The Slate for the Ministerial Search Committee is Complete – from the Nominating Committee, Tom Griggs, Steve Sedam, Steve Undy, Dee Wanger, Rebecca Williamson, Chair

On Sunday, March 1, the Nominating Committee will announce the slate for the Ministerial Search Committee. Narrowing down the original 200 names to only 7 has been a challenge and a privilege.

The Nominating Committee with the help of the board and the transition team placed phone calls to every Foothills member – over 600 of us- asking for suggestions for the Ministerial Search Committee. Fifty names gleaned from the 200 names suggested were then called by the Nominating Committee asking about each person’s interest, willingness, and availability to serve. Those fifty names were names that had been suggested by a number of Church members plus names that would represent a broad cross section of the Church as a whole.

Of the 50 people called, a little over 20 said they wished to be considered for the Ministerial Search Committee. A written questionnaire was sent to the remaining candidates requesting input on their
o  level of involvement in Church life,
o  views on current and future ministry,
o  ideas regarding characteristics of Ministerial Search Committee members, and
o  unique qualities s/he could bring to the MSC.

In an effort to be as objective as possible during this part of the process, names and contact information were removed from the returned questionnaires. Four of the 5 members of the Nominating Committee read the responses without knowing who had written them. From the final 19 candidates, the Ministerial Search Committee slate has now been chosen. Our goal has been to identify a balanced slate of committee members who
o are good listeners,
o able to work cooperatively while remaining true to their own principles and opinions,
o understand that they are representing ALL people in the Church and not just their personal interests, their theological orientation or their demographic.
The slate represents a broad range of age and stages of life and includes recent and long-term Church members.

We are eagerly looking forward to presenting you, our congregation, with this talented, thoughtful, intelligent group of people on March 1 with the congregational vote on the slate March 8.

Our Interim Ministry – What is next? By Jennifer Powell, BOT president-elect

A little more than a year ago, the Board of Trustees met with our Mountain Desert District Executive, Nancy Bowen, read material available on the UUA website and printed material concerning the Interim Minister process.  The Board at that time chose to follow the recommended UUA guidelines for engaging a new Senior Minister.  That involved hiring an Interim for one or two years.  Two years of interim ministry is the recommended length of time.

One of the printed materials studied before we began the interim process last year is the book, “In the Interim: Strategies for interim ministers and congregations”.  Every chapter has been helpful to the leaders of our church as we navigate this period. Our current interim Rev. David Keyes wrote the chapter “Coming to terms with History.” Coming to terms with our own history is year one work for the interim period, and David’s expertise has been instrumental in this area.

I want to also share another notable chapter from “In the Interim”; ‘Following two different interim ministers’ written by Alison Miller. In this chapter she speaks of a congregation that had a settled minister for 23 years. (Sounds familiar right?) This congregation chose to work with two interim ministers over the two year interim period instead of just one. This is what she had to share about that experience:

“The two interims brought different styles, skills, passions, and insights to the congregation in all areas, not just worship. Interim ministry may be best served by the old adage, ‘Two heads are better than one.’ Two years and two ministers allowed for movement in many pivotal areas, including the staff team, worship, and religious education, governance, leadership…This was absolutely a key ingredient in allowing for a vibrant shared ministry to follow and to flourish.”

Our Foothills bylaws require that interim ministry be a single-year contract, renewable, of course, but indicative of a tendency to seriously consider two separate interim ministers.  As Rev. David Keyes has decided not to pursue a second year and his one year interim contract will end this summer, we will search for a second year interim minister this spring with a three person search committee headed by myself, your president elect to the Board. The Board has appointed me to select the remaining two interim search committee members. As many of you might suggest, I will be speaking to the nominating committee this week to assist me in finalizing the team.

Now, to make sure there is no confusion, I am speaking about a 3 person search committee for our interim ministry, not the search committee for our permanent settled senior minister. That search committee of 7 will be voted on at the upcoming congregational meeting this March 8th.

So, this is the path we are taking. The Board is excited to continue our work with David, and prepare for our next interim minister leadership to begin in August 2015. Foothills has already made great progress during the first six months of our interim ministry as David stated in last week’ s extra.

It is my honor to begin leading the search process for our second year interim senior minister. The process is basically the same as last year, intensive for a fairly short amount of time. Below is the schedule from the UUA we will be following to accomplish this:

  •  April 10 – Interim applications due from ministers
  • April 17 – Interim applications due from congregations
  • Round 1

o May 4 or 5 – congregations receive names of interested ministers

o May 15, noon Eastern time (10am Mountain time)  – congregations in round 1 may make an offer

  • Round 2

o May 18 or 19 – congregations without a match from round 1 receive names of interested ministers

o May 29, noon Eastern time – congregations in round 2 may make an offer

  • Round 3

o June 1 – congregations still without a match receive names of interested ministers

o Offers may be made at any time

If you have any questions regarding this process, please do not hesitate to find me at church on Sundays or you can email me at jennhawkpowell@gmail.com directly.

In faith, Jennifer Powell

Young Adults at Foothills – guest post from Chris Sharp, Young Adult Program Coordinator

This has been an exciting year for me! Being a relatively new part of this church, it has been great to see so many people and ideas come together for a common purpose in this time of transition and exploration. Despite our many backgrounds, beliefs and beginnings, we are all a part of this faith and are renewing our dedication to living life with purpose. For me, I have challenged myself to live a life of action rather than indecision, and also to be present and mindful when it comes to my family. From participating in our growing young adult program to learning to parent with purpose during the Small Group for Parents, I have been blessed with opportunities to discover my own worthiness.

Speaking of our growing young adult program, I’m excited about the impending launch of our new campus ministry initiative! Later this month, thanks to the efforts of our new CSU student organization officers Kelly Conner and Rosalina Lunsford, we will be hosting a kick-off event on campus to connect with other students and share the love and community of our UU faith. There are many students seeking a faith that aligns with their values, and I believe that connecting with these individuals is an important part of serving our community. Are you interested in supporting our new campus ministry? We are gathering a team of volunteers to help out in many ways: from carpooling to Sunday services, to helping create care packages for students during finals, and perhaps even for providing a welcoming home for students that are far from family during the holidays. Please email me at youngadults@foothillsuu.org or Kelly and Rosalina at campusministry@foothillsuu.org if you would like to offer your time or talent.

Thank you for your loving ways, Chris

Moving Forward with the Ministerial Search Committee Selection

Guest post from Rebecca Williamson – Nominating Committee Chair

“Hi. I’m calling on behalf of the Nominating Committee at Foothills Unitarian Church. We are polling all church members to get their recommendations regarding the names of people who would serve the church well as members of the Ministerial Search Committee.” And, so it went for eight days, with 20 people calling over 580 Foothills Unitarian Church members for their recommendations for the Ministerial Search Committee slate.   At the end of the calling period, there were over 200 names suggested by Foothills members – an impressive number that speaks to the many respected, trusted and conscientious individuals in our beloved community.

The Nominating Committee met on February 3 to begin the task of putting together the slate of Ministerial Search Committee members. Our overall goal is to create a balanced committee. Qualities and characteristics being considered for a Ministerial Search Committee member include:

  • the ability to be a team player who will work well in collaboration with others while being able to gather information and independently form his/her own ideas and opinions;
  • the ability to take a broader view of church interests, including those reflected by the wide range of Foothills congregants- including but not limited to: cultural diversity, gender and gender identity, theological diversity, interests and concerns of varying ages and stages of life, socio-economic diversity, wide political perspective;
  • the ability to represent the priorities of the whole church rather than focus on a personal agenda.

We will continue to refine the list of candidates during the next week by focusing on their willingness and availability to serve on the Ministerial Search Committee.

The Ministerial Search Committee slate will be presented to the congregation on March 1 with an opportunity for comments and questions. On March 8 the slate will be brought to a congregational vote.