We are moving along, meeting once a week, and making good progress. We have a negotiating team: Charlie Atwood, Gordon Wyse and Rob Fuderich. Steve Rice will be a backup. Thanks to all of those folks! The negotiating team has the job of working with the Board this month to decide on the salary we can offer. In February and March, Charlie will answer precandidates’ questions, if they have any. The negotiating team will work closely with our final candidate next spring. The salary is a critical part of the puzzle, especially since we live in a place where housing is expensive. We want to be sure that we offer a fair and competitive package.
We have four “neutral pulpits” set up, thanks to Carol Johnson. We can’t tell you where they are, except that we will be touring around New England. We don’t know whether we will have three or four candidates who come for a weekend of interviewing, seeing the area, and giving a sermon at a neutral pulpit. But we are responsible for the Sunday service at each of the four UU congregations. Mary Herman and Polly Peterson have offered to be on call, and may go offer a sermon at one of our four neutral pulpits, if we don’t have a candidate minister coming on one of those weekends.
We are working our way through a brand new UUA handbook for doing searches, which they just published. The UUA has also changed the process of exchanging information between congregations in search and ministers looking for jobs, so we will be guinea pigs this year, trying out a new website and the new handbook. There have been a few glitches already, but their web designers, the UUA contact for Searches, and our coach, Debby Bergh, are happy to answer questions, so presumably everything will work out fine.
Sue Kelly and Janis Gray led two cottage meetings. A small number of congregants attended both. They shared their thoughts about the UUSA and their hopes for the future. We will include their ideas in the description of UUSA that we put together for our candidates.
Several of us were previously on other committees, and have had to shed those responsibilities, in order to focus on the search. Thanks to Steve Rice for taking Louise Grosslein’s place as chair of the Green Sanctuary committee this year, and to many people who are taking leadership roles for the Stone Soup Bazaar. Sue Kelly is still serving as the Chair for Stone Soup Bazaar, but there is someone else in charge of every part of the bazaar at this point. Janis Gray wears many hats, and would welcome help on the Membership committee and also at the Welcome Table on Sunday mornings. Luckily for all of us, she wants to keep doing the newsletter, even though she is on the Search committee!
We are grateful for your support, as we continue our work on the Search committee.
Carol Johnson, Charlie Atwood, Janis Gray, Kiana Diggs, Sue Kelly, Jess Murphy and Louise Grosslein (co-chairs)