December has been a time of preparation for Ministerial Candidate interviews. Using feedback from the Congregational Surveys, Cottage Meetings and Focus Groups, the Search Committee has drafted screening forms and interview questions to assist us in finding the best Minister to lead the East Shore Congregation into the future.
On January 2, the UUA Transitions Office will release the names of the Ministerial Candidates from all over the United States who have submitted applications to become the next Settled Minister at East Shore. The Search Committee will read these applications, look through the Candidate’s websites, and listen to their recorded sermons. Using the screening forms, the Search Committee will choose the Ministerial Candidates who are the best match for East Shore and conduct virtual interviews. By the end of January, we hope to have two or three precandidates selected.
During February and March, each of our Precandidates will spend 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 us.