Candidating Week: April 24-May 1

Candidating Week: April 24-May 1

Congregants are invited to participate in Candidating Week April 24 – May 1, where there will be multiple opportunities for East Shore members, friends, and staff to meet and get to know Rev. Dr. Maria Cristina Vlassidis Burgoa —and for her to meet us and get to know our congregation.

Our newly settled minister will need time to understand East Shore as a whole, and gain a sense of its organization as well as its strengths and challenges before making commitments or decisions that affect the resources and future of our beloved community.

Candidating Week Schedule
There are two main purposes behind the activities chosen for Candidating Week. One is for the congregation to meet and get to know Rev. Dr. Maria Cristina Vlassidis Burgoa. Equally important is the opportunity afforded to Rev. Dr. Maria Cristina Vlassidis Burgoa to meet congregants and staff and learn about our committees, our practices, our whole operating structure. (It has happened, though not often, that a Candidate has turned down a congregation after Candidating Week.)

Please see the Candidating Week Calendar for an overview of the week or see more details in the Detailed Candidating Weekend Calendar. Rev. Dr. Maria Cristina Vlassidis Burgoa will preach at the worship service on Sunday, April 24 and Sunday, May 1. In between, there will be open forums, as well as events that will spotlight particular areas of our church community (Ministry Teams, Social Justice Teams, Worship Associates, etc.) We are pleased to announce there will be a mix of virtual events online, in-person, and hybrid events at the church. Find all the Zoom links on the Candidating Week Event Page.

For more information about Candidating Week, Voting, and Welcoming our new minister, please see the Candidating Week FAQ.

You can contact the Ministerial Search Committee with any questions at [email protected]

Beyond Categorical Thinking: November 6

Beyond Categorical Thinking: Keeping Our Minds and Hearts Wide Open While Searching for a Minister

Sunday, November 6, 11:30 am

Beyond Categorical Thinking is a highly recommended part of the search process for our congregation. In finding the person who would be the best match for our minister, we could potentially overlook or even let biases keep us from knowing that a particular person would be the best match for us.

Other congregations have assumed that their ideal minister looks a certain way, and often ministers who are not white or male or heterosexual or able-bodied or of a particular age or class are discounted and seen as “less than” in some ways.

Ministers in our faith who are people of color, bisexual, gay, lesbian, female, transgender, differently-abled, young, old, ethnically different, or of a different class—all of these credentialed ministers still face discrimination as part of the ministerial search process.

In our efforts to find the best match, our congregation will host a Beyond Categorical Thinking worship service and workshop on Sunday November 6th, 2016. We will have a trainer come and meet with our search committee, lead the Sunday service, and facilitate a 3-hour conversation from 12 noon to 3pm where will have a chance to examine how we can avoid letting prejudice become a part of our search process.

This is yet another way for us to put our faith into lived experience and improve the odds that regardless of identity, we will find the minister who is the best match for us and will serve us well.

This opportunity allows the entire congregation fuller participation in the search process. It will allow us to explore our hopes and concerns for a new minister, learn more about the search process, and see how our own history (both personal and congregational) might interfere with our efforts in this search.

So come on November 6th to participate in this service provided by the UUA, whom our congregation has asked for help in this process. Our trainer will be Keith Kron.
Lunch of soup, salad and bread will be served between the worship service and the afternoon conversation. Childcare will be provided. Attendance is encouraged for everyone in the congregation.

Note: The Seahawks are not playing Nov. 6th, they are on Monday night Nov. 7th…just saying.

Listening Session Results

Listening Sessions

The Interim Transition Team (with good help from the Search Committee) is hereby publishing the results of the Listening Sessions conducted in June & July 2016:

Participation: A total of 135 participants responded to the invitation. This number includes facilitators and 3 people participated in more than one session. This represents approximately 20 to 25% of our membership. One characteristic that all participants seem to have in common is that they are actively engaged in ESUC Ministry Teams, programs, and worship. Most of the participants were middle aged and there were several younger parents of children. Also, there were a few new members who came to observe but also contributed observations.

Focus: Through a process of “Appreciative Inquiry” members had their current concerns about the ESUC community acknowledged and noted in a safe, non-judgmental environment. After an airing of concerns (as well as many expressions of appreciation) the focus was shifted to the emotional connections people had with the community as well as aspects of our community they most valued.
The ITT keyed in on responses to three questions:
•    Current concerns
•    What is most valued
•    Desire for the future

The variety of responses were analyzed, categorized, and represented in the bar graphs below.





Initial Observations: There is considerable concern among participants about the sustainability of membership because of recent issues related to broken trusts, poor communication, and decision making/authority. What participants appreciate most is the sense of community that comes to expression through a variety of ways i.e., friendship, belonging, acceptance, shared values, spiritual growth sanctuary etc. In the desires and visions for the future there is a broader distribution of wishes as to how that gets expressed.

Objectives for ITT’s Process:

  • Provide Elaine and the Board of Trustees data for managing to the current needs of the congregation.
  • Provide the Ministerial Search Committee and ministerial candidates with a profile of current characteristics of our community.
  • To provide the congregation with an opportunity to reflect on itself in an informed manner as we move through this time of transition.