The Northwest Board of Governors has been working hard to put together a slate of nominees for our settled Minister Search Committee. Note that an expanded slate will be sent to you at least 24 hours prior to our Congregational Meeting on Sunday.
The Board adopted the recommended process as outlined in the UUA Settlement Handbook. The process for selecting the Search Committee was first approved by the Board almost 18 months ago, and this process has been published and discussed several times with the whole congregation since January. It is not a process we invented, we followed the UUA Search Committee guidelines which have been proven as best practices in countless congregations.
Remember that the Minister Search Committee's job is to ensure that they are hearing from a representative sample of people - their job is not to represent themselves, but to represent the stated needs, desires, and dreams of the congregation as a whole. This is the capability that is needed in each member - not that they represent some constituency, but that they can work collaboratively and have the skills to listen to all constituencies within the congregation. The Board is confident that everyone on our slate can meet this challenge.
The Search process includes the committee surveying the whole congregation, sharing the results of that survey back to the congregation, and asking for validation that this is what the congregation wants - a testing of what they think they heard/learned. There will be many small group conversations that go further into what the congregation is hoping for. Your vote on Sunday is just the first step in your involvement in the Search process.
Because there was concern that the slate posted last Sunday was not sufficiently diverse (primarily because it did not include any men), the Board conducted a full audit of the results of the congregational survey for nominations, confirmed the original slate, and then decided to go deeper into the list and last night added 8 more potential nominees, who are deciding whether or not they would like to stand for the Search Committee election.
Here are the numbers so you fully understand where we are: - 30 nominees received 5+ mentions from fellow congregants - 5 of these are part of the LGBTQ community - 6 are BiPOC members - 7 have young families (children 18 and under) - 9 are men - 15 are seniors
The resulting slate will be those out of the 30 who are willing and able to put in the time and energy to this crucial task. As many of you know, volunteer capacity is down not only at NWUU, but across our UU world, and outside of that as well. The Search Committee is a major "time and mind" commitment and we sincerely thank all of those who are willing to be considered.
The Board is confident that the process is sound and, as it reflects the will of the congregation as a whole, will result in a Minister Search Committee that will be best able to conduct an effective settled minister search.