Minister Search

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Update on Settled Minister Search Process

February 21, 2017

The Ministerial Search Committee is pleased to announce that we have selected four highly qualified applicants for the pre-candidating phase of the settled minister search.  Throughout the next month each pre-candidate will be coming to Bend for a three-day visit. We are looking forward to getting to know our pre-candidates better and introducing them to our church and to Bend.

Because they have not yet let their congregations know they are in search, we must continue to maintain confidentiality about their identity. If you happen to see a group of us touring the building or meeting at a local restaurant, please be discreet and ignore us.
We hope to be able to announce a finalist for the settled minister position in early April.

January 13, 2017

The Ministerial Search Committee (MSC) is pleased to report that as of January 2, we received 22 names of ministers expressing an interest in our Settled Minister position! The committee has reviewed these applicants’ Ministerial Records and other related materials. From that group we have reached agreement on six applicants who appear to have the experience and qualities our congregation is looking for in a settled minister. We are very pleased to have this large a field of strong applicants.

In the next week, the MSC will be using video conferencing to interview our six applicants. From there, we hope to select three or four pre-candidates who will be invited for a two-day visit, including a more in-depth interview. These visits will take place in February and early March. Because ministers in search have not yet informed their congregation of their plans, the MSC must maintain strict confidentiality about the identity of our applicants and pre-candidates.

The Unitarian Universalist Association’s Transitions Office has provided us with the following data about this year’s Settled Minister Search:

  • 47 congregations are searching for ministers; so far 85 ministers have expressed interest in these congregations.
  • Each congregation averaged 13.7 expressions of interest from ministers, ranging from a low of 1 and a high of 31.  Twenty-two ministers expressed an interest in UUFCO.
  • The age of ministers searching ranges from mid-20s to 70s.
  • There are 45 women, 36 men, and 4 who identify as transexual or other.
  • There are 10 people of color, 4 who have a stated disability, 48 who are heterosexual, and 37 who are bisexual/gay/lesbian/other.
  • Of the 85 ministers in search, 18 are new to the ministry, 67 have ministerial experience of at least one year, and fewer than 10 have more than 6 years’ experience.


January 4, 2017

The Ministerial Search Committee (MSC) is pleased to report that so far we have received 22 names of ministers expressing an interest in our Settled Minister position! We now have access to each interested minister’s Ministerial Record, which summarizes their history, experience, interests, and perspective on many issues related to ministry. Most applicants have also created a website, which gives a more complete picture of their experience and includes samples of their sermons.

MSC members are engaged in reading and taking thorough notes on each applicant’s Ministerial Record and supplemental materials. As we read, we are keeping in mind the congregation’s thoughtful discussions and comments about the qualities you are hoping for in a settled minister. The committee will gather on January 9 to reach consensus on the ministers we want to follow up with via a preliminary Skype interview. From there we will begin checking references and narrow the field further to the three or four pre-candidates who will be invited for a weekend visit and face-to-face interview.

Because ministers in search have not yet informed their congregation of their plans, it is imperative that the MSC maintain confidentiality about their identity. What we can tell you is that the group is diverse in background, experience, and length of time in the ministry. The depth and thoughtfulness they communicate in their application materials are impressive. We’re feeling encouraged that we have a promising field of potential candidates.

Your Ministerial Search Committee


Ministerial Search Milestones

The Ministerial Search Committee receives guidance from both the UUA Transitions Office and Rev. Amy Rowland, our assigned Ministerial Settlement representative, who introduced the congregation to the search process on April 24th. The Search Committee met with Rev. Rowland for our kickoff retreat on July 29th and 30th.  The following month was spent in self-study about process details, using UUA search-related materials.

Over the next couple of months we are and will be gathering input from the congregation, our leadership and staff and also demographic and other information about our area. The goal is to tell our story in a clear and attractive manner so we can interest as many good candidates as possible, and in the end find just the right person to be our settled minister. 

Following is our broad schedule of milestones through the process. There are, of course, numerous detailed sub-steps in every case.  This will be updated if changes are made. Please ask any committee member* if you have questions about the search or any activity below.


The Committee gathers input from and about the congregation and staff and creates a Congregational Record and information packet telling our story, ultimately for review by prospective candidates.
November 13 The congregation is encouraged to attend Beyond Categorical Thinking, a Sunday service and UUA-facilitated afternoon workshop about unconscious biases that might influence our selection of a settled minister.
November 30 The Settlement Representative requests the UUA Transitions Office to unveil our Congregational Record for ministers in search.
January 3
Committee requests access from UUA Transition Office to the Ministerial Record of ministers seeking a settled ministry position.
January to mid-March The Committee and interested ministers exchange packets. We then conduct remote interviews with ministers, their references, and select up to three or four pre-candidates. The Committee meets privately with pre-candidateswho have reciprocal interest, conducts face-to-face interviews and attends a sermon at a neutral pulpit. These interactions all remain private for the protection of the candidates.
March 30 The Search Committee makes an offer to its first choice at noon Eastern time.
Early to
The Board announces candidate to the congregation.    
End of April CANDIDATING WEEK: the minister (and family if applicable) visits UUFCO and meets the Congregation, the leadership and staff, and presents sermons.
April 30 Congregation votes to extend call and Minister accepts.



Read about our Settled Minister Search Committee members.

Noreen Halberstadt, Marean Jordan, Chad Leonard, Robin Slocum, Vernon Threlkeld, Judy Trask, Tom Wykes (Chair) 


Read about the Categorical Thinking workshop, on November 13.





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