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August 2018 Transitions by Holley Galland Haymaker

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The GA this year was a feast of things. Here is a list of what I learned about transitions.

First of all, it was great to meet the UUA transitions team in person. They are funny, well informed delightful folks. What is clear as well is that they are here for us.

One unexpected reason to work with the UUA is that there are rogue ministers out there who will present themselves as UU ministers but have been asked NOT to do so. The UUA can identify them. And the UUA has sample surveys and other tools.

Our web site is a major marketing tool. It is especially important for it to be up to date when doing a search. This is how we present ourselves to the world and to potential interim and senior ministers. Make it snappy. Make it represent who we really are. 

The major factors that attract a minister:

  1. Salary, including housing & benefits.

  2. Being real about who you are. If you have issues, put them out there and don’t expect a minister to do the repair work that really belongs to the congregation.

  3. Factors we can’t control such as how many other congregations are looking and how many ministers looking. Location may be important. Look for someone who may have a connection to the region.

A key in creating a fruitful search, settlement of any minister is TRUST. Trust is different depending upon what part of the country you live in. In the South, it can depend on neighborliness. In the north upon efficiency. Do you agree?

Every congregation has “rules”. How do you know you belong? Figure yours out. It’s best to ask people who are new what they think the rules are.

Worship needs rethinking. Families have less family time than before. Often if there are two parents both are working, they don’t want to spend their Sundays separately. Rethink Sunday school. Do adults want it? Is there another place for it? If this is a concern of yours, may I suggest you speak with Kathy Smith

Being multi-theological is a positive. But we may get an Interim Minister who is differently theological from Steve and Nathan.  Be ready for that.

What is changing among congregations? There are fewer volunteers. Also, we expect ministers to be more emotionally intelligent and expert in many areas.

Be clear about pastoral care needs. And this was odd to me…newer pastors don’t necessarily want to do pastoral care because it is not easy to document, and their boards follow their hours of work.