This is an important update from our Ministerial Search Committee (MSC):
Throughout the month of March, the MSC spent many hours with three great ministers during our virtual pre-candidating weekends. We thoroughly enjoyed the time spent with each of them and in turn received positive feedback on our process and their perception of UUCB. All are in agreement – UUCB is a great congregation!
Now for the uncomfortable truth: Not every great minister is the right fit for every great congregation. It’s never fun or easy to run up against this truth in practice, but that is where we find ourselves today. The mutual discernment of the MSC and pre-candidates has not led to a match.
This is difficult news to break to our community, and the MSC is right there with everyone else in our sorrows and worries. We feel fully the weight of surprise and grief that this announcement will bring for many, as well as the potential ramifications to UUCB’s plans for the immediate future. However, the MSC is also united in our certainty that this is the right outcome of our discernment. We remain deeply grateful for the needs, hopes, and dreams that you have shared with us this year through hundreds of survey responses, dozens of cottage meetings, and countless personal interactions. You gave us the clear vision necessary to make the hard but true call: Our next settled minister remains to be discovered.
UUCB has the backing of the Unitarian Universalist Association in this outcome. One of the most-repeated sayings of the UUA’s Transitions Office is that “it’s better to call no one than to call the wrong person.” While the pressure is high to return a candidate, long-term consequences of a bad match are invariably worse than the alternative. When Transitions Director Rev. Keith Kron learned the details of our situation, he praised the MSC’s hard work, clear thinking, and good discernment. UUCB’s Board, as well as Revs. Jeremy and Dana, are likewise in full support of the MSC’s work.
Happily, UUCB still has a strong chance of meeting our next settled minister during this search cycle. The UUA provides a second round for the several congregations each year that do not achieve an initial match. This is a fast-paced version of the application, interviewing and discernment process. Each year several ministers join this phase that were not available earlier. And the UUA’s Transition Office takes an active role in steering suitable candidates to match hiring congregations. Rev. Keith Kron wrote us, “I’m really invested in helping you move forward well with your next ministry. We want you to be successful and a shining beacon for our faith.”
The original schedule would have concluded with a congregational vote on Sunday May 2, after more than a week of opportunities for everyone to meet the proposed minister in a variety of Zoom meetings, socially-distanced in-person activities and two on-line worship services.
With the second round process, that opportunity will be rescheduled for mid-June. Between now and then, the Ministerial Search Committee will work closely with the UUA to evaluate new minister candidates and discern whether one will be a wonderful match for UUCB. We are very optimistic – and hope you will be too!
This Sunday, Search Committee members will be available after the service in the ‘main room’ of our Zoom coffee hour, for those who have questions or concerns about this adjustment in our process. Pastoral care is available, as needed.
You can also contact the Ministerial Search Committee with requests or questions at: ministerialsearchuucb@gmail.
Billie Abbitt, Nicole Ball, Mary Clough, Cathy Edwards (Chair), Will Kropp, Pam Leland, and Laura Maguire