Ministerial Search Committee: Building our Future Together 

Aug 31, 2021 | Beacon, Members News, Ministerial Search

Hello East Shore Community!

We are delighted to have begun in earnest our journey as your Ministerial Search Committee. Back in June, at the Annual Congregational Meeting, you all entrusted us with the sacred duty of faithfully, inclusively, and transparently conducting East Shore’s Search for our next Settled Minister. In this first of many communications to the congregation as the Search Committee we will re-introduce the team to you, catch you up on what we’ve been up to, and most importantly tell you how you can get involved and stay informed.

Who We Are and What We’ve Been Up To 

We are, in alphabetical order, Dave Baumgart, Martin Cox, Ann Fletcher, Leta Hamilton, Connie Hirnle, and David Langrock. Since our formation as a committee, we have really gotten to know each other, participated in a two-day retreat, established our committee covenant, decided who would take on each of the many specific roles within the committee and begun to meet 2-3 times per month.

At our retreat, we were led by Amanda Schuber, herself a UUA ordained minister, who has been specially trained to coach UU ministerial search committees. She was amazing and really helped us grow in our understanding of the process that the UUA have developed over many years. As a result of the retreat, we recognize that while there is a lot of work ahead of us, we are brimming with commitment and confidence that we can do it – with the help of the congregation of course!

Upcoming Opportunities for You to Get Involved 

The first phase of the Ministerial Search is where we need each and every one of you to participate, as together we discover what are our needs, desires, and concerns as a congregation and we dream, imagine and hope for what the congregation will become in the future. There are no less than four ways to participate.

Everyone is strongly encouraged to take the Congregational Survey starting immediately. This survey is an opportunity for members to share information about themselves, their relationship with East Shore, and their hopes and concerns for our future as a community. Please follow this link and complete by September 21. Please contact the office if you would like a physical copy of the survey mailed to you.

Additionally, everyone is invited to attend one of several online Cottage Meetings which will take place during the last two weeks of September. We will use breakout rooms in the meetings to ensure small enough groups so that everyone will get a chance to participate. Participants will discuss with others in their group what they believe are the strengths, needs, and aspirations of our church community. There will be a representative of the committee to facilitate and take notes. Follow this link to sign up. If there is demand for in-person or extra online cottage meetings, we will try to accommodate those in October.

Another exciting way to participate is to attend our online Beyond Categorical Thinking Workshop. This educational opportunity helps a congregation be mindful of and take steps to counter systemic and personal biases during the minister transition.  Participants will learn about issues of race/ethnicity, gender/gender identity, visible and invisible disabilities, health concerns, and sexual orientation.  We are fortunate to have our Search Retreat Coach, Amanda Schuber as leader the two-part workshop October 1, 7-8:30 PM and October 2, 10-11:30 AM. Details including signup instructions will be made available on the church website as the date approaches. Stay tuned.

Finally, we will be facilitating a number of Focus Groups as an opportunity in this process to better represent groups within our community whose voices otherwise may be marginalized or unheard. These group discussions are expected to occur as early as October. More information about these groups will be shared as the plan develops.

What Comes Next and How to Stay Informed 

This brings us to the next phases of the Search.   Our long-range timeline includes:

  • Fall: Complete congregational input to the UUA
  • Winter: Interview Candidates
  • Spring: Determine Final Candidate
  • May: If we have a successful match, Final Candidate Visit to ESUC and Congregational Vote
  • August: New Settled Minster starts

Meanwhile, the congregation can expect a monthly Beacon article from Search Committee, as well as updated information in e-Blasts, Facebook, and on the website (Click here to go to our Ministerial Search web page). For any inquiries, please email the Search Committee at [email protected].

Our journey together is beginning, our mission always awaits us, and our visions are bent on loving,

Search Committee
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