Hello, my friends!
Happy July! As UCF prepares to welcome an interim minister, a seminar I attended at
General Assembly entitled “Interim Ministry: A Time for Liberation and Change” was particularly
pertinent. This seminar clarified for me what we can expect as a Board and as a congregation as we face this transition. I hope it will provide similar clarification for you. First, I learned that interim ministers are not merely placeholders as a congregation waits to call a settled minister. In addition, interim ministers are not settling for these positions because they’re not qualified, or they wish to become qualified, to be “real” ministers. Interim ministers choose interim ministry because they have a special set of skills they carry to each congregation—the ability to counsel a congregation as they decide what they want to be in the future. Interim ministers are called to the unique privilege of being fully present in a congregation’s time of self-examination as they prepare to call a settled minister.
As Unitarian Universalism itself is transitioning toward building beloved community and dismantling white supremacist culture, it has become clear that UU congregations need a guiding hand to make their own changes in this regard. Interim ministers possess a set of skills to be that guide. It is a time of developing trust as a ongregation digs into its fears and its hopes to decide what it wants to be. In other words, Rev. Michelle will not be there to tell us what to do or what to be. She will be there to partner with the congregation, providing a spiritual basis for what WE want to BECOME.
It will be Rev. Michelle’s task to form a Transitions Team, populated with a broad swath of members and friends. The Team will go through a 3-step discovery process, articulating: (1) who UCF was in the past; (2) who UCF is now; and (3) who UCF wants to become. In this third step, it will be a time for each of us to imagine what’s possible for us personally and what’s possible for our congregation as we embrace our transitioning UU principles. Almost all congregations discover new ways to find personal and congregational transformation and the interim minister is there to help them achieve what they seek. A few congregations decide to skip the third step to maintain the comfort of the status quo; however, those congregations generally have difficulty securing a settled minister and often find their membership decreasing. Today’s settled minister candidates seek vibrant, forward-leaning congregations who work to deepen their commitment to the wider world. It is no longer good enough to be a haven of liberal THOUGHT. These candidates seek congregations who commit themselves to the spiritual fulfillment of being a DOING force in the wider world. It is the role of the interim minister to help us become that doing force if that is OUR desire. That is the call embraced when one chooses to be an interim minister and that is the call
embraced by Rev. Michelle.
All the best to you!
Board of Trustees Business
· We arranged for 3 outside ministers to be available in case we need emergency
pastoral care during the months of July and August.
· We’re planning the LC/BOT retreat on July 7th to debrief about the Constructive
Conversations with the Congregation and initiate early strategic planning efforts.
· We worked together with the New Building Team to plan the Groundbreaking Ceremony at 2900 Bridges and wrote a news release for the Carteret News-Times.
· We planned and carried out the Annual Business meeting.
· We’ve worked with the bank to secure the paperwork for a construction loan if needed.
· We’ve initiated the creation of a promissory note for the repayment of the Endowment Fund.
We’ve worked with the incoming interim minister regarding relocation and employment paperwork