Minister Search Update from the Board

The Minister Search Team (Sue Schadler, Scott Swenson, Gary Feder) continues to search for a Contract Minister.

Our initial job posting sought a 3/4-time minister who resides locally. Only one candidate replied to that posting, and this candidate ultimately took a position in another state to be near their partner. We have had no other applications from a minister residing locally or willing to relocate.

At the Annual Meeting, we noted the general shortage of ministerial candidates and indicated that, to give SUUS a better chance of finding a viable candidate, we would open our search to candidates who would serve SUUS remotely. We discussed this with the UUA, who said doing so could bring us more candidates. And indeed, it did. After posting that change on the UUA Job Board, we received applications from 4 ministers – all of whom are located remotely. The Search Team is evaluating those candidates.

Simultaneously, the Search Team has been looking at an option should we not find a suitable remote minister: lining up “pulpit supply” of local guest speakers who would do live services but would not be able to fulfill the other responsibilities of a 3/4-time minister. Several opportunities for such speakers have been brought to the Search Team. (Please note that this option would create more work for the Worship Committee and Staff compared to having 3/4-time minister.) Should a remote minister be hired, having local “pulpit supply” will be needed to do live services on those weeks the minister is not leading the service.

We realize that a remote minister is not ideal, but we feel it has advantages compared to having only guest speakers:

  • A single source of ministerial leadership
  • Professional ministerial support for lay-led services
  • Important support and guidance for our Staff
  • Professional ministerial pastoral care

So, our focus going forward is:

  • Find a 3/4-time remote minister to: provide 2-3 remote services per month; support lay-led services; support Staff; and provide pastoral care as needed, working with the Caring Committee.
  • Provide the Worship Committee with options for a steady supply of guest speakers who can do live services in the weeks the remote minister is not leading the service.

Should you have any questions or comments, please reach out to any member of the Board.

Thank you,
SUUS Board of Trustees

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