The work of nominating a candidate to serve as the next Stated Clerk of the General Assembly continues this week, with the Stated Clerk Nomination Committee (SCNC) holding Zoom interviews with five candidates.
SCNC Moderator the Rev. Dr. Sallie Watson said that nine applications, “all from good applicants,” were received by the committee before the December 28 deadline, with applicants completing supplemental questions by January 10.
After the SCNC gathered to review application materials on January 15, it invited the five candidates to participate in the Zoom interviews, which begin later Monday.
Watson was pleased with the range of applicants, who showed diversity across a number of areas including age, ethnicity, church experience and geography. “I couldn’t have asked for a better slate,” she said.
Watson was also pleased that applicants who answered the supplemental questions, including a video response, “expressed optimistic and hopeful visions for the future of the church. Some showcased technical prowess, some pastoral skills.”
The Zoom interviews now allow committee members to “go deeper with candidates into details of the job, and also give us an opportunity to interact with them as individuals,” Watson said. “It’s important to have a finalist who is well-spoken, can communicate over Zoom and get their message across in different ways. We’re looking for that as much as answers at this point.”
A comfort with online communications including social media is an important part of being Stated Clerk in 2024 and the years ahead. Flexibility is another key attribute Watson has highlighted in previous discussions, including how a prospective clerk responds to ongoing work with the Unification Commission.
After the Zoom interviews, which conclude Tuesday, the SCNC plans to ask up to three applicants to meet with its members in person in early March, with the goal of bringing one or two finalists to Louisville in April for the last interviews before the committee presents its nominee selection to the denomination by April 26, 60 days before the opening of the 226th General Assembly (2024). The full assembly will elect the next clerk to a four-year term.
The committee had planned to meet for in-person meetings in the Dallas-Ft. Worth area the first week of March, but has needed to shift the venue to Chicago. So far that change has been one of the few wrinkles in the SCNC’s process.
“The committee is working well together,” Watson said. “I’m pleasantly surprised with the oneness of our minds. When it comes to our responses to applicants, in general we were all singing out of the same hymnbook.
“We are blessed to have a good slate of candidates. I would be pleased to have any of them lead the denomination.”
Learn more about the position of Stated Clerk and the application process here.