Hello, all! I’m Jeannie Baker, the chairperson of the Interim Search Committee. You all may know that our Board of Trustees has charged the Interim Search Committee to engage in the process of finding an interim minister. Our church web-site has a link to materials for the interim search, but several people have asked for a short, focused update. If you have further questions, please contact me or any other member of the Interim Search Committee (Jeannie Baker, Dave Feil, Natalie Fleury, Kathy Bradshaw, and Ahmad Perry.)
What is an Interim Minister and why do we need one?
When churches lose a long-term settled minister (such as Suzelle), UUA recommends that the church engage an interim minister before calling another settled minister. Interim ministers are specially trained to work short-term with churches (1 – 3 years) and help a congregation understand its strengths and weaknesses. UUA tells us that churches that go through the interim process have a better chance of engaging a long-term, successful settled minister. The interim minister cannot become the settled minister. Bottom line – we are engaging an interim minister to help us take a thoughtful approach to eventually selecting a successful settled minister.
What is the process?
UUA lays out a very specific, time-dependent process for applying for an interim minster that includes the Interim Search Committee preparing a lengthy description of the church and member expectations and reviewing information from interested candidates. (You can read all about this on the UUA web-site.) All interim minister hiring takes place at the same time in the year, and that process is going on right now. The Interim Search Committee has now received resumes from interested interim ministers and are evaluating these resumes. After our review, we will submit to UUA a list of ministers who we consider to be good candidates. The ministers, who are all interviewing at multiple churches, will list the churches they are interested in and UUA will compare the lists. If there is a good match, the Interim Search Committee will receive that information and notify the Board of Trustees. The Board of Trustees will review that process and make an offer to the “matched” candidate if they are satisfied with the result.
When will we know if we have a new minister?
Most likely, by the fourth week in May. The process moves quickly. If we are not successful in our first round of matching, there is a possibility that we may need to go through another round. If that’s the case, we will continue the search into the first week of June.
Does the congregation vote on hiring an interim minister?
No. Our by-laws direct that an Interim minister selection does not go to the full congregation for a vote. However, a settled minister search, our eventual goal, includes a full congregational vote.
If you have any questions, please contact the Interim Search Committee.