Update on Settled Minister Search Process
April 15 Update - Letter from our Ministerial Candidate
Dear Good People of the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Central Oregon,
After a long and winding road for your Ministerial Search Committee and for me, I am so excited that we have arrived at the same place! The invitation to be your candidate for settled ministry thrills me to my core. It has been a joy getting to know the congregation from your search materials, through conversation with the search committee and others who have served the church, and then by visiting Bend in March.
I am currently in my sixth year of ministry serving the Unitarian Universalist Church of the North Hills in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Rebecca and I have two children, Simon, (7), and Tessa Jane (5) along with a dog named Hobbuddy and a cat named Ninja. We are quite in love with all we have learned about the congregation and the area of Bend. We are nature lovers at heart and the idea of soaking our own souls in the outdoors and raising our children in this environment is remarkable. I hope you will have a chance to view my ministerial search website [www.revscottrudolph.com] before I arrive for our candidating week together on April 30 - May 7.
Given all that this fellowship has accomplished in your past and how healthy and vibrant you are right now, the future of the congregation is full of possibility. The kindness and dedication of the members and friends comes through clearly. You have a history of strong lay leadership and involvement. Challenges have arisen through the years and the people have engaged them together. The congregation is moving out into the community to work for justice. Spiritual and personal growth are central to your shared time. You are a caring community of people who live life deeply. You have dreamed big and then realized these hopes with your building and your solid community life. All of these congregational qualities call to me deeply. Now the next chapter awaits.
From the beginning, the people and story of UUFCO captured my imagination and never let go. My hope is to bring my skills and talents into this community to help the congregation continue its good work as we envision together what could be next. I look forward to meeting you soon and hearing more about your experiences at UUFCO. Should the congregation choose to call me as your next settled minister, I would be honored to contribute my energies to UUFCO’s mission of seeking meaning, celebrating life, and serving the spirit of love and justice in our world.
Rev. Scott Rudolph
April 7 Update - Candidate Selection
The Ministerial Search Committee is excited to introduce Rev. Scott Rudolph as our candidate for UUFCO's settled minister position. Rev. Scott is completing his sixth year as a settled minister at the Unitarian Universalist Church of North Hills (UUCNH) in the Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania area. (Read the full announcement to the congregation below.)
Rev. Scott will be in Bend for Candidating Week, April 30 to May 7. There will be many opportunities for UUFCO members and friends to meet him and his wife Rebecca. He will give two sermons—on April 30 and May 7—and will also be available to meet the congregation during the meetings and activities planned that week. Fellowship activities include a congregational potluck after the service on April 30, a meet-and-greet on Wednesday, May 3 from 7–9 PM, a meet-and-greet on Friday, May 5 from 1–3 PM, and a family and children ice cream social on Saturday, May 6, from 2-4 PM at Higher Ground’s Common House. The all-important vote by members will be on May 7 after the service. There will be a gathering after the vote.
Announcement to the Congregation
Rev. Scott is completing his sixth year as a settled minister at the Unitarian Universalist Church of North Hills (UUCNH) in the Pittsburgh, PA area. He received his Master of Divinity from the Meadville Lombard Theological School in Chicago, served as chaplain at Christ Medical Hospital in Chicago, and interned at East Shore Unitarian Church in Bellevue, WA before accepting the call to UUCNH in 2011. His family includes his wife, Rebecca, and two children, Simon Oak (age 7) and Tessa Jane (age 5). Rebecca is a school occupational therapist.
Rev. Scott came to UUCNH soon after the church completed a major building project. He helped the congregation to discern "what's next" and to grow into that vision. Highlights of UUCNH's shared ministry during his tenure include: creating and integrating a mission and relational covenant; growing the church membership, budget, and children's and youth programs; moving social justice to the center of congregational concern with a focus on race and the environment; restructuring the church's governance structure; beginning small group ministries and increasing other religious education programming; and forming a local interfaith coalition.
Rev. Scott's background, experience, and personal qualities are impressive. His written record and excellent references as well as interviews and informal conversations demonstrate:
• a deep commitment to multigenerational parish ministry
• an engaging pulpit presence and preaching style that combines spiritual and intellectual depth
• an understanding of church systems, governance, and finances
• a calm presence, open-heartedness, authenticity, and warmth
• a demonstrated ability to work collaboratively, listen deeply, and promote lay leadership
• a commitment to creating community relationships and becoming a visible, respected advocate for liberal religious values in the larger community
• abundant enthusiasm and creative energy, including a love of music, dance, and the arts
• a varied travel background (hiking the Appalachian Trail from Maine to Georgia, traveling in Central America and New Zealand) and work experience (as an AmeriCorps volunteer, a case manager for Big Brothers Big Sisters, and Assistant Director for Corporate and Foundation Relations at Colorado State University)
Welcome Scott, Rebecca, and Simon Oak and Tessa Jane!
Your Ministerial Search Committee
March 13, 2017 - Candidating Week is changing to April 30—May 7.
We are midway through the pre-candidating phase of the ministerial search process. Two more pre-candidates will be coming to Bend for three-day visits in the next two weeks. We hope to be able to announce a final candidate for our settled minister position by Sunday, April 9.
Because of scheduling issues, the candidating week has been changed to April 30—May 7. This is your chance to get to know the candidate before the all-important congregational vote by members on May 7. Our candidate will give two sermons—on April 30 and May 7—and there will be meetings and activities in the days in between. A schedule will be available soon. Please plan to take advantage of opportunities to get to know our candidate!
Your Ministerial Search Committee
March 1, 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 final candidate for the settled minister position in early April. The candidating week is scheduled for April 23-30. This is your chance to get to know the candidate before the all-important congregation vote on April 30. Our candidate will give two sermons: April 23 and 30th. There will be many activities in the days in between. Please plan to be in town that week so you can get to know our candidate and cast an informed vote. We will provide more details soon.
Your Ministerial Search Committee
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.|
|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.|
|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.|
|August 15||MINISTER ARRIVES|
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.