Ministerial Search and Transition

Welcome to the portal page for our church’s ministerial search beginning in 2022. More information will be posted on this page as the search continues, so please bookmark and visit often.

Updates From the MSC

How does All Souls find someone to call as a minister?

ASC 2022-23 Search Committee Zoom Group PhotoUnder our bylaws, the Congregation itself calls ministers, and the vote to call the next settled ministry at All Souls will happen in the spring of 2023. We have many steps to take before we get to that call, please see our FAQ section below for an in-depth explanation. 

To find our next settled ministry, the All Souls Board of Trustees decided to follow the process recommended by the Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA) Transitions office. Under this process, the Board created a Ministerial Search Committee, after gathering feedback from the congregation through phone calls and votes. The Board then charged the Committee (see FAQ below) with undertaking the search process.

Biographical Information for Members of the Search Committee

Search Committee Intentions on Behalf of the Congregation

What is the work of the Ministerial Search Committee? ​

In a nearly year-long process, the Ministerial Search Committee gathers the hopes and needs of the Congregation, represents the Congregation to potential applicants through the creation of a detailed search profile, and evaluates applicants, discerning the best match for the Congregation.

Members of the Ministerial Search Committee will work gathering feedback from the congregation and creating a position description and church portfolio (September-November), narrowing down the candidates in January 2023 to several pre-candidates and interviewing them. A final candidate will be presented to the Congregation in April 2023.

How to contact the Ministerial Search Committee​

There will be numerous ways and times to give input to the committee on your vision for our future ministerial team throughout the search process. 

By phone: coming soon!

By Email: searchcommittee@allsouls.ws

How do UUs find their settled ministers?

As a Unitarian Universalist congregation, we are empowered to call our own ministers.

Calling is different than hiring a staff person. It involves quite a bit of discernment by the whole congregation, has a multi-step process, and has spiritual aspects and rituals in line with our faith and values. A pivotal point is when the congregation members vote to call the ministerial leadership.

As a UU congregation, we work with the Unitarian Universalist Association to identify ministerial candidates. The UUA doesn’t send or move a minister but does assist congregations with their searches for clergy.

UU ministers go through a Fellowshipping Process managed by the UUA, then are ordained by a UU congregation. They usually belong to the UU Minister’s Association, and continue their development throughout their service as ministers.  

 The UUA has a Transitions Office, which is helping All Souls with the process of the search. The Transitions Office maintains a database of congregations that are searching for ministers, and ministers who are searching for clergy positions. In early 2023, the UUA Transitions Office opens up the availability of congregations and ministers so they can each identify ones in which they are interested.  

In consultation with the congregation, the Board of Trustees identified and recruited a group of people who would be willing to serve on the search committee. Then in June of 2022 the congregation voted to elect the members who would do the search on behalf of the congregation. See the Search Committee members here.

You do! After the Search Committee goes through an extensive process of identifying and interviewing candidates, the Board is presented with the final candidate. Then the congregation has a period of time to get to know the candidate and hear them speak from the pulpit before voting to call them.

You are crucial to this whole process!

This year, we will gather information about our church and community to create a “congregational record” so that candidates can get to know us. The better and fuller the picture a candidate has of us, the more likely they will know whether our church is a good fit for their ministry.

We will be having small group meetings in various locations to gather input from you, our members. We will do an electronic survey as well and get input from our staff members and ministers. We’ll use all of this information to create a profile of our congregation for searching ministers to see, like a “job posting.”

And of course, the members will vote whether to call the new ministerial leadership.

When the work of gathering information to create the search materials is completed, the search process will enter a private and confidential stage. This is a period in the New Year (2023) where the Search Committee will be reviewing applications, contacting references, checking out possible candidates, and interviewing them. All of this must be done in confidence, just like other job interviews, so members and staff cannot follow this part of the process. By honoring the confidentiality of the applicants, these candidates can share more openly with us, allowing us to decide whether their ministry is a good fit for our church based on the information we gather from you during the survey and meetings.

Sadly, no. Sometimes the right candidate cannot be found or the congregation decides not to call the candidate. This is unusual, but it happens.  

We will all be disappointed, but it’s not the end of the world. We are a strong congregation! In that case we would go back into search again.

The Committee needs to work behind the scenes during the Winter and Spring, as we are holding confidentiality to protect the process and potential candidates. By the end of April, 2023, we hope to have found a ministerial candidate (or candidates) to introduce to you; then the process will return to a transparent and public stage. We’ll host a Candidating Week so you can meet, get to know, and vote on our candidate. Settled ministers can be “called” only after a majority of congregational members have voted to call them. (Keep in mind that most ministers see 90% as a successful “call” and will not agree to go with less.) New ministers usually start in July or August to prepare for the start of the new program year. 

Charge to the Ministerial Search Committee

The All Souls Board of Trustees creates a Ministerial Search Committee to find the best minister or ministers for All Souls. Members of the Search Committee will:

  • Recognize that they hold a sacred trust for the Congregation to find our next ministry;
  • Listen to and learn from the Congregation as it shares its hopes and concerns for the next ministry;
  • Represent the whole Congregation and put aside any personal agenda in choosing the best ministry match for our church;
  • Promote the ministry opportunity with enthusiasm for our strengths and candor about our challenges;
  • Discuss with potential candidates our congregationally-adopted Church Goals;
  • Acknowledge that All Souls is in a moment of transformation, and thoughtfully pursue that transformation;
  • Commit to understanding the impact of the 8th Principle on their work;
  • Follow or carefully modify the recommended processes and covenant of our Association for a search;
  • Seek appropriate advice and input from the Board and Executive Team, especially on issues related to the structure of the Executive Team;
  • Include the Executive Director in the Search Committee retreat and in the formation of the Search Committee’s covenant, which should cover her role in the search process, so that potential candidates understand and will succeed in our co-equal Executive Team;
  • Commit to an inclusive search process, recognizing the unique gifts and identities of ministers and the members of the Search Committee;
  • Fully and fairly consider all applicants; and
  • Be transparent with the Congregation and leadership throughout the search process about the parts of their work which are not confidential.

Timeline of the Search Process

  • Summer 2022

    MSC begins meeting weekly to plan elements of the search process

  • September/October 2022

    Beyond Categorical Thinking workshop for congregation and staff

  • October/November 2022

    Focus groups and survey to gather feedback from congregation

  • December 2022

    MSC posts position description and other information on confidential UUA website

  • January 2023

    Candidates apply for position at All Souls

  • February 2023

    MSC interviews candidates and narrows down to one

  • April 2023

    Candidate visits All Souls during candidating week.  At end of the week the congregation votes on whether to call the candidate to All Souls.