From Your Board President: Interim and Settled Minister Searches

March 30, 2022

Rev Hilary’s resignation puts us on the path to search for both an interim minister as well as a new settled minister.  The Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA) has well-developed protocols for each.  We are working with both our regional representative as well as the national UUA transition program.  Both offices have been very helpful and informative.  Here is the roadmap as well as the first steps we have already taken on this journey.

We will have an interim minister for two years.  While this seems like a long time, the UUA has told us that the long term success rate for a one year interim is only 54% but the rate after a two year process is 90%.  There are various applications to file and search procedures that will occur this spring.  We would then select the best candidate who will start on August 1.  Rev. Hilary leaves on June 30.  The UUA recommends a small team of 3-5 members (2 from the Board plus 2-3 other congregants).  We are  pleased to announce that our team will be Tim Reuter-Bowers, Joy Simon, Crystina Smith and Tom Dempsey.  And of course, we will have the support of our fabulous Congregational Administrator.  While small, this team represents a great cross section of our membership.  They will work intensively in the spring and phase out in the fall.

After we  get mutually acquainted with our Interim in the fall, we will then assemble the Search Committee for the settled minister in the winter. This is a longer, more labor-intensive process that takes 1 to 1 ½ years and involves various prescribed practices. Our by-laws state that this will be a seven member team with the Board appointing two people and the Congregation electing five. It’s gratifying that several members have already expressed an interest in serving in that capacity. As with all teams at CCUU, it will be important that this group represents a balance of ages, genders, length of experience with the church, and areas of special focus. Anyone interested in this process can email prez@ccuu.org anytime in the next few months. It’s a vital role for our Church and a commitment that should not be taken without a great deal of thought.

While this transition is disruptive and has some trip wires, it’s also exciting as it lays the groundwork for our future. In the past, we’ve gone into searches with a lot of apprehension but come out as a stronger, more cohesive congregation. With all of us pulling together, that will happen again.