We have precandidates – But “mums” the word!
On January 2, the UUA Transitions Office released the names and Ministerial Records of the ministers who submitted applications to become the next Settled Minister at East Shore. Although we cannot share anything about the applicants, we thoroughly read their records, combed through their websites, listened to and watched their sermons, and researched their social media presence. The work was truly inspiring!
Together we discussed our ratings of each candidate in a number of areas important to East Shore and chose those with whom we conducted one-hour live team interviews over zoom. In addition, we checked references. On January 22, we deliberated and picked our top choices for precandidates. On January 23, we contacted them directly and to our delight, we got prompt confirmations of their willingness to move forward with us!
During February and March, each of our Precandidates will spend time over a weekend meeting with the Search Committee, learning more about East Shore, participating in more in-depth interviews, and giving a sermon at a Neutral Pulpit. The precandidate process is entirely confidential. Search Committee members will not provide any information about these candidates or the neutral pulpits. Part of the reason for confidentiality is that ministers generally do not inform their current congregations they are leaving until they have an offer from another congregation.
During March we will have the difficult job of selecting the minister we feel is the best fit to lead our congregation into the future. If the minister is mutually inclined, we would announce the candidate to the congregation in the first part of April. Then the candidate will visit us for 8 days, already scheduled for April 24-May 1. Back up dates are May 1-8. They will be on campus to meet our congregation and lead a service at either end of their time. Immediately after that last service, the congregation will vote on calling them to be our next settled minister.
We will provide an update in the next Beacon. Meanwhile, you are welcome to contact us by emailing [email protected].
Review of Completed Steps Toward a Settled Minister
- Minister Search Committee (MSC) is voted in by the East Shore’s congregation – June 2021
- MSC retreat with Transitions Coach – August 2021
- Congregational Survey – September 2021. This helps ministerial candidates get a feel for who we are and helps guide the MSC in selecting a settled minister.
- Cottage and Focus Group Meetings – September/October 2021 At these small group meetings, the MSC listens to the congregation’s concerns, hopes and dreams.
- Beyond Categorical Thinking: a workshop to enhance our congregation’s inclusive thinking and prevent unfair discrimination in our search – October 2021
- Neutral Pulpits selected, where ministerial candidates will preach – October 2021
- Complete Congregational Record and supporting documents – detailed summary of congregation’s history, present and future aspirations based on information collected from the Congregational Survey, Cottage Meetings, and Focus Group Meetings – December 2021
- Congregational Record available for review by ministerial candidates – December 2021
- Ministerial candidates submit their Ministerial Records to MSC – January 2022
- MSC researches the Ministerial Records, minister websites, and listens to sermons. Virtual interviews are conducted. Reference checks are done. – January 2022
by David Langrock, member of the Ministerial Search Committee