Interim Minister Information Page
The Interim Task Force Members are: Trish Beckjord, Brian Doyle, Gail Tattersfield, and Walter Pearson. Questions or Comments? Email email@example.com.
Letters from the Interim Minister Task Force
Interim Minister Training and Certification - 3/7/18
The Interim Task Force was recently asked about possibly hiring a student from Meadville Lombard who was interested in following the development path to become an Interim Minister as an intern who could work with our UUSG Interim Minister. I need to clarify my answer a bit. If you’re interested in reading further, the information presented here can be found in the UUA’s Transitional Ministry Handbook.
The reasons a congregation may want to hire an interim minister are many. In fact, the Transitional Ministry Handbook lists seven.
One, for example, states: “…the congregation is at a challenging stage in its development. Whether due to deep differences, chronic conflict, serious financial problems, or an inability to agree on mission and vision, the congregation may need three to five years to get its house in order before it seeks to call a minister…”
Another reads, “…a previous minister is departing . . . after serving the church for five years or more—long enough, if a senior or sole ministry, for a significant number of the congregation to identify the church with the departed minister…”
Each of these situations, and the others listed, requires a particular skill set in order for the Interim to be at their most effective in helping our congregation work through our interim period. Not only must they fulfill the traditional role of a minister, they must also successfully guide our congregation through the transition process.
Based on the complexities of the various situations that can arise in the life of a congregation, the Unitarian Universalist Association’s Transitions Office has developed a specialized program for ministers who make interim work their calling. The Accredited Interim Minister (AIM) designation is given to ministers who complete this UUA training program in recognition of their further competence as a resident consultant who is able to assist congregations in transition.
While a successful search may be defined as one that results in hiring an Accredited Interim Minister, we may in fact select one that is admitted to the program and currently involved in prescribed training. These ministers are referred to as Accredited Interim Ministers-in-Training (AIMITs).
The handbook tells us that the need for UU Interim Ministers is always greater than there are accredited ministers or ministers in training. Others that may submit packets in response to our search include new seminary graduates, transfers into UU ministry from other denominations, returnees to the parish from other work, recent retirees seeking only temporary posts, and ministers who think a year's temporary position is preferable to staying in place. Any of these latter candidates also go through a brief training period.
Regardless of the candidate packets that we receive expressing interest in our church, the Interim Ministry Task Force will be looking for an interim minister who can demonstrate the skills needed to help our congregation:
- Claim and honor our past, and engage and honor our griefs and conflicts
- Recognize our unique identity, strengths, needs, and challenges
- If needed, clarify appropriate leadership roles of our minister(s), church staff, and lay leaders
- Navigate shifts in leadership that may occur in the next two years
- Make appropriate use of regional, UUA, and other outside resources
- Proudly come into possession of a renewed vision and strong stewardship of our church, prepared for new growth and new professional leadership, and looking forward to our future with excitement and anticipation
This information will be posted to our UUSG Interim Minister Webpage. Please check here to review this and past information. If you’re interested in learning more about interim ministry, check out the UUA website page.
Please feel free to contact Brian, Gail, and Trish at firstname.lastname@example.org. If we don’t have the answers, we will work to find them for you.
Teams That Will Be Involved With Our Interim Process Over the Next Two Years - 2/25/18
There are four teams you should know about as we move towards Lindsay's retirement and beyond. Each group plays a part in moving UUSG through the interim minister period and into finding our settled minister.
INTERIM MINISTER TASK FORCE – Currently Active. The Interim Minister Task Force is a short-term three member team confirmed by the Board who are working to find our interim minister. Responsibility is to prepare the information packet to submit to the UUA, coordinate with the Personnel and Finance committees to prepare the contract and financial offer, interview candidates, and make a recommendation to the Board. This work is complete once the interim minister has been confirmed. Members: Brian Doyle (lead), Trish Beckjord and Gail Tattersfield.
TRANSITION TEAM - Not Identified or Currently Active. A five to seven member Transition Team will be appointed to work with the Interim Minister during the 2 year transition period. This group will not be identified until the Interim Minister is selected as we expect they may want to have input into this selection process. Preferably, members of this team are widely known and respected and well acquainted with the congregation’s history. Their role is to provide the Interim Minister with insight, organizational and facilitative talent, and willing hands as the interim ministry proceeds. These folks serve as a sort of “think tank” and helping hand for the interim minister, providing insight, organizational and facilitative talent, and willing hands as the ministry proceeds. They may help facilitate congregational workshops during visioning exercises, communicate information to the congregation, and receive questions and feedback.
MINISTERIAL SEARCH COMMITTEE - Not Identified or Currently Active. During our interim period and in accordance with the church bylaws, our Board will work with the congregation to identify members to serve on the Ministerial Search Committee. This group will be responsible for coordinating information with the Transition team and choosing the called minister to be approved by our congregation.
WORSHIP PLANNING TEAM – Currently Active. This team has been identified by Lindsay and is in place. It includes church members who are currently involved in planning our worship services and several other members of the congregation. The team’s first priority is to plan the summer worship services from the time to Lindsay’s departure to the time of the start of the Interim Minister. They will coordinate service themes, readings and music, providing cohesion in our Sunday services. This team will continue that work with the interim minister in planning the coming years worship calendar and preparing budget requirements. This type of worship team support is often in place in UU congregations and will likely continue even once a called minister is in place. Members - Geoff Pynn (team lead), Aaron Fogleman, Deb Brod, Rhonda Robinson, Cynthia Spiegel and ex officio members Tracy Rosenkrans and Jeff Stibal.
This information will be posted to our UUSG Interim Minister Webpage. Please check here to review this and past information. If you’re interested in learning more about interim ministry, check out the UUA website page. Please feel free to contact Brian, Gail, and Trish at email@example.com. If we don’t have the answers, we will work to find them for you.
If you are not on the UUSG email list to receive the monthly Pioneer, please sign up here to see future postings about UUSG's Interim Ministry.
Brian, Gail, Trish
Interim Minister Task Force
Introducing the Interim Ministry Search Process - 2/18/18
Trish Beckjord, Brian Doyle, and Gail Tattersfield
UUSG Interim Minister Task Force
In September, the UUSG Board announced its intent to engage in a two-year period of interim ministry following Lindsey’s retirement this coming June. The purpose of interim ministry is to help the congregation prepare for change. Especially following a long settled ministry, it is essential that we have a period of time to decide together how we will continue doing the work of the church in the future.
In November, the Board appointed a very lean (but not mean!) Interim Minister Task Force charged to manage those tasks necessary to recruit a highly qualified interim minister. The task force members are Brian Doyle (Chair), Gail Tattersfield, and Trish Beckjord. Based on a process established by the UUA, our work includes:
- Preparing and submitting an application and related materials to the UUA Transitions Office to be provided to prospective candidates;
- Assisting in the preparation of a draft contract;
- Conducting phone screenings and face-to-face interviews with candidates;
- Recommending a preferred candidate to the Board;
- Assisting the interim minister with relocation and, last but not least;
- Communicating progress on this work to members of the congregation.
The timeline for this work is quite short. A schedule which lays out the details is attached. We are currently working on assembling our application package and coordinating with the Finance and Personnel Committees on the draft contract and our financial offer.
Applications from requesting churches are due to the UUA Transitions Office in mid-April. The interviewing process will take place in May and be complete by early June at the latest. The anticipated start date of our interim minister would be August or September. We expect to hire them for one year with an option to continue for the second year.
Upon the arrival of our interim minister, the real work of interim ministry will begin and will entail many opportunities for all members of the congregation to be involved in the process of claiming and honoring our history, discovering a new identity, and committing ourselves to new directions in ministry. In the meantime, if you’re interested in learning more about interim ministry, check out the UUA website page; there is much good information on this site.
As we move forward we will use the variety of communication tools we have available to communicate with the congregation: The Pioneer, Mini-Pioneer, weekly email blast, and special emails like this one, and intend send you regular updates. Our postings will also include answers to any questions we receive from the congregation so everyone has all the information that is communicated. Also feel free to contact Brian, Gail, and Trish at firstname.lastname@example.org. If we don’t have the answers, we will work to find them for you.
Christine has created an Interim Minister Search page on our web site. All information sent to the congregation will be posted there so it will continue to be available to you for reference. Thank you for your support as our congregation begins our journey together!
The Interim Ministry Task Force
Interim Selection Process Schedule
The UUA-published spring 2018 dates for an August 2018 start of an Interim Minister are:
January – mid-April Interim Minister Task Force tasks
- Prepare UUSG Informational packet per UUA guidelines to include: several recent orders of service, several current newsletters, the annual report, budgets for the current and preceding years, the bylaws, a church directory, any current short- or long-range plan, the departing minister's resignation announcement, the proposed interim contract, the names of UUA regional or other UUA staff members familiar with the congregation as references, and information on the locale
- Prepare compensation recommendation for Finance Committee/Board Review (also per UUA guidelines)
- Prepare proposed contract recommendation for HR Committee/Board Review
- Prepare draft Interim application for Board Review
Submit interim application to UUA: 4/17/2018
April 17 - 30 Interim applications due to UUA from searching congregations and candidate ministers, ministers review submitted church packets and choose congregations of interest
Selection Round 1
- April 30 or May 1 – congregations receive names and Ministerial Records of interested ministers. Ministerial packets will include: sermon texts, sample newsletter articles, perhaps a reflection on the role of the interim minister, the names of leaders of current and former congregations as references, and a photo that may be used for publicity purposes if agreement is reached
- May 11, noon Eastern time – congregations in round 1 may make an offer
- Offers should not be made or accepted before 12 noon ET on Friday two weeks after the Ministerial Records are released to congregations
Selection Round 2
- May 14 or 15 – congregations without a match from round 1 receive names of interested ministers
- May 25, noon Eastern time – congregations in round 2 may make an offer
Selection Round 3
- May 30 – congregations still without a match receive names of interested ministers
- Offers may be made at any time