Ministerial Search: Update and the Next Chapter 

Nov 19, 2021 | Beacon, Members Only, Ministerial Search, News

Dear East Shore Family,

The Ministerial Search Committee has been hard at work in the month of November and we want to share our progress and share our immense gratitude for the outpouring of participation and support from the East Shore community.

In November, we completed the 16 separate Focus Groups that were started in October. As with the Cottage Meetings, the Right Relations team helped us facilitate these group discussions. And again, folks were invited to respond to the same basic questions as in the Cottage Meetings and share any particular perspective that their identity within the specific Focus Group might give them. In each group, a search committee member took notes from these groups and compiled the output into a summary that will be shared with the new minister candidates to help round out their understanding of who we are collectively. These summaries also informed our Congregational Record.

Speaking of the Congregational Record, it is a report that every congregation seeking a new settled Minister must build out based on over 60 prompts provided by the UUA.  (UUA is Unitarian Universalist Association, a support organization which all recognized UU congregations belong to.) Some of these prompts required straight-forward responses, such as the names and positions of our staff and board. Most of them however required a great deal of research, compilation and editing. The team spent many dozens of hours in November to put it together. We solicited input on historical and operational areas from the board and staff. For the many prompts that covered the congregation’s aspirations, accomplishments, joys, concerns, needs, reasons for being here and desires for growth, we consulted all of our findings from the Congregational Survey, the Cottage Meetings, the Beyond Categorical Thinking workshops, and Focus Groups.

In the end, the completed Congregational Record is roughly 70 pages long! We submitted it to the UUA during Thanksgiving week and we expect their approval on December 2. We will immediately share the record with the congregation so please check out the member news section on to find it. And please come to the Monthly Board Listening Session on Saturday, December 4 at 10:00 am where there will be members of the Search Committee on hand to hear your feedback.

What’s Next?

Our next steps are to prepare for the application and selection process. In December, we will be preparing ourselves for early January when we will receive and review all our applications. We will then review them all as a team and select a number with which to have zoom interviews.  By the end of January, we will select 2 or 3 applicants which we believe would be excellent fits for East Shore; these will be our pre-candidates.

From February to early April, will be pre-candidacy and if all goes well a selection of our new settled Minister. We have also been preparing for this phase, and we will share an update of our plans and next steps in next month’s Beacon article. In that communication, we will also share ways that you can help contribute to the successful welcoming and onboarding of our new Settled Minister. Of course, if you have any inquiries in the meantime, you may reach out to the team via our e-mail: [email protected]

Thanks again for all the wonderful support and input from our East Shore family.

Sincerely, ESUC Ministerial Search Committee