Ministerial search: What, When and Who?
In January, Brian announced that he will be retiring in January of 2020. That has sparked a lot of questions. And that’s great! While farewells are hard, they are also opportunities to think about new possibilities. Over the coming year (and beyond), the board will be hosting and encouraging lots of opportunities for input and discussion. One of those opportunities happened at the March 3 service when the community question was: what questions do you have about
People were invited to write their questions on sticky notes – and they did! There were questions about
I’ll address the first two question areas this month and follow up on the others in future newsletters.
What Will the Process Be to Find a New Minister?
January 26, 2020
Brian’s ministry with UCE will be complete after this Sunday’s service.
February-June 2020 – Lay-led services
The board has been told by the CUC and UUA that finding someone to start an interim ministry mid-year is pretty much impossible. More
Our congregation is fortunate to have many experienced speakers and service leaders, and an abundance of people involved in interesting activities. We already have multiple services each year led by Chorealis and Social Justice, so this will give even more people a turn. One of Brian’s priorities in the coming months
is to re-establish a Church Services Committee so that we are well prepared for this period.
Guest speakers will be paid an
During this time, the board, with congregational input, will also complete the application for an interim minister. The application process opens February 1, and
July-August 2020 – Wonderful summer services, as usual!
August/September 2020 to September 2022 – Interim ministry
The CUC and UUA recommend a two-year interim ministry period for congregations who have had the same minister for five years or more. At 22 years, we definitely fall into that category.
The interim minister will be paid a salary by UCE, and it will be negotiated by the board as part of the interim minister’s contract. The board will factor it into the budget presented to the congregation for approval, just as we do now with Brian’s salary each year.
December 2020 to May 2022 (approximately) – Search process
With the help of the interim minister, we will work together to decide what kind of leadership we want for UCE. It may be a full-time minister, or it may be a part-time minister complemented by other paid staff. Whoever we decide we need to help us carry out our vision, this will be the time for the application and hiring process. I’ll talk more about the specifics of a search committee in a future newsletter.
June-August 2022 – Bid farewell to our interim minister and have more wonderful summer services
August/September 2022 – Take the next steps in our journey
This will be a time to acknowledge the hard work, deep thought and caring that went into our search process and to celebrate a time of new beginnings.
What is the Role of an Interim Minister?*
The interim period following the end of one settled ministry and preceding the beginning of another provides the breathing space during which a congregation can review its goals, assess its programs, consider the quality of its life in common, and “
An interim minister may not become the congregation’s settled minister. Because interim ministers are “pre-fired,” they are well-positioned to shine
What Does an Interim Minister Do?
In addition to carrying out customary ministerial duties, an interim minister assists a congregation in:
- claiming and honoring its past and engaging and honoring its griefs and conflicts
- recognizing its unique identity and its strengths, needs, and challenges
- clarifying the appropriate leadership roles of
minister(s), church staff, and lay leaders and navigating the shifts in leadership that may accompany times of transition
- making appropriate use of CUC, UUA, and other outside resources
- proudly coming into possession of a renewed vision and strong stewardship, prepared for new growth and new professional leadership, ready to embrace the future with anticipation and zest.
If you are interested in more details, check out the interim ministry section on the UUA website at https://www.uua.org/careers/ministers/interim
There is a lot of information here, and a lot to talk about. If you have questions, please talk to any board member. I’ll also be sticking around after services if you’d like to chat.
And I’ll leave you with one last question that was submitted on March 3 that I think will be helpful for each of us to think about throughout this process: What role do I have to play?
Karen Mills, Board President
*Content for this section copied from Interim Ministry: A Primer for Congregational Staff