Dec. 2022                    Update from your Ministerial Search Committee

Thank you to all of you for your participation the past two months!  We had a great return on our questionnaire, great attendance at our Cottage Meetings and 45 in attendance for our Beyond Categorical Thinking workshop by Rev Mr. Barb Greve on Sunday!!!  We are happy to share that we were able to post our packet, think “dating profile” for ministers looking for a new congregation on time on Nov. 30th!  We also received very complementary feedback on our packet from the UUA Transitions Coordinator – so CUUF is out there being reviewed right now by ministers!! 

We want to share a bit of how this process works in the search to help you understand, and to assist you in preparation for the January congregational meeting that Rev. Sollie mentioned in her Nov. 27th service. 

Key Facts and Dates For You to Know:

  • The Ministerial Search Committee was elected by the Fellowship to represent you in the Search Process.   The Committee is Sara Severson, Julie McAllister, Lynn Madsen, Shannon Eisert and Deb Miller.  We are a bonded group, and committed to representing CUUF in the Search Process with integrity and transparency.   We have a Committee Covenant and will work to have it posted on our tab on the CUUF website soon which outlines our commitments and process. Click Here to view Covenant.
  • Our initial role was to gather from the congregation what you wanted in a settled minister, and what was most important to you, concerning to you, etc.  We did that through the questionnaire, Cottage Meetings, and review of the previous Transitions work that was done last year. 
  • Our application, our Congregational Information Packet and our document packet have been posted and published for searching ministers to view.  We will receive our applicants on January 2nd.   We have a meeting scheduled as a committee with the UUA Office on January 7th, and then will begin our video interviews by mid January to determine our top candidates. 
  • January, February and March are spent by our committee in deep discernment to chose the final candidate to present to the Fellowship.   At that time, as you heard Sunday if you were at the BCT workshop, the candidate comes for a week.  Two sermons, and meeting with every committee possible to share and mutually meet.  The congregation then votes on whether or not to accept and invite the candidate. 
  • There is also a CUUF Negotiating Team who then works on the contract finalization with the chosen candidate. 
  • The January 15th Congregational Meeting set by the Board of Directors is to discuss whether the Fellowship wants to call a settled minister.  We have the search for a settled minister in process – the Fellowship will tell us whether to proceed.  There are some concerns about our budget supporting a full time, settled minister – the meeting is to discuss that.   You may be contacted prior to the meeting by some congregation members to help discuss and prep for the meeting. 

Misconceptions That CUUF May Have:

  • Part of our application included a tentative contract.  Churches are instructed by the UUA to submit the low end of the possible salary range in the draft contract.  All churches do this so it is the same in every churches packet and there is no confusion on the part of the searching ministers.   The salary range is chosen by using the UUA salary guidelines that take into account the location of the church, size of the congregation and experience of the candidate.  We followed these recommendations and submitted a salary number that was within the guidelines and allows us to do some negotiation.   There was a belief mentioned that we submitted a salary lower than the guidelines and that this could harm us in finding a candidate.  This is not accurate.
  • An assumption that the fellowship will meet and interview all of the three final candidates – this is not correct.  The Fellowship will meet the final candidate that the MSC puts forward for consideration of an offer.  The UUA is very clear that the candidates being considered are to be kept confidential to the MSC team only.  We will be as open and transparent with you as we can be, however, that will not include names or details of the candidates. 

If you have other questions about the process, please email Sara Severson or Julie McAllister and they will work with the MSC to provide answers.   It is likely that if you have a question, others do as well.  Thank you again!  We will provide updates and continued education as the process moves forward.  We are excited for January 2nd when we receive our interested candidates!