You’ve Talked, We’ve Listened: Now What?

By Kathy Burek, Search Committee Co-Chair

Thanks to each of you who provided comments on the draft written materials for the search process. The documents are much improved for your input! By the time you are reading this, the MSUS Board will have reviewed our materials, and we will have sent them off to our Ministerial Settlement Representative, Rev. Janne Eller-Isaacs, for her review.  We will make any changes she requests, and then send our Congregational Record and Application for a Minister to the UUA Transitions Office.

In addition to our written materials, the Search Committee will be working with Ed Wons, our communications consultant, to produce two videos. One video will be aimed at visitors to our website or Facebook page. We will feature members of the congregation speaking to why they have joined us at MSUS. The other video will be tailored to ministers interested in applying for our ministerial vacancy.

Looking ahead, things will start to get very busy for the Search Committee in the New Year.  The Search Committee will keep you posted of our activities during the January—April 2016 period. However, we cannot disclose any names of applicants or of the “pre-candidates”. We also will not disclose which congregations will be hosting our pre-candidating Sundays. Only when we have a candidate to present can we disclose a name.

We will receive names of ministers interested in our position in early January. We will exchange packets, decide whom to interview, conduct the interviews, start checking references, and then extend invitations to “pre-candidate”. Pre-candidating involves the Search Committee spending a weekend with a minister, showing them around the church and our community, and then listening to that minster preach at another UU church. After the pre-candidating process, we will extend an offer to one minister to be the candidate we present to the congregation.

“Candidating Week," tentatively set for April 16-24, is the time when the candidate will meet with various groups in the congregation. The candidate will preach on Sunday, April 17, and again on Sunday 24. Following the April 24 service, the congregation will vote on whether to call that person as our settled minister.  While our bylaws require only an 80% vote to call a minister, ministers prefer a 90%-95% majority before accepting a call.

As always, your Search Committee is interested in your comments, observations, and questions. Please don’t hesitate to email or call any one of us, drop a note in our box, or talk to us during coffee hour.