Preparing to Search

After this last weekend, the board and transition team is ready to start making phone calls to all of the members about creating a search committee. If you missed the Sunday after church workshop on the search process led by our UUA coach Nancy Edmundson, we have placed the power point presentation she gave (this is very helpful to go through) and several other documents on our website at These materials and more are also located at

Please look these over. There is a lot of very valuable information that will help you decide who you will recommend to be on the search committee and how the process will work. That’s right, you are going to decide who will be on the search committee. Not the board, not the transition team; you. 

Probably the first best item to look at is the one titled “One Excellent Way to Select a Ministerial Search Committee”. This is the process we will be using and details how your responses will be used to build the slate you will vote on for the search committee on March 17.

Your caller will go through a little discussion with you before asking for specific names of people. The outline of what they will talk to you about is this:

  • What are the good qualities needed for someone to serve on a Ministerial Search Committee?
  • Who in the congregation works well with others?
  • Who can represent and serve the whole congregation well (including looking out for the needs of children) and not just a piece or “faction” of the congregation? Who would have no “axe to grind”?
  • Who knows the history and culture of the congregation, whether a member of long standing or relatively new?
  • Who has been and/or is active in the congregation and has demonstrated both responsible participation and responsible leadership?
  • After a high salary, the most attractive quality a congregation can have is self-awareness – awareness of strengths and weaknesses, what the congregation is like at its best and at its worst, as well as on an average day. Who would be able to know and relate all this to potential candidates?

Only after discussing these points will you be asked to recommend people you would trust to serve on the search committee. The names you provide will be compiled and the ones with the highest number of mentions will be put on a list. 

Those people will then be called and asked if they would be willing to put in the time that will be required. Up to about 400 hours each over about 10 or 11 months to handle the necessary work. If they are board members, committee chairs or in positions like on the COM or Transition Team, they will have to resign those positions to be able to devote their time to the Search Committee. 

The people from the list who indicate they would be willing to serve if elected, then become the slate to be voted on by you at our Special Congregational meeting on March 17. Five people will be elected from that list and will start work very shortly after. 

They won’t be doing this alone. We have our coach, Nancy Edmundson, who will do a retreat workshop with them and be available every step of the way. They will also have many other resources to draw on from the UUA. The Search Committee will be providing us all with timely updates on the process and progress with the goal of making an offer to a ministerial candidate in April 2020. 

So please start thinking about how you can be ready for these calls that will be coming over the next couple weeks.

Steve Hill, Board of Trustees President