An update from your ministerial search committee

May 6, 2015

The Ministerial Search Committee had a conference call with our local UUA facilitator, Rev. Amy Rowland. She suggested some preparation work and reading for our upcoming retreat on May 16.

It has been emphasized that our retreat is our most important task at this time. Our goal is to become deeply acquainted and create a safe environment in which candid discussion about attitudes, values, and biases can take place. We will strive to represent the entire congregation as we accomplish our charge of recommending and presenting to the congregation the best minister for our church’s future.

After our retreat, we will begin the very thorough work of gathering input from the congregation through results from the Appreciative Inquiry process, focus groups, interviews, cottage meetings and a congregational survey. With this information, we will develop a “Congregational Record.”   The CR is a comprehensive description of the congregation resulting in a profile of the minister we will be seeking. It will give us a clear and unified understanding of the ministerial skills, experience, style of partnership and personality we will be looking for.

Another major purpose of the CR is to create a comprehensive profile that tells the story of our congregation – who we are, how we got to where we are today, and how we collectively envision our future in order to make the ministerial community aware of the opportunity available at Foothills.

If we have an internal candidate, that candidate will be considered first before conducting a national search. This would be done in the fall of this year. The potential internal candidate will be considered with the same rigor as any other candidate.

If the internal candidate decides that she is not interested in the position or the Search Committee determines that she is not the best candidate for Foothills UU, we would proceed with a national search.

The national search is initiated by the Search Committee submitting the Congregational Record and other materials to the UUA Transition Office. This officially opens our position for national consideration. By early 2016, the Search Committee receives the names of all ministers wishing to be considered (pre-candidates). We then try to narrow the pre-candidates to 3 or 4 through interviews, applications and reference checking.

Also, during early 2016, we would invite several of the pre-candidates to town for extensive interviews, a tour of the community and a preaching engagement in a neighboring congregation.

In the spring of 2016, we would make an offer to our choice of minister. Once the offer is accepted, the candidate then visits the congregation for a two-Sunday candidating week sometime in late spring of 2016. The candidate will preach on the first Sunday followed by a week of meetings with leadership, staff, members, etc. through social events and activities. The candidate will then preach on the second Sunday which is followed immediately by a congregational meeting with a secret ballot vote to call. A successful vote, usually at least 90%, results in the new minister starting to work in late summer.

Thanks, your Search Committee – Lyndy Latta, Julie Thomas, Judy Gates, Jay Ham, Ed Beers, Sue Ferguson, Steve Herbener

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