will be taking over from the current minister, Rev. Stephanie Perdew, in June. Rev. Perdew and Rev. Stilley will be sharing candidate profiles with our search team and helping guide us through the process.

The Congregation also plays an important role! Through listening sessions, surveys, and conversations with our search committee and leadership team, YOU will help us decide on our priorities and profile. Please share with us your hopes and dreams, as well as your worries or concerns about a new pastor.

If you have any questions about the process or the timeline, please contact our moderator, Theresa Hus

Latest News

View Permanent Search Committee Updates (Google Doc)

FAQs about the process

Developing a church profile2023-05-10T18:40:07+00:00

Wondering what a church profile is? This PDF is an example of what to expect in the process of creating our church’s profile.

Formation of a search committee2023-06-09T20:54:01+00:00

Settled Pastor Search Committee

Some people have asked for more information on the Settled Pastor Search Committee, which is helping us find our permanent pastor. The search committee is a small team of people who represent the diverse ages, genders, life experiences, and perspectives present at FCC.

The executive team collected a list of candidates for the search committee; the people on this list were either nominated by the Council or self-nominated. The executive team recommended a slate of candidates drawn from these nominees to Council for a vote at its 5/16 meeting. See the “Who are the members of the search committee?” answer for more information.

The initial meeting of the committee happened on May 22nd well ahead of our June 1st deadline. The team has selected roles and begun work. First priority is our church profile, a comprehensive document that is meant to give potential candidates a full look at FCC Naperville. We anticipate that it will take 2-3 months to develop the church profile.

The completed profile will be sent to the IL Conference of the UCC, which will verify the information in our profile and post our job opening on the UCC website. The Illinois Conference will act as a conduit between interested candidates and our search team.

The search team will receive profiles from the conference and research candidates, read profiles, watch online sermons, and score candidates. They will interview identified candidates and recommend a final candidate to Council. (Once Council approves and a compensation package is worked out, a full congregational vote will be needed.) Much of the work can be done independently, but the search committee will meet regularly once they start receiving profiles to share their thoughts and feedback on the candidates.

Who are the members of the search committee?2023-05-26T13:26:10+00:00

Sandra Banas
John Klein-Collins
Bev Parker
Lori Bush Shepard
Anne Swanson
Gene Wollaston

At our meeting on May 16, The FCC Council of Ministries voted unanimously to approve the Permanent Search Committee candidates presented by the Exec Team. The six members who agreed to be part of the team represent a cross-section of our church. They joined First Congregational in almost every decade from the 70s to just a few years ago. They are single or married, with no kids, young kids, grown kids, and grandkids. They come from different professions with a variety of strengths that will benefit the committee. Some have decades of experience with hiring and leading teams, which will help us with the logistics and legalities of the search process, while others have been part of pastoral search committees in the past. Most of all, though, they fulfill the criteria and guidelines set forth by the UCC:

• Strong commitment to our local church and the United Church of Christ;
• Positive and welcoming attitude
• Capacity to approach the task with openness rather than a pre-determined agenda
• A sense of integrity and respect for others
• Ability to be absolutely confidential
• Capacity to listen, to participate in a group, and to come to a consensus.

The permanent search committee had its kickoff meeting on May 22nd and will meet weekly throughout the summer. We are grateful to these members, who are willing to give so much of their time and energy to this process. You will be hearing more from them over the next few months, and you can reach them directly at


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