THE BOARD ANSWERS QUESTIONS FROM THE OCTOBER 14, 2018 COMMUNITY MEETING REGARDING THE MINISTER SEARCH PROCESS
Do we have rules and procedures from Unity Worldwide Ministries?
Yes, we have a big packet of information with several documents. That’s why it takes so long – there are a lot of steps involved.
Are we following the rules for the process?
Yes and no. We filled out all the paperwork to receive a transition consultant from Unity Worldwide Ministries (UWM). When they did not have a transition minister available, rather than waiting even longer than the two months we waited, we decided to do it with Unity Cedar Rapids facilitators. As far as the rest of the process goes, we are definitely following all the rules.
Is Unity Central aware we’re looking and do we get help from them?
Yes, Unity Worldwide Ministries has been aware of our situation since late June. They had some challenges getting information and resources to us due to the number of open ministries and limited staffing. Right now we have all the information we need for the search process. We still are trying to get guest (non-applicant) ministers from UWM to give us Sunday talks.
Are we auditioning prospective candidates?
We will, yes. We expect to have the top three candidates actually come to UCR to meet people and to give a Sunday message. We’ll keep you posted on their dates.
When will the search team be determined?
We’ll accept applications through Oct 21 and the board will decide at its meeting Oct 23. The team will be announced by Oct. 28. (edit 10.25.18 The Minister Search Team members are (alphabetically): Lynda Black-Smith (board representative), Audrey Eggleston, Polly Gould, Chris Klostermann, Kevin Krumvieda, and Paula Land. They will select a chairperson at their first meeting and will keep the congregation informed of their progress.)
When will we see prospective ministers?
Once we send in our main document with the search team members and our expectations, our information will be posted to the UWM website and in its newsletter. We hope to get resumes shortly after that. The search team will sort through those and will interview candidates by phone or electronic means. Then, hopefully, we’ll have three to bring here for face to face interviews. It will most likely be December or January.
What is the target date for accepting applications? How long will we accept them?
We’ll submit our main document to UWM the week of October 22, once the search team is in place. We hope to start receiving applications shortly after that. We’ll accept them for a few weeks and will then start interviewing.
How many ministers do we look at?
As many as are interested. We’ll try to narrow down the in-person interviews to the top three.
How long of a commitment are we asking of a new minister?
We usually start with a short term contract, and if all goes well, extend it on a 3 year basis.
What are the highest risk factors of burnout?
Burnout is unique for each individual. Generally speaking, taking on too much and not allowing for self-care are the biggest risk factors. Fatigue is another.
How do we help prevent minister burnout?
We try to prevent burnout by offering sabbatical time for spiritual, physical, and mental renewal. We also ask and make sure the minister has self-care practices in place.
Does the new minister have to be ordained through Unity?
Yes, according to our bylaws, we must have an ordained Unity minister.
Are we willing to consider a broader applicant range?
Not at this time.
Would the board consider having UCR take financial responsibility for a prospective minister’s credentialing education?
Not at this time.
Is our salary commitment to Rev. Brenda over?
Yes. Rev. Brenda’s last day on the payroll was Sept. 30.
Is there a place to view information collected? How will it be accessed?
We have a spot on our website where congregants may read regular updates. Scroll down on the home page to the “News and Events” section. We’ll try to keep everyone informed through the e-news, too. The e-news will have links to the website. We will also post information on a bulletin board in the Sacred Grounds and Books area. If you have another way you’d like information, we’ll consider it.
Do we have a marketing plan?
We’re assuming this means marketing the new minister to our community after the person is hired. We don’t have a plan yet, but we welcome congregants to participate and share marketing ideas any time. If this question means marketing Unity Cedar Rapids to prospective candidates, we are doing that in the documents we send to UWM.
What kind of commitment is expected of the search team?
We would be happy if the search took just a couple of months, but we really don’t know. It depends on the responses we get and the logistics of getting everyone together to interview candidates. The commitment also requires confidentiality, teamwork, flexibility, and love of Unity CR.
Where is the board?
If this question means, “Where is the board in the process”, we are determining the search team and are submitting information to Unity Worldwide Ministries. The search team will make recommendations, and the board will decide who to hire. We welcome any more specific questions about our participation.