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Fall 2010 COM Update
The San Francisco Swedenborgian Church
Wednesday, September 22, 2010

The Council of Ministers
General Convention of the New Jerusalem in the United States of America
Dear Friends and Fellow Travelers,

We would like to take this opportunity to update you on the status of our search and call for a new lead minister for the San Francisco Swedenborgian Church.

As you are most likely aware, we issued a call for a new lead minister in March of this year (April 2010 Call Letter) and extended an invitation to an applicant in late July. After a very careful and prayerful consideration of our invitation, it was declined.   Such an occurrence is not unheard of, and we are regrouping in the trust and faith that the candidate made the best decision.  We reside in the trust and faith that the right candidate awaits our call, that this is why the position remains unfilled.  This is our opportunity and our challenge:  to live in patience, faith and community, to live in the community that was so palpably present during the candidate weekends and the weekend of the vote. 

As we have decided to move forward as a self-led congregation until a new lead minster is in place, we have not renewed the contract of our interim minster, the Reverend Jeffrey Cheifetz, for whom we retain the greatest respect and appreciation.
We move forward as a vital community and church that will attract and call our next lead minister, the one that awaits us.  We, the members and friends of this church, are taking advantage of this period to cultivate and further our potential through renewed participation in worship, in fellowship, and a communal stewardship of our church as our quest for our next lead minister continues. 

With this in mind, we envision both patience and action.
In patience, we realize that we cannot jump right back into the process and immediately solicit new applicants.  Therefore our next call will be officially issued on January 3, 2011, with applications due by January 31, 2011.  The search committee will then promptly review the applicants and select  2-4 candidates to meet the congregation in February and March 2011, with a congregational vote to be held soon thereafter and an offer made to our chosen candidate.  It is our hope that our new minister will be ready to begin leading our congregation by May of 2011, or sometime soon thereafter.   

In action, we extend a heartfelt offer to you,  the General Convention's  Council of Ministers, to both support us and to get to know us better.  There are many ways in which you can do this.
  • We extend an invitation to all interested ministers to come visit, preach, and/or teach a workshop.  There are currently a number of weekends available in November and December of this year. Arrangements can be made for this type of visit on a case by case basis.
  • You may simply visit us informally at anytime.  Let us know you are coming, and we will arrange to meet you, show you the church buildings, and invite you to attend services and meet members of the congregation.  
  • You may call, write, or email us with any thoughts, concerns, or questions that you may have about our church, our community, the lead minister position, or any topic.

Our application package is available to you now. While we are not accepting applications until January, having the application available for 4 months will give all potential applicants time to consider, and if feeling the call, to complete an application. We believe that this will create a more open-ended and flexible call, a call that can and will attract a fresh pool of applicants. The application can be accessed at: 

 Application Package 

We encourage each and every one of you to pursue these avenues to get to know us better, whether or not you feel that you are a viable or interested applicant. Most importantly, we would like to stress that we do not have any particular type of candidate in mind. We are fully open to joining together with,  growing, and changing as necessary with the right person.  We will know each other when we meet each other.  Our application package and forms are simply general tools to support this getting-to-know-each-other process.  

Enjoy reading the materials that we have provided, enjoy filling out an application if so called, and we will all look forward to getting to know each other better!

Yours prayerfully,

San Francisco Swedenborgian Church
Minister Search Committee

How you can contact us:
Laurie Carlson,, 415-312-8322

Robert Carr,, 415-307-1454
Cynthia Francis,, 415-760-4717
Kim Gray,, 510-620-9096
John Gwynn,, 415-577-0811
Chris Hammer,, 415-928-7941

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