Thursday, January 10, 2008

Totally theoretical question:

OK, all you RGBP Presbies:

Let's say you are looking for a new call. Let's say you circulate your PIF and it comes to the attention of a certain PNC. Let's say one of the members of that PNC is, in fact, moi, and let's say that as I read your PIF I begin to suspect that you might be, well, you.

If that unlikely event should occur, how would you like me to handle it? Out myself to you, and recuse myself from the committee's discussion of your PIF? Say nothing at all? Other options?


Whistle said...

I know it's not ME but I love it that you are on a PNC. You are a good choice for the job.

I will wait to see what other's say because I've never thought of this situation happening and I have not immediate response.


The Vicar of Hogsmeade said...

I am not Presby so it's not me. But I have a preference for knowing.

more cows than people said...

wow. i know it is not me either, but what an interesting question.

i think out yourself to the candidate (if it is kosher for you to communicate with them) and ask her what she'd like you to do.

i was on a search committee for a campus minister and we ended up calling someone for whom I had babysat repeatedly. i tried to pull out when she became a contender, but they didn't think it was necessary.

if you stay in the process just evaluate the candidate on p.i.f., sermon, and interview... not so much on blog persona.

i don't know. that's just my 2 cents.

DogBlogger said...

Oh, wow.... this could get interesting!

I've had a similar experience to More Cows and did not have to recuse myself, either.

SpookyRach said...

I think it might be me...

No, wait! It's not. ha ha.

Really, really, really interesting situation, though...

Quotidian Grace said...

I don't see any reason to recuse yourself.

On the contrary, I think that when someone on the PNC knows something about a candidate that others may not know, it is helpful to the committee which is trying to evaluate the candidate.

If the blogger/candidate is trying to blog anonymously, then I think you should let them know you know. You could tell the committee that you are familiar with the candidate's writings.

But frankly, its my experience that anyone who thinks they are blogging completely anonymously is very much mistaken and should be aware of that fact.

Of course now I'm DYING to know who it is!!

zorra said...

It's not anybody! We haven't even started organizing the mission study! It will be many months before we start looking at PIFs.

But I couldn't help wondering, what if??

DogBlogger said...

Oh, so it really WAS theoretical, not "theoretical."

Dang it, 'cause that was gonna be fun! How many RevGals can we convince to apply for Zorra and QG's pulpit?

Princess of Everything (and then some) said...

Okay! the cat is out of the bag!

IT's ME!

I think you should invite me to your home and feed me a really good supper and we will talk about it.


zorra said...

Mindy, we don't even need to talk about it. How soon can you start?

Just thinkin' said...

As someone who has some PNC experience - tell the candidate and tell the PNC. If there's not enough trust on the PNC for the committee together to figure out how they want to handle this situation and/or if the other members of the committee aren't able to make this knowledge part of their processing, then you've got MUCH bigger problems than this one!

mompriest said...

zorra, under such hypothetical

I think it would be wise for you to say to the group: "I think I may know this person. I think I know them through this blog group. So, no, I haven't met so and so in person. But I've read their blog and communicated with them in a cyber-space kind of way. What would you like me to do? Shall I stay part of these conversations or recuse myself when/if this person comes up?"

Ask the group. Let them decide. Truth is, we only know one another a little bit through this media, it's only two dimensional, not a full picture.

Excellent question.

Songbird said...

Now if you did what mompriest suggested in my case (this is theoretical since I'm UCC), it wouldn't matter so much since I am psuedonymous rather than anonymous. You would be revealing your connection to me, and I would have nothing to lose since I don't try to hide the fact that I'm a blogger.
But if you did it to someone who is really attempting to be anonymous, and you reveal the blog identity, you're potentially exposing the blogger. I'm thinking now of someone like will smama, who does not indicate her location and does blog about her personal life in a pretty vulnerable way. I'm not sure I know the answer to this.

zorra said...

Good discussion! It is an interesting question, isn't it?

Part of the irony is, of course, if it does happen, I won't be blogging about it! (or any other PNC stuff--so much going on, but so little that can be disclosed!)

And, just thinkin', we have an excellent PNC--most of us have worked together in this church for years, and there is a very high level of respect, comfort, and trust. Aren't we blessed?

Diane said...

It makes me wish I was a Presbyterian!! So I could interview at your church!!:)
or should it be;)

Purechristianithink said...

I'd say 'out' yourself to the candidate first and figure out a way forward if your suspicions are correct. Then, if you've guessed wrong and it's NOT the person you think it is, no harm/no foul. If you've raised the question to the group first you run the risk of a)being wrong and b)blowing someone's cover.

mompriest said...

I wasn't suggesting, in this hypothetical question, that you reveal the blog name of the person, only that you "know" them through a blog group (no name there either)....that could enable anonymity of the blog while at the same time revealing that you may "know" the person.

You also have to tell the blogger that you may "know" them and that you are on the the call committee.

Then I suppose the thing to do would be to NOT read the blog in order to avoid having info that other members wouldn't have.

It would require a careful sense of boundaries and would depend on how you feel about the person. If you have a strong response, one way or the other, and the group has the opposite you would need to explore what that was about.

I hope it doesn't happen - but it really could!

Presbyterian Gal said...

PCIT had it for me! Let the blogger know first. Work it out with them. Then move forward or not.

Unless it is Mindy. Then hire her right away for sure!