As you’ve likely heard, our church is searching for a new settled minister. Following the UUA’s recommended search process, your seven-member Ministerial Search Committee (MSC) is in the thick of things now, and we’re buoyed by the response!
On December 1 we posted our materials on the UUA “dating” website. On January 2 we received expressions of interest from 12 worthy candidates. They’re all smart, talented, compassionate people who remind us how blessed we are to be part of the UU movement.
Turns out we’re an attractive congregation to them for many reasons including that we’re forward looking – ministers like our mission and vision. They also see us as a stable, successful, well-managed congregation, and they appreciate the professionalism and sense of humour we exhibited in our materials.
Our team reviewed all the minister’s submissions, which included pages and pages of written responses to questions posed by the UUA, the ministers’ personal websites, and numerous videos of their sermons.
After hours of discernment and in-depth discussion amongst our team, we whittled the list down to five potential candidates. We interviewed each of them at length via video-conference, and spoke with references to probe further into their qualifications and strengths/weaknesses.
We’ve now chosen three ministers to bring to Vancouver for pre-candidating weekends in February and March. This is where we’ll get to know them “in the flesh” and see them perform in other UU churches in the region. (Sorry, due to confidentiality reasons, only the search team can participate in this activity.)
As you can imagine, this process hasn’t been without some stresses – it feels like such a weighty decision that we’re making on your behalf! However, so far we feel good about our procedures, proud of our tradition, and optimistic about our chances.
Early in April we’ll let you know if we’ve found a match – i.e. someone we think is just right for our community, and who feels the same way about us. If so, you’ll get to spend about a week with the candidate from April 26 to May 5. During that time, you’ll see them conduct two services here in our pulpit, and get to interact with them in various formal and informal settings during the week.
On May 5, you’ll get to vote on whether or not you want this person as your minister. It will be exciting to say the least! For now we’re all looking forward to having a new settled minister with us full time beginning August, 2019.
Your search team: Lesley Giroday (chair), Bruce Grierson, Yette Gram, Jim Stephenson, Ryan Gunther, Kathryn Nicholson and Sue Forbes