Nobody told us how exciting pre-candidating could be in February, with cancelled flights, blowing and drifting snow, and below-zero temperatures, but we are cheerfully plowing through the process! We are meeting our top three candidates in person and hearing them preach at other churches. We will finish the pre-candidating stage by mid-March, and on April 2nd we will make an offer to our first choice for our ministerial candidate.
We’ve recently had some questions about why this process is taking so long, and can’t we speed it up? We would love that! Unfortunately, there’s not a whole lot we as a search committee can do about the timeline. The process is outlined and run by the UUA for our association as a whole, with timing that is optimized for the overall outcomes of all congregations and ministers in search, ending with our candidating week coming up from April 26th – May 3rd. If you are curious about this process, you can read more about it in the Transitions section of the UUA website at http://www.uua.org/careers/ministers/transitions/, or see the UUA’s prescribed search calendar at http://www.uua.org/documents/mpl/transitions/search_calendar.pdf As of January, there were 47 congregations using the UUA’s system in search for a new settled minister to start in August 2015, and 86 ministers who have expressed interest in at least one of these congregations. So we have plenty of competition in our search for our next settled minister, and the UUA is interested in keeping the process as fair as possible to both ministers and congregations.
Finally, please remember that if you wish to vote for our next settled minister, you must be a supporting member by March 1st. This means that you must have signed the Bond of Union and made a minimum $100 pledge (or filed a waiver) by March 1st. If you have any questions about your membership status or the membership process, please talk to the church administrator, Chris Schleuder, or Membership Committee chair Anna Shade. If you have questions about the search process itself, please feel free to ask any of our Ministerial Search Committee members. We can’t tell you specific names of candidates or confidential information, but are happy to answer questions about the process and timeline.