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110 S. 2nd Street
Geneva, IL, 60134


Settled Minister Search 2020

 Settled Minister Search 2020

At the March 19, 2019 Board of Directors meeting, a vote was taken and passed to begin a search for a settled minister for the 2020 church year (start date of August 2020). As we begin the search process, this page will provide information and updates to the UUSG congregation. Contact:


September 17, 2019: Beyond Categorical Thinking — Think of a Minister. Don’t Think of an Elephant.

Chances are, you thought of both. And distinct images perhaps came to mind. In terms of a minister, what images came to mind? Was it a person of a particular gender, race, or age? 

Beyond Categorical Thinking is a highly recommended part of the search process for our congregation. In finding the person who would be the best match for our minister, we could potentially overlook or even let biases keep us from knowing that a particular person would be the best match for us.

Other congregations have assumed that their ideal minister looks a certain way, and often ministers who are not white or male or heterosexual or able-bodied or of a particular age or class are discounted and seen as “less than” in some ways.

Credentialed ministers in our faith who are People of Color, LGBTQ+, disabled, young, old, working class, etc. still face discrimination as part of the ministerial search process.

In our efforts to find the best match, our congregation will host a Beyond Categorical Thinking worship service and workshop on Sunday, September 29. We will have trainer come and meet with our Search Committee, lead the Sunday service, and facilitate a three-hour conversation where we will have a chance to examine how we can avoid letting prejudice become a part of our search process. This is yet another way for us to put our faith into lived experience and improve the odds we will find the minister who is the best match for us and who will serve us well.

This opportunity allows the entire congregation fuller participation in the search process.  It will allow us to explore our hopes and concerns for a new minister, learn more about the search process, and see how our own history (both personal and congregational) might interfere with our efforts in this search.

So, come on Sunday, September 29, to participate in this service provided by the UUA. Our trainer will be Amanda Schuber.  All adults are encouraged to attend and childcare and lunch will be provided.  Please sign up here, or at the Search Team bulletin board in the Common Room.  We hope to see you there. 

September 8, 2019: The Settled Minister Search Team is eager to hear your thoughts! 

The Search Team will be hosting focus groups throughout September and October to gain further insight on your vision for UUSG and our future settled minister. This is a great opportunity to have a group conversation about who we are and what we’re looking for in a new minister. Your feedback will provide the Search Team additional, and richer, information to include in the Congregational Record. 

Focus groups will meet both at the church on Sunday afternoons as well as selected weekday evenings at UUSG member homes. Please see the sign-up sheets posted in the Common Room for September dates, or sign up online here. October dates will be published in a few weeks. 

Thank you for your time and insight as we seek our next settled minister. Your input is vital to our search!

Past Announcements

Meet Our Settled Minister Search Team

Kevin Beyer
Kevin Beyer, and his wife Lisa Gades, have been members of UUSG since 2006. Kevin has served on the Finance Team, leads the monthly volunteering at the Northern Illinois Food Bank, and is currently serving on the Stewardship Team. Kevin is an X-Ray science Specialist who has worked at a National Laboratory for the past 27 years.  

Doreen Christiani
Doreen Christiani, member of UUSG for 10 years, is a past member of the Board of Directors, Communications, Interweave and Technology Teams, currently a member of the Finance and Worship Associates teams. Before leaving for college, daughter Grace attended youth groups including YRUU, OWL and Habitat for Humanity. Doreen's husband Jim is a new member of the UUSG congregation and Facilities team.

Tom Lichtenheld
Tom Lichtenheld is a lifelong UU. He and his wife, Jan Miller, have been members of UUSG since 2001. Tom has been a member of the facilities team since 2016. Professionally, he worked in advertising for 30 years and is currently a children's book author and illustrator. 

Kevin O’Neill
Kevin O’Neill, and his wife Linda, have been members of UUSG since 1995. During that time Kevin has served as a member of the Board, Treasurer, and Finance Committee chairperson. Currently, Kevin is the chairperson for the Facilities Team. Since retiring in 2014, Kevin devoted time to researching and writing a screenplay about UUSG’s founding minster Augustus Conant. He also volunteers as a Kane County Certified Naturalist and is a board member for the St. Charles Singers.

Amanda Slaiher
Amanda Slaiher lives in Batavia with her husband, Jacques, and their three young children: Elliott, Cynthia, and Michele. Amanda grew up in the church; she began attending with her mother in 1981 when Amanda was eight years old. She signed the book as an eighth-grader and became a full member in 2007. She served as a Coming of Age mentor for three years and is currently in her second year of teaching K-2 religious education classes. 

Roxanne Willis
Roxanne Willis has attended UUSG for ten years, and has been a member for eight. In the past, she has participated in the Buddhist Group, the New UUs Group, and the Hypnosis Ministry. She is currently an active member of the Mental Health Ministry and often serves as a Worship Associate. She has a PhD in American History and has been an academic book editor for ten years. She is currently working on her Master’s in Social Work to become a psychotherapist. Her husband, Geoff Pynn, is part of the Music Ministry and the Worship Team. Her son, Ivan, is active in YRUU, and her daughter, Lydia, is part of the Middle School Youth Group.

Tom Zimmerman
I have been attending UUSG for over 20 years. I watched my daughter go through YRUU and realized how important this church and our related youth programs are to the community, which motivated me to become a YRUU advisor and Habitat for Humanity trip advisor. I also very much enjoy being one of the wonderful group of UUSG musicians. In secular life I'm an engineer at Fermilab and an avid gardener.

Communication from Board of Directors to Congregation

A Note from the Board of Directors - March 25, 2019

At the March 19th Board of Directors meeting, a vote was taken and passed to begin a search for a settled minister for the 2020 church year.  

The Interim Co-Ministers Jennifer Innis and Patrick Price will help steer us through the process for the remainder of this year and the next, when we hope a settled minister is selected and in place.  

The Board is now soliciting nominations from the congregation for members of the search team. Search members will be responsible for representing the best hopes and aspirations of our congregation to the UUA. Their efforts, and the participation of the entire congregation, will aid us in getting the best ministerial fit for UUSG.  

We are guided in this search process by our bylaws and UUA policies. To begin, we ask the members of the congregation, over the next two weeks, please submit no more than three names of fellow members for consideration. You may nominate yourself if you are interested. With each name you put forth, please include a statement outlining your reason(s) for nomination. Please include your name with the nominees list. Submit names to or in a sealed envelope placed in the Board mailbox by Monday, April 8, 2019.

The Board of Directors will begin the process of tallying and selecting the seven people from the list of nominations at the next board meeting on April 9th.  

All nominations will be confidential. As directed by our Bylaws, the Board of Directors will propose the list of selected individuals for a full congregational vote at our annual meeting, Sunday, May 19, 2019.

For further information about the search process and the involvement required please consult the UUA website. As always, feel free to discuss concerns with the ministers and Board members.  

In the next few days the UUSG website will have a link to the details for everyone to read, and a bulletin board in the Common Room will have more details on the search.  

UUSG Board of Directors