In April 2021, Reverend Dr. John Ross announced his planned retirement from the ministry and as the Senior Minister of Wayzata Community Church. We have been blessed by his leadership and loving service for over 17 years. John’s message to our congregation is below.
September 17, 2021
An Update from the Co-Lead Minister Search Committee
Dear Wayzata Community Church Members,
I want to provide you with an update on the progress of the Co-Lead Minister (CLM) Search team. It has been nine weeks since our team formed and began our work. Steps we have taken during this time include:
Finalized Co-Lead Minister Structure
We met with church leadership and the strategic planning team to review their recommendations of the Co-Lead Minister model for WCC. We then researched other churches that use this model. We also met with a church member who had used a co-lead model to manage her very successful business venture. The response from each firmly supported this model for our church. Our team identified and discussed this model’s many potential challenges as well as the positive benefits for the congregation, the clergy, the staff, and our various ministries. We then unanimously agreed to move forward with our search, utilizing this new structure.
Hired Search Firm
A subcommittee of our group took 4 to 5 weeks to interview and assess the qualities and strengths of eight search firms that specialize in church ministerial and nonprofit fields. From those eight firms, we narrowed the field to two excellent firms and then chose the SlingShot group to represent us. SlingShot and their search consultant, Mike Goldsworthy, provide many strengths to guide and assist us. Previously, Mike had years of experience as a youth minister, and followed that with many more years of experience as a senior minister. Recently, Mike completed a search for a senior minister in a very large UCC church in the Midwest. That recent search experience will be helpful to Mike and SlingShot’s understanding of our theology and culture and can be immediately leveraged to benefit our search as well. While we are very pleased to have secured this resource, we also recognize the importance of networking and sourcing leads provided by members of our congregation and the Search committee.
Developed a Wayzata Community Church Profile and a Co-Lead Minister Profile
Over the past weeks we have developed a complete WCC profile and a complete Co-Lead Minister profile with responsibilities, talents, competencies, experiences, passions, and personality traits. We felt that our list of needs could only be successful if we also knew the same important information of our current Co-Lead Minister, Danielle Jones. With Danielle‘s approval we carefully reviewed her recent competencies assessment information, interviewed her, and with this information we are now confident we can identify the right person to partner with Danielle to successfully lead Wayzata Community Church.
Organized Search Firm Meeting at WCC September 18 and 19
This week the CLM team is refining all of the extensive information and documents about WCC to share with Mike Goldsworthy and the SlingShot Group. Mike will visit and meet our church members, our ministers, our staff, our leadership team, and our CLM Search Team on September 18 and 19. Mike’s visit, coupled with all the background information created, will be reviewed and refined by SlingShot into an impressive candidate marketing tool. Near the end of September, Mike and his team will start posting our information and recruiting candidate resumes. They will then review and assess the individual candidates, and when appropriate, begin the interview process. They will “cast a net far and wide”.
Stay tuned! The CLM Search Team will have more information to share with you on the progress of our search by early November. At that time we will start assessing and reviewing 4 to 6 extensively vetted candidates from SlingShot and we will start our own very focused interview and selection process.
On behalf of your CLM Search Team members, know that we appreciate your trust and your patience in us and this process.
CLM Search Team Chair
Rev. Lindy Purdy
July 14, 2021
View the video above for an important update from our Moderator, Meg Good, and Vice Moderator, John Hallberg. We will be conducting Q&A sessions in the Sanctuary following the 8 a.m. and 9:30 a.m. worship services on Sunday, July 18 and Sunday, August 1. Click here to read a transcript of this video message.
June 28, 2021
Dear WCC Members,
As we announced a few weeks ago, the church has begun to form a Search Committee to select our next Clergy Leader. Per our Constitution, at their June 15 meeting, the Church Council authorized our HR Director, Dolores Urban, to gather names for that Committee to recommend to Council.
We have received recommendations for prospective committee members from clergy, staff and the broader congregation, and have begun to reach out to potential members. We are looking to form a Committee that represents the broad interests and membership of our church – members of all ages and stages in life, diverse interests and backgrounds, and members with different longevity at the church.
In addition, we have already connected with the Steward for Search and Call at the MN UCC Conference for their guidance and support. The conference team has access to both local and national resources that will aid in this process. In addition, we have had preliminary conversations with a small handful of search firms that specialize in clergy searches, and will continue to evaluate this resource for our search.
If you have any questions or would like more information, please feel free to email us at pastorsearch@
Thank you for your support and prayers as we continue on this journey.
In advance of his retirement later this calendar year, JR is fully supporting our transition plans and the upcoming pastoral search. The Executive Committee and Church Council are working together to plan for our next phase of pastoral leadership at WCC.
We are fortunate, too, that a small group of volunteers, guided by Tod Bolsinger from the Fuller Seminary, have been developing a strategic framework for WCC. Their work began last summer, and we will provide more information about the key themes and opportunities identified in this project. Their work has included surveys of the entire congregation, interviews of WCC members and members of the broader community, focus groups led by Tod, small group meetings, and some early stage ministry experiments.
This work will help to inform our pastoral leadership structure and the skills and attributes we will be looking for in our next minister. The next steps for the strategic planning project and the pastoral search will move down concurrent and intersecting paths. More information about the strategic planning work and the pastoral search milestones will be provided in the near future.
We expect to form a Pastoral Search Committee later this summer, and will respond to any specific questions that you may have about the search process. Please feel free to send your questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.
In spite of this pastoral transition and the challenges created by the COVID pandemic, we have a deep sense of excitement for and commitment to our mission. We will be awarding our first DOUGH grants in early June, have a robust Summer Camp program underway, and look forward to a full summer Worship schedule.
We are grateful for your support and your prayers.