Greetings from your Ministerial Search Committee (MSC),
The big news is that we were ready to “go live” with our Congregational Record on November 30, making it confidentially available to ministers in search through a secure web server run by the UUA. Through the following weeks, we learn through the UUA Transitions office which ministers express an interest in our congregation. This phase begins the exciting process of learning about and exchanging in-depth information packets with prospective candidates. In the new year we will be conducting phone interviews by Skype, reviewing references, and then narrowing the initial list of interested ministers to a shortlist of candidates the Search Commit-tee will meet with for in-person weekends beginning in February. In the meantime, this month we will have our third consultation with UU Ministerial Search Representative Debby Bergh, who will provide advice on preparing for our pre-candidate interviews and how to tackle our intensive task list in the new year.
We thought it might interest you to see some of the numbers we’ve gathered from our congregation and the UUA.
129 – members in the UUSA. [Editor’s note: Two members signed the book after this article was written. We are now up to 131!]
115 – members and friends who took the Ministerial Search survey.
86 – members and friends participating in 11 cottage meetings.
80 – attended the Beyond Categorical Thinking (BCT) sermon;
39 – participated in the BCT workshop.
67 – UUA congregations in search for a full-time settled minister this year; 14 of those, in Massachusetts.
17 – number of meetings our MSC has held between our first meeting in June and the end of November, not counting the cottage meetings, staff interviews, etc.
6 – number of Ministerial Search Committee members.
2 – number of MSC retreats.
UUA Ministerial Search Numbers from last year (2016-17)
112 – ministers in search;
52 – UUA congregations in search for a full-time settled minister.
96 – ministers identifying as white;
40 – white ministers called as candidates to a congregation.
70 – ministers identifying as heterosexual (non-trans identified);
30 –heterosexual people called as candidates to a congregation.
50 – ministers identified as B/G/L/T in search;
20 – B/G/L/T ministers called as candidates to a congregation.
16 – ministers of color in search.
10 – ministers of color called as candidates to a congregation.
26 – women ministers offered a call; 21 – men ministers offered a call; 3 – transgender ministers offered a call.
24 – ministers with a disability in search; 7 – offered a call.
17 – ministers in search between the ages of 25-34; 15 – ministers in search over 60 years of age.
We believe that our congregation is very attractive to prospective ministers for many reasons – our location in the beautiful Pioneer Valley with its many cultural, educational, and recreational opportunities – but particularly in the commitment of our members to the strength and vitality of our congregation.
We are excited to be moving into this new stage of deliberation and honored to take on this important work on behalf of all of you.
Yours in love,
The 2017-18 Search Committee: Carolyn Cave, Jenn Chylack, Lisa Cyr, Mary Herman, Anne Perkins and Steve Rice.