Interim Search Update — March 20, 2024

Interim Search Update — March 20, 2024

On January 18, 2024, Rev. Paige Getty announced she would be departing UUCC at the end of the congregational year on June 30, 2024. Stay up-to-date on the interim search process, its timeline, and latest related news here.

There’s a lot of talk about choosing the interim minister but what is an interim minister and how does their role contribute to our congregation? UUCC plans for two years of interim ministry, based on advice from the Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA). Interim ministers are contracted for one year with an option to extend for a second year. Some congregations find it useful to have different interim ministers, and some keep the same one for two years. The interim minister wears many hats and leads the congregation through the transition process from one settled minister to the next. The purpose of the interim minister is to lead the congregation in a process to reflect on the history of the congregation, to assess where the congregation is currently, and to envision its future leadership needs.

Choosing the interim minister is the responsibility of the Board. Our Interim Minister Search Committee is comprised of Regina Verow, Becky Reese, and Meagan Lopes. The interim search committee works closely with the UUA, completing an application that is submitted in April. The Interim Minister Search Committee met this week to start the official paperwork UUA requires to choose the next minister. The UUA selects candidates for UUCC. Then the Interim Minister Search Committee along with the full Board of Trustees will choose the minister from among the candidates. The interim minister is selected by the end of June and starts August 1. Specifics for the process are outlined in the Transition Ministry Handbook.

Interim ministers have specialized training for service as interim ministers because their roles are different than settled ministers. The interim minister will prepare UUCC for the next settled minister by guiding the congregation through the emotional transition from one settled minister to the next. Interim ministers differ from settled ministers in that they tend to focus more on the workings of the congregation and less on relationship building or reaching out to the community at large. The interim minister will address issues such as understanding and acknowledging events in UUCC’s past and helping our congregation to articulate its present identity. They will help UUCC prepare for change and to decide what direction to take in the future. The interim minister evaluates congregational systems as a whole to determine which are useful and which are not, focusing on the responsibilities of the paid staff and volunteer leadership. They will look to the needs of UUCC going forward to sustain future vision.

During the interim minister’s time at UUCC there will be a transition team similar to the Committee on Ministry. The transition team will work closely with the interim minister. The interim minister does not become the settled minister. During the interim ministry time at UUCC, a settled ministry search committee will be formed to choose the next settled minister. The settled ministry search team is typically established well into the term of the interim minister.

As a settled minister leaves, they set the tone for the next minister and the interim process. Paige announcing her departure in January is a gift that allows UUCC the time and space to prepare for her departure as well as prepare for an interim minister. Congregants may experience many varying emotions that evolve with the passage of time varying from sadness to excitement to relief. There is typically grief, anxiety and loss felt after a long-term minister leaves. Paige has been here guiding us through some of these emotions during her sermons over the past couple of months. There will be healing involved after Paige leaves and a coming to peace of sorts as a congregation since our long-term settled minister is leaving after 21 years. UUCC is experiencing big changes over the next two months as well as the next two years, but we are stronger together.

We as a congregation are stronger now than even a year ago before adopting the Values, Mission, Ends (VME). The entire congregation had an opportunity to be a part of and to contribute towards our new VME. The atmosphere at last Annual Meeting was inspiring; UUCC felt like a community once more after our internal struggles and experiencing a pandemic.

The Interim Minister Search Committee will provide weekly updates even if it is to say, “There is no update this week” so that there is transparency in communication. Board members are available after service each Sunday to answer any and all questions you might have about the transition.


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