How We Will Call Our New Minister

Our beloved Developmental Minister, Rev. Marcus Liefert, has helped us to reflect on our history, to define ourselves as a congregation and to plan for our future. As we approach the end of his time with us, we are grateful that he has prepared us to enter a search for a settled minister. Although this is a complex process set out by the UUA, it is an exciting time for our congregation. We want to assure you that the Search Committee will be providing guidance through each step of the way.

What we’ve done

The Congregation elected seven members to the Search Committee in May and we quickly scheduled a retreat to define our covenant, agree to task leaders and to set out the timeline for our work. We will regularly update the congregation on our activities in the Newsletter and are available at for any comments or questions.

What’s next?

We must say goodbye to Rev. Marcus. Please take the time to honor and express your appreciation for what his ministry has meant to you. We will undoubtedly celebrate in many ways what we have accomplished together and hope that everyone will party with us to express our gratitude and best wishes as both he and we move forward.

Our website will be updated. Soon ministers will be looking for what they can learn about us. We want to put our best foot forward and will consider what the website and social media express about us both intentionally and unintentionally. Please let us know if you have any comments. Look for a Congregational Survey this summer. We want your ideas about what we need from a future ministry. A written survey and link to completing it online will be provided to everyone–members, friends and visitors alike. While it asks for basic demographic information, the focus is on congregational needs rather than individual preferences. There are lots of questions and all are important to describing our congregation and identifying what we are looking for in our next minister. We will be reminding you regularly to complete the survey as it is an integral part of our search process.

Cottage meetings and focus groups will be scheduled in the early fall. We want to meet face-to-face to hear and build on what each of us has to share. For those who do not like written forms, here’s your opportunity to shine!! Search committee members will facilitate these conversations. Focus groups will gather together those with similar characteristics, such as parents, or youth or our music makers for these same conversations.

Get ready for a Beyond Categorical Thinking virtual workshop to identify implicit and overt biases in our congregational life. Of course, we all think that this doesn’t apply to us, but in the past, ministers felt there was bias and prejudice in the search process. So potential ministers will be asking us what we learned. We’ll schedule this program as an event that is reasonably convenient and are hoping all will attend.

Confidential Committee Activities

A word to the wise. We want our work to be transparent and the information we provide to the UUA Transitions Office about our congregation is available to everyone. But, the Search Committee must keep the names of all applicants confidential from the congregation and its leadership until we announce the name of our candidate. Breaches of confidentiality can cause ministers to withdraw from consideration and congregations to end the search process. This is serious business and we ask for your cooperation in not seeking information from us or others.

Early in 2023, the Search Committee will be interviewing potential candidates virtually. We will select pre-candidates, interview them in person and hear them preach. By early May, we will select our candidate and plan to present them to the congregation asking for your affirmation.

The Fun Begins

During Candidating Week there are no more secrets. The candidate will act as our minister for the week. They will preach two sermons, meet with leaders and staff, talk to members, search for housing and start to learn the ins and outs of our congregation. Then we vote!!

After the congregation enthusiastically votes to call the candidate as our settled minister, we will sign a contract and notify the Transitions Office that we will have a new minister on August 1st.

After the Call

We must proceed knowing that Rev. Marcus is still under contract. Any involvement with the newly-called candidate must go through him. It is important for the newly-called candidate to finish their own ministry and for us to end our current ministry with generosity and grace.

Let us know what you’re thinking

You can contact us at John Eller (Chair), Talia Carter, Craig Cohen, Ted Gaebler, Kim Holscher, Dick Park, Joan Smith