The Search Committee's work began in June of 2023, and will be complete in April of 2024. See a detailed timeline here!
1 | Search Committee is Established
Late Summer 2023
The Board worked hard to establish a seven-person slate of candidates from over 120 individual nominations that has the trust of the congregation and will work hard to hear all of our voices in the search process. Since their election at our June 4th Congregational Meeting, the Ministerial Search Committee (MSC) has been hard at work learning about the search process, and attended an orientation retreat with the UUA Transitions Office on August 20th.
2 | Congregational Survey:
As an inclusive and thorough analysis tool to assess our ministry context and needs, the survey is an opportunity for members and friends of UUCB to move toward a different future with a new minister. The survey will collect basic demographic data and ask ministry-related questions that can be used to spur conversation for cottage meetings and focus groups. A link to the survey has been sent to all congregants, and the search committee will allow about a month for completion and submission. The survey results will then be compiled and shared with the congregation, and will become part of the documents packet the search committee prepares for potential candidates.
3 | Breaking Barriers, Building Beliefs (B4) workshop on Saturday, November 11 with Rev. Patrice Curtis
UUCB is committed to full equality and ongoing learning about anti-racism and anti-oppression. Attendance to this workshop on November 11th (10 am to 2 pm) is strongly encouraged for all members, and is mandatory for the search committee, board members, and other church leadership. Rev. Patrice Curtis (she/they) will cover issues around race/ethnicity, gender/gender identity, visible and invisible disabilities and health concerns, and sexual orientation. Afterwards, the search committee will complete an evaluation and summary for the documents packet. Please register online by Thursday, November 9.
4 | Cottage Meetings and Focus Groups:
Members and Friends of UUCB are invited to participate in cottage meetings and focus groups for congregational input. Cottage Meetings are open groups of congregants that provide an opportunity for people to hear and build on what others say, whereas Focus Groups are targeted at specific groups within the congregation. Both the cottage meetings and focus groups will take place after the survey results are compiled, so the survey can be used as a springboard for further group conversation.
The Search Committee held the following meetings:
- Sat 10/14 @ 10am (Library)
- Sat 10/14 @ 3pm (Library)
- Sun 10/15 @ 11:30am (Rm 112)
- Sun 10/22 @ 11:30am (Library)
- Fri 10/27 @ 1:00 pm (Bell Trace)
- Sun 10/29 @ 11:30am (Library)
- Sun 11/5 @ 11:30 am (Zoom, link in calendar)
- Sun 11/5 @ 11:30 am (UUCB Library)
- Tue 11/7 @ 6 pm (Zoom, link in calendar)
- Sun 11/12 @ 2 pm (Meadowood)
5 | Congregational Record:
The Congregational Record (CR), or Search Profile, is the search committee’s opportunity to present itself to potential ministers in the MinistrySearch system. Ministers are interested in a balanced and nuanced view of our congregation, so the CR will honestly describe our congregation and its needs, rather than present a snapshot of us at our best. The information in the CR comes from several sources, including the survey; cottage meetings and focus groups; the collective wisdom of the search committee; and our congregation’s last certification to the UUA. Congregational Records are released to ministers on December 1, at which point the contents will also be shared with the congregation.
6 | Potential Ministers Indicate Interest:
Potential ministers indicate interest through the MinistrySearch system, and the first round of video conference interviews will begin in mid-January after the MSC has had a chance to look at all applicants. Interview questions will be standardized so that all interviewees are asked the same set of initial questions, and questions asked will reflect the values of the search committee and our congregation.
7 | Pre-Candidating:
Once the list of applicants has been narrowed down to 3-4 ‘pre-candidates’ by mutual selection, each is invited to come to Bloomington for a weekend with the MSC. Components of the weekend include a tour of the building, a social dinner gathering, a three-hour interview, a tour of the area, a neutral pulpit service (the pre-candidate acts as a visiting minister to a nearby congregation so that the MSC may experience a service), and a final lunch discussion/interview. Spouses are often part of the “sell” for a minister and often need to experience the area for both family and employment possibility reasons, so they are welcome at all events except the interview and final lunch.
8 | Candidate Selection:
References and reference checking are an important part of the search process, and there are two to three phases of reference checks in the ministerial search process for search committees. References are the opportunity for confirmation of how ministers depict themselves and for the search committee to ask their own questions from their own perspectives. Ministers also do their own research by talking with interim ministers, regional staff, and previously settled ministers. Research on potential candidates will go beyond references the ministers recommend themselves to include: someone in the ministers’ current congregation or congregation last served; a research call with a UUA regional staff person; and other developed references based on the search committee’s desire for deeper clarity about a pre-candidate. Once the search committee has selected a candidate, they have the option to ask the candidate for additional references within the current congregation or workplace where the minister is serving. Upon mutual selection by the candidate and a unanimous vote from each member of the MSC, the selected candidate will be announced to the congregation and invited to attend candidating week in April.
9 | Candidating Week:
April 21-28, 2024
Candidating week is the opportunity for the congregation to meet the ministerial candidate. The MSC will establish a schedule for the week that allows for the congregation to interact with and vote on the candidate. During the candidating week, the candidate leads services on both Sundays. Other events for the week include: at least one congregation-wide open session; meetings with staff and the governing Board; other meetings with affinity groups, task forces, and committees; a meeting with area clergy; and check-ins with the MSC. The candidate is the go-to minister for the congregation should something arise during that week. The week will conclude with a vote to call the candidate as our next Settled Minister.