Contrary to popular belief, the Ministerial Search Committee has not fallen off the face of the earth! However, we are deep into the process of discernment and mutual selection with our three finalist ministers –“pre-candidates,” in UUA lingo.
This normally involves a visit of each minister to Pittsburgh over a whole weekend, but in COVID times we instead spend the whole weekend with the minister on Zoom. A typical weekend goes like this: On Friday we give the minister a Zoom tour of the Church, followed by an informal Friday evening “getting to know you” Zoom dinner with the minister and a significant other.
Process is ‘Zooming’ Along
On Saturday there are two lengthy Zoom interview sessions with the committee, and an informal Zoom lunch and dinner with the whole committee. Each member of the committee also has a one-on-one Zoom meeting with each minister.
On Sunday morning the minister gives a (Zoom!) sermon at a distant church, which the committee attends, followed by a final committee interview with the candidate, and a debriefing meeting for the committee alone.
We couldn’t be more pleased with the ministers we have been in conversation with! A final decision on a Candidate Minister for our church to consider will, happily, be quite difficult. Any one of the pre-candidate ministers would be a strong choice for our church.
Our final choice will be deeply informed by all that we learned way back in October and November from your surveys and cottage meetings about the congregation, which we have held in our hearts and our minds throughout the search process. Thank you so much for your patience during this time of discernment!