Message from the Board: Interim Minister Update

As we’ve all heard, Rev. Jack will be leaving St. Petersburg at the end of June to join his family in North Carolina.  He generously timed his leaving, and his announcement of his leaving, to sync with UUA’s calendar for transitions in ministers.  We are currently working through the process to find an Interim Minister to serve our congregation for up to two years, starting in August.

The role of Interim Minister is somewhat different from that of a Settled Minister like Rev. Jack.  Though the Interim Minister is responsible for many of the same tasks, they are specifically tasked with helping the congregation prepare for a successful new Settled Minister.  They receive extra training in how to help a congregation make tough decisions about their future: What is our vision for the next 5/10/20 years as a congregation?  What are our top needs?  What problems should be resolved and in what order?

In applying for an interim minister, we are asking for the following strengths:
1.  organizational development expertise
2.  collaborative and transformational leadership skills
3.  facilitation and conflict resolution skills
4.  excellent interpersonal and communication skills, including the ability to lead inspiring worship services

If we were applying for a Settled Minister right now, those sought-for strengths might be different with different priorities.  We dream of finding a Minister who is a super star in every area of UU ministry – spiritual development, social justice work, sermons, adult learning, children/youth religious education, personnel management, pastoral care, facilities management, leadership training, financial planning…it’s an impossibly long list.  But the advantage and wisdom of having an Interim means that the church can relax about the decision – the Interim is here for only two years, with a commitment to helping us make a great decision about our future directions and the Settled Minister to join us in that journey.

The Interim Minister Search Team will begin interviewing candidates in May, and will make a recommendation to the Board late that month.  The Board will select top candidates to submit to UUA.  (A Settled Minister is voted on by the entire congregation.)  The process we are following is in accordance with our By-Laws and UUA recommendations.  We’re excited about it!

Saying good-bye to a beloved minister who has been here for more than six years will be hard, but we’re confident that, working together, our congregation will have a successful transition.  The future looks bright and full of opportunities.  Working together we will define that future.

 Susan Burnore, Sally Carville, Paul Craig, Sharon Winters