Dear Members and Friends,
It is time again to update you on our transitioning process for the Interim Minister and this time it appears we will be doing this together “in person”. I am writing this on the morning of our coming back together in person for the first Service in our Sanctuary since March of 2020. We are ready to once again meet in person keeping in mind the safety protocols that have been put in place.
WE will not be hugging, shaking hands, or sitting close to those not in our family; we will be wearing masks., and we will not be singing. There will be no food or drink this morning after service and no sitting around chatting as we so love to do; however, we will once more be together in our spiritual home with Rev. Sims, and we so appreciate being here.
We are also continuing the process of our Transition from settled Minister to Interim and from there to a new Settled Minister. Our search committee chaired by Brooke Gaunt is currently in the process of interviewing and referencing our candidates and we expect to have an answer by the 30th of May. This year there were 42 positions open for Interim around the country and only 44 candidates so the competition will be tight. But we offer a closely knit, small, open, and friendly congregation so I am sure there is someone out there just waiting to be with us to help us on the path to a new Settled Minister.
Remember that this person – the Interim Minister -no matter how much we may like them – cannot become our Settled Minister. They are coming here for a specific purpose and that is to prepare us for someone new; our next Settled Minister. This person will be focusing on the developmental challenges facing our congregation in transition and will be guided by the five tasks identified by the Interim Ministers group. *
- Claiming and honoring the congregation’ s past and healing its griefs and conflicts
- Illuminating the congregation’s unique identity; its strengths, its needs, and its challenges
- Clarifying the multiple dimensions of leadership, both ordained and lay and navigating the shifts in leadership that accompany times of transition.
- Renewing connection with available resources within and beyond the UUA
- Enabling the congregation to renew its vision and strengthen its stewardship, prepare for new professional leadership, and engage its future with zest and anticipation.
*(These may not all apply to us)
Each congregation is different, and needs will be different. But every congregation is in a different “country” when they are going through transition. We are used to the Church being “our” way and this is about to change. This person will not do things as Rev Terry did and we may find some things very foreign and others the same. We have had a year of having to see and feel things differently and to grow accustomed to doing things in a new way so this may not be as difficult as one might have imagined a year ago.
Changes will happen but they need not cause crises. The Interim’s role requires focusing inward on the congregation rather than outward into the community. In addition, the Interim will help the congregation prepare for change, decide which direction to take for future work together in a common purpose, and they will heal and develop trust if necessary. Time with the Interim offers an invitation to the congregation to decide how they will do the future work of the church in our changing world.
Our new Interim Minister will arrive on August 1 to guide and coach us through the next two years. Until then, I will continue to involve you all in the process of this transition so that when the time comes, we will be ready for what this person has to offer. Look at this as a learning and growing experience and one hat done together will benefit not only our congregation but also each other.
I have written two other blogs on Transitioning for the Membership. If you have not read them or wish to review them, they are now posted o the Web under the tab – Resources: blogs and from the President’s Desk. This blog will be added to the same location on the Web for your Review and please remember if you have questions, you can always contact me. My phone and email are in the directory.
Yours in Faith, Friendship and Anticipation of a new experience