Board Reflection for March 26,2023

Kate Sloan, UUCCH Board Member

Good morning, I am Kate Sloan, and I am a member of the Board of Trustees here at UUCCH and I am also the bearer of some great news!

Last month, the Board held a forum to explain the types of ministry available to us when Rev. Margret’s tenure is over and she exits UUCCH for a well-deserved retirement. The Board wanted to be as transparent as possible about the process and options, and most of all, to get congregational input. Many of you joined us in the sanctuary and on Zoom for that forum. The conversation was vibrant, honest & at times, entertaining (one of the many reasons why I love this church!) We asked you to reflect on the choices presented and then let us know which you think would be best for the future of UUCCH. We wanted to make sure everyone got the chance to give input, so we handed out a form for those in the sanctuary and gave the folks on Zoom a link to the same form. For those who couldn’t make it to the forum, there was a link to the presentation & the input form in the Newsgram.

Just to review, here are the choices we presented:

  • Interim minister: usually a one to 2-year tenure, designed to bridge the gap between settled ministers. This isn’t suitable for our situation.
  • Developmental minister: Like Rev. Margret, a minister hired to work with the congregation on specific developmental goals. The length of the contract is negotiated between the Board and the minister, and is generally capped at five years, and may sometimes be extended up to seven.
  • Settled minister: A minister who is called by the congregation to serve them, with no specific goals. There is no specific length for a called ministry, but the average time a minister stays with a congregation is currently five to seven years.
  • Contract-to-call minister: A minister hired by the Board of Trustees to work on goals set by the congregation, who can be called as a settled minister after the initial term if both the minister and the congregation wish. There is no specific time frame to the contract or the subsequent call.

After all the forms were gathered, sixty of you expressed your desires to the Board. Of those sixty forms, the breakdown was:

  • Five votes for a settled ministry
  • Eight votes for a developmental ministry
  • Forty-seven votes for a contract-to-call ministry

With a decisive 78% majority, the Board will be looking for a contract to call minister.

But hey, we are not doing this alone. This is a congregational effort. So what are the next steps? We need to form a Search Team of about five people to represent the congregation in this task. The Board is currently identifying the criteria and characteristics needed to be a member of that team. There will be a job description (so everyone understands the process and the daunting responsibilities & time commitment involved) and an application form. For now, the Board is issuing an open invitation to all voting members of the congregation who wish to be considered for the Team. As there are only about five slots (or “there are a limited number of slots”), please be aware that an application does not automatically ensure acceptance. More information about this process & the application itself will be issued shortly. We’re still working out the details.

The Board wants to thank everyone who took the time and consideration to help us come to this decision. We are honored to represent such a deeply devoted and involved congregation and as always, we pledge to be transparent, honest and committed to the work you elected us to do. Thank you.