Join us as we search for a new Minister and Director of Religious Education
Starting January 2021, Xina Stewart will serve as the volunteer Head of Staff until August 2021, when the Interim Minister starts. In this role, Xina will attend the weekly staff meetings, monitor payroll, and handle any conflicts along with the assistance from members of the Committee on Ministry and Right Relationships (COMRR).
Our contract for an Independent Consulting Minister has been accepted by the Rev. Joanne Giannino, a UU Minister based in Vermont. This person is contracted to be available 5-7 hours a month, starting January 1, 2021, as a resource for Xina Stewart in her role as the layperson Head of Staff for Northwest until the Interim Minister begins in August 2021.
Pastoral Care Team Peter Gabel will serve as the chair of the Pastoral Care Team along with our Ministerial Intern, Joshua Berg. If you or anyone you know is in need of pastoral care, please contact either Peter or Joshua. They are here for you and will connect you with someone on the team. Contact Information: Peter Gabel - email@example.com; (248) 245-2015 Joshua Berg - firstname.lastname@example.org; (818) 530-6001
Minister's Discretionary Fund This fund is availabe to Northwest members and friends in cases of financial hardship particularly during the COVID-19 pandemic. Confidential financial assistance from the Minister's Discretionary Fund can be made to Peter Gabel (Pastoral Care), Xina Stewart (Head of Staff), or Sheryl Goldberg (Membership Governor).
Sunday Morning Worship Sunday morning worship services will be coordinated by the Worship Committee, chaired by Diana Kohler. Services will be led by lay members, our Ministerial Intern, Joshua Berg, as well as guest speakers on Sunday mornings. Our Choir Director, Ken Hermonat, and our Pianist, Alex Meyers, will continue providing music for our online services.
Operations The Board of Governors has moved our Congregational Administrator, Ben Gabel, from 3/4 time to full time to continue with the day-to-day operations and to assist the Transition Team which includes Linda Gobeski, Amy Rebant, and Kathy Henry. Also, our Custodian, Brian MacFarland, continues to monitor the building and doing small projects while our building remains closed.
The selection of the Interim Minister Search Committee will be finalized by the end of this month. The chair of the Interim Minister Search Committee will be Linda Gobeski. The committee will consist of 3 - 4 elected members from the Board of Governors. Their work will begin in February 2021 with the bulk of the work being done between the end of April through mid-May. The Board anticipates an Interim Minister to start August 2021, thus beginning our 2-year Interim Minister period.
Congregation members will have the opportunity to affirm the members for the Settled Minister Search Committee at a Congregational Meeting in early 2022. The Settled Minister Search Committee will begin their work in February 2022 and the search process will continue until the congregation votes to call a settled minister in late May-June 2023.
REMINDER: Kimi Riegel will no longer be available for counsel to Northwest members and friends as of January 1, 2021. This period of no contact will continue for three years until January 2024.
Director of Religious Education (DRE) Transition
Kudos to the team of staff and members who took on the task of finding a replacement for our long time friend, member and DRE, Jan Price. The Youth Programs Committee, along with the Personnel Committee-- under the guidance of Chris Doozan and Amy Rebant-- created a job description for a religious educator to work virtually with our children and families. Throughout the hiring process, Ben Gabel provided administrative assistance. Kimi joined the hiring team to provide the interviewing and decision-making experience needed for this particular role. A grateful and well deserved callout to Youth Programs Committee Chairperson, Julie Verriest, along with committee members Eva Leventer and Ann Love, who joined Kimi on the hiring team. In the end, the team hired a religious educator with positivity, energy and enthusiasm-- someone who is eager to meet the unique challenge of connecting and supporting our youth and families in this virtual world, all within a UU framework:
StarrAustin is based in Arizonia, a credentialed religious educator with the UUA and has served in professional religious ministry for 8+ years. Starr loves to tell stories, preach, and write poetry. She is also interested in work around disability justice, dismantling white supremacy, and advocacy for LGBTQIA+ persons. Welcome to our new Virtual Director of Religious Education, StarrAustin! We anticipate having an Acting/Interim DRE start in August 2021.