Finding Our Next Interim Minister

Donna Yelverton, April 15, 2020

Image credit: John Keasler

As you know, our interim minister Joel Miller will be leaving us for family reasons at the end of July 2020. Your Board of Trustees has begun working to find a replacement effective August 1, 2020 through the end of July 2021. The board has appointed a five-member task force to represent the congregation in the interim minister selection process. The Interim Minister task force (IMTF) consists of board members David Hawley, who is the chair, Donna Yelverton, and MiJa Thompson, as well as Kristie Boudreaux and Holley Haymaker. We present the following status report to the congregation.

The IMTF on behalf of the congregation signed and submitted a covenant to agree with each other and with the interim ministers and the UUA transitions office to follow the rules of the UUA interim search.

The IMTF published the Congregational Interim Records Document to the UUA website on April 10, 2020. The document, which all congregations searching for IMs this Spring must publish by April 23, 2020, contains information about our culture, mission, how we live our values, our worship, paid staff and lay leaders, our history, demographics, membership and finances, accessibility, resources and programs, religious education, our surrounding community and how they perceive us, and our religious, political, and social context. The document also contains information about the IM position, the IM’s role, the primary areas of IM focus, as well as the desired strengths of the IM, and the momentum, programs, and traditions we want to maintain.

We are in the process of preparing the Interim Search Documents Packet, which will be sent to those IM candidates who express an interest in our job opening. Contents will include: Annual Reports, ​​Organizational Chart, ​​Budgets, ​​President’s report, ​​Short Histories of ​​​Branches, ​​​Policy Governance, ​​​Capital Projects, ​​Board year and evaluation cycle, ​​Town Hall meetings, Social Justice Timelines, ​Orders of Service, ​Newsletters, etc.

We are so grateful to our ministers, staff members, and volunteer leaders who have helped us update the records document and who are helping compile the search documents packet.

Here is our remaining search schedule:

The Transitional Ministers interested in interim work are consulting the UUA website postings and will convene April 27th through May 1st. They must submit to the UUA by May 2nd their interest in particular searching congregations. By May 4th, we will know which IMs are interested in us (up to eight names). The IMTF will review the interested IMs’ submissions to the UUA, check references, interview via videoconference the preferred interested candidates, send them our Interim Search Documents Package, and do background checks. By May 18th, we must submit to the UUA our list of yes/no/maybe for those candidates. If there is a match, we can extend our offer on May 20th.

If there were to be no match, we would participate in a second round of consultations and consideration from May 20th through offers on June 10, 2020. Those churches that aren’t successful after the second round then consult with the UUA regarding other alternatives.

We are optimistic that we will be able to select a candidate in the first round and could then announce the new IM to the congregation around Memorial Day. If you have questions in the meantime, please contact any of the IMTF members.