Letter and video message from Rev. Lisa

Dear Friends,

I am thrilled and honored to be invited to serve UUCM as your Developmental Minister! This is a strange and tender time to meet one another in the midst of a pandemic, but please know that I can’t wait to meet you and begin this journey with you.

Throughout the process with the Search Team, I could sense UUCM’s deep commitment to community and shared ministry, and your excitement about the possibilities of what the future might bring. I walked through your beautiful building and grounds and could see the love and dedication with which you have created a welcoming home for all. I heard the stories from the team about what drew them to UUCM for their first visit and what inspired them to stay.  It is clear that you are a bright beacon of our faith as a congregation, and I look forward to exploring with you the ways in which our chalice flame can burn even brighter in hope and love in the Western suburbs. Continue reading →

New Minister Board Update: April 3

Funny, how being sequestered in my home disrupts all the routines that used to keep me oriented to the day of week and other orientations. Flash! We have two strong candidates for our developmental minister for next year. The search team has reviewed their ministerial records and we are preparing for initial interviews Thursday and Friday. We have requested that they give us contact info so we can speak directly with people who they have supervised in the past.

Meanwhile: wash hands, check temps and whether you van still smell things, maintain social distance. I wear exam gloves and face mask and carry Lysol wipes when I HAVE to go out.  Stay safe folks, You are precious.

More to follow next week.

Robert Brooks
President, UUCM Board of Trustees

New Minister Board Update: Week 10

A few Board Updates back, we had started discussing the four developmental ministry goals in more depth. This week we are exploring Goal #3 – “Imagining the Future:  What is the congregation going to need over the next 15 years?”

This question takes on added poignancy now as we face an uncertain future.  As one of our board members said earlier this week, “I’m overwhelmed, as is everyone.” How can we extrapolate out fifteen years when we see how much has changed in our lives over the timeframe of the past few weeks?

And yet, our faith provides guideposts to help us prioritize what is important – the inherent worth and dignity of every person; justice, equity and compassion in human relations; our values will endure. The question before us right now is “what does our faith call us to do in this moment?”

And our answer, in this last week has been to close the church. To heed the direction and advice of our elected officials and public health experts as they direct us to practice physical distance to help slow the spread of the coronavirus. The good news in this moment is that hard as this time has been and will continue to be, we are fortunate to have three interim ministers who are experts in using the internet to connect with far-flung congregants. They are giving us crash courses in using Zoom video conferencing, the church and UUA websites, webinars, possibilities of streaming worship services, music, small group meetings, so much more to stay connected during this time of physical distance but perhaps even increased social and emotional connection.

This time period ahead of us will not be easy, but we will get through it together.

New Minister Board Update: Week 9

The Board met last night and will continue our Board activities together, but not in person for a while.  We are fortunate that our interim ministers have previous experience with online ministry and online worship to help us all stay connected as a community in these unprecedented times.

The Minister Selection process continues without interruption.  We are addressing this question today:

In “developmental minister”, does the word developmental refer to the development of the minister or to the development of the congregation?  Both!   Developmental ministers are not trainees.  They are highly experienced, often with decades of experience.  Developmental refers to the shared ministry of both the congregation and the minister.  It’s a mutual effort, with the congregation making a commitment to growth in the goal areas identified.

New Minister Board Update: Week 8

The first Stewardship Gathering took place last Sunday and there was a lively question and answer session about the selection of a new minister.  Here are two of those questions:

Is developmental ministry a category of ministry?  Is developmental ministry recognized by the UUA?  Yes and Yes!  Developmental ministry is a recognized category of ministry by the UUA and we are working closely with the UUA Transitions staff during the selection process.  Developmental ministry is a newer model of ministry which is why many in the congregation may not have heard of it before.  The decision to move forward with the developmental ministry model was made after much reflection by the Board including what we learned from the Congregational Listening Sessions, with support and input from our current interim ministers, and in discussion with and approval by the UUA Transitions staff.

If you have not already done so, please plan to attend a Stewardship Gathering.  We welcome your questions.

New Minister Board Update: Week 7

This week, we are addressing several questions:

Do we have any candidate submissions yet? When does the submissions deadline close? What are the next steps after that?  We are working closely with the UUA Transitions staff and they will forward qualified candidates to us.  We don’t expect candidate responses to our posting before mid-March.  The Board Minister Selection Task Force will then interview and evaluate them.  Offers will occur in April.   

 Can we see the posting that candidates are responding to?  Yes, you can!  We do not plan to post it publicly but ask any member of the Board and they can email it to you.  The document is nineteen pages long.

Keep the questions coming!