We have started our pre-candidating weekends. We had a minister here from Friday night until Sunday afternoon in February, and we will host two more ministers in March.
As a reminder, here is a brief summary of our schedule after February:
- March: Continue weekend visits with applicants (officially called “pre-candidates”).
- Late March: Send a ranked list of our pre-candidates to the UUA. We hope one of our top choices will also have chosen us. If so, that person will become our “candidate” and we will start arranging to have them visit with our congregation for a whole week in April/May.
- SAVE THE DATES! April 27 through May 5: Assuming we are fortunate enough to find a match for our congregation, we will invite them to come here for Candidating Week. During this week, the congregation will be able to experience two services led by our candidate, meet them, and vote on whether or not to call them as our new settled minister. This week gives the whole congregation time to get to know the candidate and consider whether they would be a good fit as our new settled minister. It also provides the candidate with time to decide whether they want to serve as our minister, and whether they will feel at home in our Pioneer Valley. Please do save time in your calendars during that week, especially on two Sundays: April 28 and May 5. On April 28 the candidate would lead the Sunday service, and you would have a chance to meet them during lunch. On May 5, the candidate would lead the Sunday service and then we would have a congregational meeting and vote on whether to call the minster. There will be other times for some committees, staff and congregants (members and friends) to meet the candidate during the week, too.
Please feel free to ask us questions about the process but not about the applicants themselves, as we continue to honor the confidentiality of the ministers. Thank you for trusting us to do this work for all of us.
Carol Johnson, Charlie Atwood, Janis Gray, Kiana Diggs, Sue Kelly,
Jess Murphy and Louise Grosslein (co-chairs)