Greetings dear ones,
So many exciting things are happening. The search process is moving forward on schedule, and I am sharing below some important highlights. Additionally, the opportunity for in-person worship has been a wonderful chance to come together in a way that has not been possible for nearly two years.
Important Timeline Highlights – Some of this has changed in recent years with the move to more online aspects of the search process.
- The Search Timeline has been provided from the UUA Transitions office. You will see that we are in the midst of the Education and Preparation for Search period which began during Winter 2022. You will see in the Board Meeting Highlights that they will be obtaining a Transitions Coach in the very near future.
- Selection of Search Committee Process – please note that it recommends this process take a month to six weeks beginning in March and a vote happening by June. We are right on schedule to begin this work in the next few weeks. There will be a survey similar to the one shown in this document.
There are things that have already happened or are currently in progress to prepare for the search process. You may have seen them in other communications, some are more obviously connected to the search process than others, and a number of these were part of the Interim Goals established at the October 2021 Board Meeting.
- In mid-September there was an article introducing the members of the combined Committee on Ministry Transitions Team which includes Sally Andersen, Badia Askari, Bob Deyle, Erika Frisby, and Linda Wright.
- In October the Committee on Ministry Transitions Team and I hosted a series of six Listening Circles. An additional listening circle occurred in-person in early December and another online in late January. Bringing the total to eight with over 40 participants. The initial report about the first six was shared in the Meridian in mid-November. Here is the Listening Circle Report with addendum to include the more recent sessions.
- A History Timeline event was held in early November and a folder was shared in the Meridian with a previously compiled history timeline (view here) both in written form and images of the visual display created in 2013.
- Some of the services in November reflected on our history and what is important to the church. This led to conversations during coffee hour about the history as well.
- Updating the website is an important part of preparing for search. This was made possible by the hard work from Rei Myers, Anna Bethea, and Adriane Pitt, among others.
- Reviewing things like the by-laws, mission, vision, covenant, welcoming congregation status and deciding how to address these moving forward. This will be touched upon during the Church Startup held on March 5th.
- Restarting the Safety Committee and addressing related needs which began in January.
- Evaluate accessibility needs. Bonnie Abellera has been compiling a list to address some immediate needs versus long-term planning.
- Restarting Programs Committee which helps identify guest speakers and worship associates.
- Board President Brian Lee and I have reviewed the Welcoming Congregation Renewal process and identified potential members for a Welcoming Renewal Task Force. Some of this work is already incorporated into the planned services.
- Updating the AV equipment which will make the church far more appealing to potential candidates
- Returning to more in-person events and services while continuing an online presence allows for members to reconnect which will help when we identify search committee members
- The Board has given consideration to the possibility of a 3rd year of Interim Ministry and to Developmental Ministry.
- There will be a Congregational Meeting about the Developmental Ministry option later this month. We will also be collaborating with the UUA Southern Region and Transitions Office to address the particular needs of UUCT.
- Evaluate Benefits Packages offered to the minister and staff with a focus on health care package change.
If you have any questions about the Search Process please contact me, one of the Committee on Ministry Transition Team Members, or a Member of the Board.
In faith, Rev. Holly
About the author
Rev. Holly Brown, Interim Minister
Rev. Holly (they/them/theirs) was ordained on April 3, 2021, by Piedmont Unitarian Universalist Church in Charlotte and Salisbury, NC, where they served as a ministerial intern. Rev. Holly earned their Master of Divinity from Methodist Theological School in Ohio (MTSO) with a special focus on UU courses offered by the UU House of Studies at MTSO. During seminary, they served as a student minister at North Unitarian Universalist Church in Lewis Center, Ohio and student chaplain during one unit of Clinical Pastoral Education at Nationwide Children’s Hospital. Rev. Holly also served as an Interim Director of Religious Education at the UU Congregation of Greenville, NC before perusing ministry.
Rev. Holly has a passion for Racial Justice, LGBTQIA Rights, Interfaith Work, and Mental Health Awareness and Accessibility Justice. In addition to local justice work, Rev. Holly is a member of several UUA and UUMA (UU Ministers Association) groups including TRUUsT (Trans Religious professional Unitarian Universalists Together), Trans/Nonbinary Ministers, Ministers with Disabilities, ARE (Allies for Racial Equity), and the UU Mental Health Network.