Update on the Ministerial Search Process
In January the Ministerial Search process entered a quieter and entirely confidential phase that will last through mid-April, when we hope to be introducing everyone in the congregation to the minister we believe is a great match for First Parish. We have agreed with the UUA to maintain confidentiality in order to protect the integrity of our process and the identities of ministers who may not have told their current congregations that they are in search. However, we are eager to share with you what’s going on!
On January 2, members of the Search Committee received the names of 26 ministers interested in becoming our next minister. We reviewed online materials each of them prepared and invited seven of them to interview with us via Zoom. Based on those Zoom interviews and a deeper look at their hopes and dreams for ministry, their life and work experiences, sample sermons, and other information they shared, we have invited three really promising candidates for intensive, in-person weekend visits when we will have in-depth conversations, show them around the area, and see each one preach at a neutral pulpit. This is the time for us to get to know each candidate well - and for each of them to get to know who we are. It’s a gift to see so many wonderful ministers in our denomination. We are so excited!
By the end of March we’ll have completed the hard work of discerning whether – among them - we have found a great match, a candidate we are really excited about bringing forward to our congregation. This is important and sacred work. If all goes well, which we expect it will, our candidate will be here for “Candidating Week.” Our candidate will preach on consecutive Sundays, April 29th and May 6, and there will be numerous opportunities during the week between for members to meet and get acquainted with the candidate. On May 6, after the service, there will be a congregational meeting to vote on whether or not to call the candidate as our minister. PLEASE SAVE THE DATE! If 90% or more of our members who are present to vote agree (and assuming the number present constitutes a quorum), we will welcome our next called minister – who will preach their first service as our minister on Opening Sunday, September 9, 2018.
As always, if you have any questions about our process or want to share more about your hopes and dreams for our congregation, please feel free to reach out to any member of the Search Committee: Ellie Boynton (chair), Karla Baehr, Steve Peterson Davis, Susan Larrabee, Laura Walters, and Ron Wilkinson.
During the fall, we reached out to learn more about who we are as a congregation with a focus on what the congregation values and what we are seeking in our next settled minister. Here are links to view what we learned:
Ministerial Search Survey
The survey was open from Wednesday, September 20 through Sunday, October 1. 156 members and friends completed the survey. On December 10th, following the service, we shared the results and the Congregational Record we prepared.
Ministerial Search Forums
We hosted a number of Ministerial Search Forums, an opportunity for structured conversation with one another and Search Committee members about our community and our hopes and dreams for its next minister. On December 10th we shared a summary of our findings.
Beyond Categorical Thinking Service and Workshop
Sunday, December 3
The Search Committee sponsored a UUA-led discussion and dialogue on hidden bias following the Sunday service, also be led by our facilitator, Jacqui Williams.
There are several ways to stay up-to-date with the Search Committee's progress:
- Visit this page for updates.
- Take a look each Sunday at the Ministerial Search Bulletin Board that we’re using to highlight ways you can be involved.
- Check out our progress reports and invitations in the monthly FPB Newsletter and the weekly Thursday email blast.
- Reach out to any of us: we’re the ones with the blue nametags with the invitation to ask us questions and share your thoughts and feelings.