The Interim Minister Search Team recently communicated to the congregation that it was unable to identify an interim minister to begin at First Unitarian in January 2019 but is confident it can secure an interim to begin in August or September 2019. Absent an immediate interim minister, the Board of Trustees began working on an alternative ministry arrangement to cover the intervening time period.
The Board considered two options: (1) have the Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA) identify a temporary contract minister to serve our church, and (2) assemble a plan for lay leadership of our church’s ministry. The Board discussed these options with advisors in the Transitions Office of the UUA, who informed us that the UUA could indeed supply a contract minister but that churches often opt for a lay-led ministry for short periods of time while interim ministers are identified.
After much consideration, the Board has voted unanimously to move forward with option two:a lay-led ministry from January through August 2019.
Why a Lay-Led Ministry?
There are a number of reasons why the Board decided that a lay-led ministry is right for our congregation at this time:
What Will a Lay-Led Ministry Look Like?
While some details are still being worked out, our lay-led ministry will basically work like this:
While the Board cannot guarantee that this process always will be smooth, we believe that a lay-led ministry is the best path forward for our congregation, especially given the advantages and opportunities it offers. We invite your participation in this unique challenge and ask for your support as we move together into the next phase of our religious life as a congregation.
If you have questions, feel free to contact any member of the Board of Trustees: Martin Schmidt (President), Alison Schwartz (Vice-President), Claus Makowka (Treasurer), Eleanor Mayfield (Secretary), Sarah Benson, Audrey Masalehdan, Lynne Porterfield, Cathy Rohrer, and Scott Smith.